Personal Responsibility: the Secret Weapon to Growth

The older I get, the more I realize that life is full of pain. People exchange energy every day, because they’re constantly in contact with one another every day. And with all that contact, someone eventually is bound to have their toes stepped on, causing hurt feelings. I mean, I know in 2019 alone, my hyper-sensitive self has been through more than enough hurt. And this hurt can come in all different types of forms.

To be blunt: people are going to hurt you, and you are also going to hurt people. It happens when you exchange energy and interact as much as we do. But when that pain happens, whats more important than finding who to blame or put at fault, is to take a step back and figure out how to take your lessons and move forward. And since you can’t control other people, you need to look at who you are in control of — yourself. When you’re aware that you need to be responsible for yourself, how you treat people, and your own happiness, you’ll only find yourself even happier in the end.

Pain is inevitable, it happens, and sometimes that shit can really get to you. But what I learned is, MOST times — more often than not — you need to be able to take a step back in situations and realize, “in a sense, I let this pain happen to myself”. Or realize “I did this thing that hurt someone, even if I didn’t mean to”. And that’s not to insult you or call you a bad person, nor is it say everything in the world is your fault or to invalidate your feelings when it comes to situations. Pain is something you need to feel in order to grow. But you can only hold on to things for so long until it’s time to learn. And for yourself, it’s important to ask – how do I learn?

Understanding Personal Responsibility

The key in understanding personal responsibility is to not to look to put blame on yourself or anyone else. Trust me, I understand how feelings work — I’m extremely emotional. Meaning, I know it may temporarily help to feel like your not at fault if someone hurts you. Or, if you were the one who hurt someone, blame will only highlight the fact that you did something wrong while ignoring the fact that your only human and imperfect. Blame does nothing for growth. Rather, the key is to open your eyes and acknowledge just how much strength, insight and impact you really do have, both on yourself and on others.

And take personal responsibility as a compliment! When you are able to reflect in a situation and understand that “yes, maybe I gave too many chances when I KNEW this person couldn’t change” or maybe “yes, even though I didn’t mean to hurt this person I DID do that and I need to apologize and work on this trait so I no longer hurt them”, it’s a message from the universe. The universe is telling you that you are SMART and OPEN enough to understand and handle these concepts, and its a challenge to push you further and make you an overall better human being. A trait that not everyone has.

I’ve also learned that not everyone in the world is woke and in tune with themselves. Some people really just cannot accept or understand that they have faults and things to work on as well. And it’s frustrating when someone isn’t as self-aware as you are, believe me I get it. But what you need to know is that those who do have this ability to see mistakes and want to learn and grow from them, are the ones who are living the more fulfilling life and will absolutely have better relationship because of it.

Using Personal Responsibility to Learn

So I say all this to basically tell you guys that you are responsible for your own happiness. When it comes to any relationship in general where you feel your the one who got hurt, you need to remember that what you allow will dictate how the other person treats you. You are responsible to teach them that you won’t settle for being treated wrong, because you owe it to yourself and you know that you absolutely do deserve better. And then, you are responsible for reflecting and taking the lessons from the relationship, to apply for your future. Ask yourself:

  • What did this person do wrong? But what did they do right?
  • Did I ALLOW them to do wrong?
  • Did I IGNORE any red flags?
  • What knowledge can I take from this, and apply to the next relationship to figure out what behavior can I accept, and what should I keep my eyes open for next time?
  • What are things that I ignored that I won’t ever ignore again?

Or in the case of any relationship where you feel you hurt someone else, you need to ask yourself:

  • What did this person say that they felt?
  • What did they say I did?
  • Did I intend to do this?
  • How can I change this negative aspect of myself, to ensure I don’t hurt this person, or any other people I also truly care about, again?

It’s reflection like this that is what allows you to grow and become stronger as a person. The answers to these questions will make you more self aware, giving you the lessons you need to take from your pain. These are lessons I try to keep in mind as I navigate life, constantly reflecting on what I’m going through to really understand myself. I care about you all, and I want us all to be the best versions of ourselves.


Gabby Sinn


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