Alternate Perceptions Magazine, January 2024
Accepting Responsibility and Making Change
by: Stan Prachniak, MBA
A new year presents a convenient opportunity to enact change in your life. But don’t get discouraged if you haven’t made any resolutions yet, because you can make changes in your life at any time. You get to decide what you will do at any moment in time. Keep in mind that every decision you make can either keep you on a certain path or they can lead you to another path. If you feel like you aren’t on the path you are meant to be on, you have the power to take steps to uncover your true path. Changing the way you think and act is not an easy task, but it can be done. If you feel like you can’t get ahead in life or that your life is controlling you, you can enact change by acknowledging and challenging these beliefs when they arise. Start by asking yourself something like, “Is life really controlling me or am I making decisions that take away my control in certain situations?”
I’d like to offer a simple example of how a person can believe they lack control over a situation that, in fact, they are responsible for creating. Let’s imagine that someone is consistently late for work and their employer has informed them that if things don’t change they will be out of a job. This person’s immediate reaction to this news is to place blame and complain about how bad traffic is, or that they are always getting stuck behind slow drivers, or accidents—in brief, they avoid taking responsibility for being late. Their belief is that they can’t make it to work on time because they can’t control how other people drive. But they can challenge this belief by thinking about what they do control, which is what they do before they start their commute. They might begin by asking themselves something like, “What can I do to make sure I get to work on time?” Chances are, there is something that can be done differently. Maybe the reality is that they have been sleeping-in for 15-20 minutes instead of getting up with their alarm and that is what ultimately put them in the situation they are in now, not the traffic on their way to work. Once they can accept that they are responsible for their lateness, true change can occur and they can begin taking control of their life.
Is there something in your life that you believe is out of your control? Do you want to make a change, but don’t know where to begin?
Freedom To Change offers a way for you to make lasting change in your life by challenging your beliefs, controlling what you can control, and letting the rest go. For more information on the Freedom To Change materials, visit www.freedom2change.org.