Published on December 29, 2020

How To Take Responsibility For Your Action And Your Life

How To Take Responsibility For Your Action And Your Life

We are all doing what we believe it takes to be successful, to be our best, to make a difference, and to take care of our responsibilities. But when life shows up with problems, curveballs, and obstacles that stand in our way, it can be easy to lose our excitement, drive, and motivation to keep improving.

It’s frustrating when progress stalls or stops. It happens to the best of us. No one is immune.

That’s when we have to watch out that we don’t get ourselves stuck in the “excuse trap.” This is a dangerous mental cycle that many people unintentionally and often subconsciously turn on in their minds.

This is the thought cycle that constantly repeats the reasons why it’s not our fault—it’s the economy, it’s your family, it’s the timing—it’s any excuse that your mind can justify. Once it’s on, say goodbye to your hopes and dreams because the list never ends.

But the most dangerous thing that this mental trap says is, “it’s not my responsibility,” and “I’m not in control of myself and my destiny.”

How do we pull ourselves out of the cycle? We address the excuses head-on.

There are many potential excuses that we can use to not take responsibility for our own actions, but interestingly enough, the number one excuse of not doing, being, or having what you want in your life are these 5 words: “I don’t have enough time.”

This is the king of all excuses in the “excuse trap” and why 5 years ago, I committed to solving this problem while researching my book, The Time Cleanse: A Proven System to Eliminate Wasted Time, Realize Your Full Potential, and Reinvest in What Matters Most.

It was the number one excuse I found with my clients. Every one of them said, “I don’t have enough time!” It was the reason they used for not going to the gym, not growing their business, not dating to be in a relationship, not going on a vacation or visiting their friends and family, and the list goes on.


We all have to come to terms with the excuse of time to get out of the excuse trap once and for all. To be in charge of your attention and energy, you have to have steps to help you take responsibility for your time.

Here are 3 simple steps to take responsibility for your time and your life.

Step 1: See Time as Your Ally, Not Your Enemy

“When you change the way you look at things, what you look at changes.” —Wayne Dyer

The rule is simple: If you view time as your enemy, as an excuse, it becomes easy to blame and not take responsibility for it. When you view time as your friend and ally on your side and helping you accomplish your goals, then you can finally take full responsibility for your actions.

You need to look at your relationship with time in a new, positive light. First, you have to deprogram yourself from the way society has taught you to view time.

How many times have you heard the following?

  • “Where will I find the time?”
  • “I never have enough time.”
  • “Where did the time go?”
  • “When I get the time.”
  • “If time allows.”

But who actually “allows” you to do things? It’s not time—it’s you!

Recognize that time doesn’t make the decisions, you do. We all have the same amount of time. It’s all up to you whether you use your time to move towards your goals or to get distracted with things that don’t benefit you.

Time is an incredibly valuable resource. It’s possibly the most valuable thing you have in life.


Imagine your total time on earth as a billion dollars. It’s all yours, and you can do anything you want with it. It can buy you literally anything you want in life. But it can also be stolen from you and drained away. You have to choose where you use it. You have to direct it. You have to make sure that it’s being spent on what matters to you because no one else will. Everyone else will simply try to take it from you.

Your time is yours, and it’s your responsibility. Your time comes from you, it’s a part of you, and you are not separate from it. It’s a natural gift of your life—an infinitely valuable resource here for you to become the best version of yourself. Feel grateful for your time and treasure it, and pay attention to where it is being used up.

When you stop fighting with time and take responsibility for your time, you get your energy back, you flow in your day, and new opportunities naturally present themselves to you. Time becomes your ally and friend. It is in your corner to support you in everything you do.

“Time is not a thing—It’s a relationship.” —Steven Griffith

Make the decision once and for all to recognize that time is here for you and is on your side to help you be your best. We all get the same amount. What you do with it is up to you and only you!

Step 2: Go on a “Time Excuse” Diet

Here is how you take complete control of your time: Stop using the excuse of time as the reason you are not doing, being, or having what you want in life.

Try saying this to yourself: “I’m 100 percent responsible for my time. I own it, I control it, and it comes from me!”

From now on, you are on a “time excuse” diet. When you want to get in shape, you go to diet by eliminating the toxic foods that prevent you from improving. The same goes for getting your time back. To slim down the amount of time being lost to distractions, you have to eliminate the toxic thoughts that are preventing your success and personal responsibility.

Start choosing what you want to do with your time. Remind yourself every day that it is your time, and you have the power to do what you really want with it.


What we choose to say yes and no to and what we decide to do determines when and where we use our time. When we believe that time is outside of us and controlling us, we live in a constant state of scarcity and victimhood without even realizing it.

After working with thousands of people, I have seen every version of a time excuse offered as the number one reason people aren’t finding the success, happiness, and achievement they desire. This widespread faulty thinking is the exact reason people are struggling, stalled, or stuck.

Time is never to blame—it’s your choices and priorities with time. We can always make or find the time when something is our top priority. Just break a bone and all of a sudden, you have plenty of time to go to the doctor and get it fixed.

It really comes down to choice. If you hear the excuse of not having enough time in your mind, get rid of it and choose to be responsible for your time!

Step 3: Use Self-Compassion Daily

This last step probably sounds counterintuitive, but it’s essential to taking responsibility for your actions. Take some time to be grateful for yourself.

You see, taking responsibility for all of your time, how it’s spent, and everything that you do or do not accomplish is a lot of pressure. You won’t always succeed perfectly in every task. So, if you start to constantly tell yourself negative things, like I’m not doing good enough,” then you will lose your motivation and excuses will take over.

Positive reinforcement is essential for reprogramming your mind from being full of excuses to being full of motivation and solutions.

Here’s the mind trick we play on ourselves: If you believe and know that you will get beat up more often when you “go for it” and don’t succeed, then over time, you will be more likely to make excuses, delay, hold yourself back, or not go for it at all.

But to be successful—to take full responsibility for our actions—we have to be willing to take risks and be okay with failure. That’s the only way to push ourselves to new heights and our next level of growth. We have to be able to willingly get back up when we get knocked down.


Research shows that when we are kind to ourselves and show ourselves compassion, it allows us to perform better by giving us healthy expectations. Self-compassion increases well-being and our ability to take risks. By being kind we’ll be more responsible for our actions—the ones that are good and the ones that aren’t.

Self-compassion is the ultimate way to take self-responsibility. It’s being there for yourself in the face of adversity, obstacles, and challenges so you can keep going. Just the fact that you want to take responsibility for your actions is reason enough to give yourself an emotional pat on the back.

Once we show compassion to ourselves and tend to our mental and emotional needs, we can be in a positive and receptive space to reengage and learn from adversity, integrate new lessons, adjust our strategies and tactics, take full responsibility for our actions, and get back out there and accomplish our goals with an even higher level of confidence, resilience, power, and tools to succeed.


When you fall into the “excuse trap” with the belief that “I don’t have enough time,” which our 24/7 connected devices and lifestyles push us into unconsciously, you have a super toxic combo of mental traps keeping you from your goals and dreams.

Excuses justify people’s failures in their mind and tell them to give up. A lack of self-compassion tells them that they can’t do it. Given enough time and setbacks, they may start to believe it. They may even want to believe it because it gets them off the hook and allows them to be comfortable with their lack of success. But that’s not you.

You want to take responsibility for your actions. You want to take your destiny into your own hands.

You have made the choice to be in charge of your life, remove all excuses (especially the time excuse!), and be self-compassionate in a way that puts the choice and responsibility back in your hands. With those 3 steps, you can deprogram your mind from feeling helpless to experiencing total empowerment.

I’m 100 percent responsible for my time. I own it, I control it, and it comes from me! —Steven Griffith, The Time Cleanse

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Steven Griffith

Steven is an Executive Coach. He's been helping the world’s most successful people perfrom at their peack level.

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Last Updated on April 8, 2021

How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide)

How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide)

Take a moment and imagine what your life would be like if you had no fear. What would you do if you knew how to overcome fear? It’s not difficult to imagine that it would alter your life significantly.

I believe that fear is the single biggest obstacle that holds people back from fulfilling their potential and becoming the best version of themselves. Fear of failure, fear of abandonment, fear of success, fear of not being good enough

The question is, where does it come from?

Neuroscientists claim that humans are the most fearful creatures on the planet because of our ability to learn, think, and create fear in our minds. We scare ourselves by imagining the worst possible outcomes, assuming that we are protecting ourselves from imminent danger.

You make the choice to be a victim of your fear and anxiety or to push them aside and be courageous.

In this article, we’ll look into the root cause of fear and how to conquer fear to realize our potential.

What Is Fear, Really?

This acronym best reflects what fear is[1]:

Learn how to overcome fear with the fear acronym

    Fear is an emotion created by your mind based on real or imagined threats. Fear may be completely founded in reality, or not. It may also manifest as anxiety disorders in some cases, as anxiety is based on worries or fears about the future.

    These imagined scenarios of perceived threats end up feeding your fear to the point where it becomes all-consuming. Often, these scenarios never happen.


    The real issue is not the fear itself, but rather how we hold it in our minds.

    How to Overcome Fear

    Overcoming fear may sound easier said than done. When you are in the thick of fear, it’s hard to see a way out. The good news is that, because you are the root cause of your fears, you are also the solution to them.

    1. Identify Your Fears Through Writing

    There are times when I’ve felt afraid but couldn’t identify why. If you keep your fears inside, you allow your mind to control how you feel.

    In order to prevent this confusion from happening in the first place, identify what your fears are before moving on to learning how to deal with fear.

    What makes you feel afraid?

    Instead of just thinking about these things, write them down. When you write down your fears on paper and actually question them, it forces you to analyze why you are afraid. Questions are designed to trigger your fears and bring them to the surface.

    This isn’t a comfortable process, but deep inner work never is. However, if you continue to keep your feelings in the dark, the scarier they will be, and the more disempowered you will become.

    Once you identify the type of fear and the experience that you associate with your fears, you become armed with the power to take action to change them. Eventually, your fears become smaller and smaller, and your strength gets bigger and bigger.

    As you’re identifying what your fears are, you can try Lifehack’s Free Life Assessment. It will help you identify which areas may be causing you more fear and which you can fall back on as strengths.

    2. Practice Gratitude

    If you want to learn how to overcome fear, gratitude is key. From personal experience, I have learned that it’s difficult to experience fear and gratitude at the same time. They are literally on opposite ends of the continuum of the human experience.


    When you are experiencing difficult times in life, it’s easy to drop into fear and overwhelm. In that energetic space, it can be hard to stay grounded.

    Developing a gratitude practice allows you to not drown in fear. It doesn’t mean that you won’t still feel it, but the blow will be lessened, thereby allowing you to see the brighter side of struggle.

    In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their physical and mental health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships[2].

    Anyone who experiences fear knows that there is almost always a story attached to whatever it is that you’re fearful of.  Fear loves to hang out with your inner critic and come up with worst-case scenarios about what could happen.

    Gratitude helps keep these limiting stories at bay when you’re learning how to overcome fear. When you practice gratitude, your brain shifts to what is currently working instead of what isn’t working.

    The act of being fearful is a future-oriented process, while gratitude is a present-oriented one. The next time that fear tries to creep its way into your head, replace that disempowering thought with an empowering one.

    You can learn more about how to replace fear based practices with more positive ones in this video:

    3. Release Control

    Being a control freak is how a lot of people manage their fears, or so they think. Unfortunately, control has no place on the path to learning how to overcome fear.

    In actuality, all that they are doing is masking their fears by trying to control everything. If you can relate, it’s time to release control. Trust me when I say that this is a losing battle.

    Fear results in controlling behavior, and when this behavior doesn’t give us the results we’re seeking, it further intensifies our fears.


    In your attempt to control fear, you actually become a victim of it. This fear and control cycle leaves a lot of people feeling defeated. The reality is that there will always be things that are far beyond your control.

    The only way that we can move past needing to be in control is to accept that it is not always up to us. While you may be in control of your decisions, you don’t always have control over situations that you are pushed into, nor can you control how others react.

    The only thing that you have control over is your inner world and how you choose to respond to your external environment. The next time you catch yourself trying to control everything, step back and ask yourself what you are afraid of.

    Start to get curious about what thoughts are generating your fear. Curiosity and fear don’t like to co-exist. Once you let go of one, you invite the other in, which will help as you learn how to get rid of fear.

    True freedom comes from fully releasing control. When you are able to do this, you begin the process of releasing your fears as well.

    4. Recite Positive Affirmations

    Positive affirmations can be used to combat almost any negative thought pattern, which can be very helpful when you want to learn how to overcome fear. Using them to help challenge your fears can help retrain your brain and have your fears reframed as powerful statements.

    Research shows that you can actually train your subconscious mind such that it will help you to attract exactly what you desire in life[3].

    Instead of saying “I am afraid of doing this because I might fail,” look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am prepared for this, I am ready, and I will not fail.”

    The more you use positive affirmations, the stronger they become. The best way to cancel a negative belief is to develop its positive counterpart.

    Commit to making positive affirmations a key component of your morning ritual. It literally takes one thought, repeated over and over again, to set you on the path to transforming your entire life.


    Here are more positive affirmations you can try: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

    5. Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

    Living in your comfort zone will get you nowhere in life, and it certainly won’t help you learn how to overcome fear. In my experience, not doing the things that scare you will only increase the likelihood that your fears will grow and inevitably take over every decision that you make.

    I want to encourage you to do one thing every day that scares you. It can be something small. All that matters is that you take action. Make it a habit to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

    Putting yourself in new and uncomfortable situations triggers a unique part of the brain that releases dopamine, nature’s make-you-happy chemical. Here’s the mind-blower: that unique region of the brain is only activated when you see or experience completely new things[4].

    When you condition yourself to do something every day that scares you, your fear fades away, and your courage grows. Think about it…when you face your fears, how can you fear them again? Soon enough, your confidence will skyrocket.

    Final Thoughts

    The next time that you feel threatened by fear, I encourage you to pull upon one or more of the above strategies. Change your relationship with fear. Instead of letting it knock you down, use it as motivation to grow and achieve more.

    Once you recognize that fear is not real, the obstacles that appear to stand in your way will be removed, and you will feel empowered to take action.

    Your potential in life is limited by only one factor: you. Are you ready to transform fear into action?

    More on How to Overcome Fear

    Featured photo credit: Jonathan Klok via


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