Taking Responsibility is Hard

Why is it so difficult to take responsibility for things, events, occurrences in your life?

Here are two possible reasons:

  1. Taking responsibility requires you to take ownership for your part or contribution to the thing, event, or occurrence. Do you know what the opposite of taking responsibility is? Being a victim. When you are a victim you can say “I am fat because of my genes” but when you take responsibility you have to say “I am fat because of my food choices, and my lifestyle”. The victim says that “I am in poor financial health because the capitalist economic system prevents me from being paid a higher salary” while the person who takes responsibility says that “I am in poor financial health because I live above my means, and lack the discipline to work hard on my idea for long enough until it becomes successful”. Taking ownership is hard.
  2. Taking responsibility is not a one-time action. It is an ongoing decision you have to make. Anyone can decide to take responsibility when they are feeling motivated. But very few people have the discipline and the motivation to continuously make the difficult choice of taking responsibility. Doing something hard once is easy. Doing something hard every day is hard.

Fortunately, these two factors are within the control of every individual.


By Brian

I’m Brian Gachichio. I write and advise on strategy design and execution and performance measurement and management in organizations.

My goal is to provide the innovative thinking that leads to high-impact solutions to business problems and help produce above-average results.