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 July 21, 2021

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

If you are like most people, you probably have big goals and dreams that you would like to succeed in — you want to be the top in your career, live a healthy lifestyle, or flourish in your relationships.

Everyone dreams of a positive future, but most people don’t realize the secret to a truly successful life:

You determine your future in the way you spend your everyday moments. If you want to be a successful person, you must consistently develop good daily habits. As Aristotle pointed out:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

Building positive daily habits is a huge challenge, but can you imagine the amazing things you could accomplish with just a little commitment and determination?

Creating lasting, healthy habits is the real key difference between people who are successful in life and those who are unsuccessful.

You might be wondering which specific habits make the biggest difference. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a comparison list to help you get a jump start on a successful future.

1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear change.

Change is a constant for all of humanity, and it is important that you develop a positive relationship with it.

When unexpected or unwelcome changes arise, ask yourself how you can embrace it instead of running away. A few practical ways to reverse a change-fearing mindset include:

  • Take a moment to recognize and address any fears associated with the upcoming change.
  • Communicate with a person you trust about your negative feelings toward change.
  • Practice positive thinking, which you can read about in the next section.

2. Successful people exude joy. Unsuccessful people think, say and do negative things.

A joyful, positive disposition can seem like a distant reality in today’s cynical world, but it may be easier to achieve than you think. All you have to do is notice the good things around you and practice being thankful.


Mindfulness and gratitude are not just buzz words – choosing a positive attitude can honestly change your life. Many studies have found that thankfulness leads to greater happiness. Furthermore, research indicates that gratitude may even have a lasting positive impact on the brain and overall mental health.[1]

3. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful people hold grudges.

As a human being, you have likely been offended or hurt by others plenty of times. Don’t give in to the temptation to hold a grudge. Let it go.

Note that forgiving someone does not equate to giving up your boundaries (which are very important) or even admitting that the offending party is right. You should choose to let go for your own peace of mind.

4. Successful people track progress. Unsuccessful people just criticize.

Some kinds of criticism, such as constructive criticism, are good for personal and professional development. The kind of criticism I’m talking about is the pessimistic, nagging, unhelpful variety. This is the kind of criticism in play when you are unfairly harsh to yourself or others.

Toss unfounded criticisms aside and consider tracking your “wins” or your progresses, no matter how small. Take mental notes or keep a progress journal.

If you have a solid sense of what you have achieved, you will be less tempted to be hard on yourself.

5. Successful people share information, data and ideas. Unsuccessful people hoard.

If you have useful information or generate brilliant ideas on the regular, your first instinct may be to keep it all to yourself for personal gain and solo recognition.

Instead of hoarding bright ideas, share them with your team. Your talents will be on display for the team, and the team will be able to support you and make your ideas a reality.

6. Successful people are humble. Unsuccessful people talk more than they listen.

Humility is key. The ability to listen to other people, really listen and understand, is essential to success in both work and relationships — and to listen you have to be humble.

Everyone has experienced the frustration of being in a one-sided conversation. When someone approaches you with a question or concern, put your own world aside for just a moment and give them the kindness of your full attention.


7. Successful people take risks. Unsuccessful people take the easy way out.

The next time your heart is racing and you want to walk away, consider embracing the risk. You never know what might happen if you take a chance.

Embracing risks looks like accepting the speaking engagement even though it seems a little scary. Success takes the courageous route, not the easy route.

8. Successful people learn, improve and read every day. Unsuccessful people stop learning.

Instead of binge-watching a show tonight, save an hour before bed to read a book and expand your mind.

Unsuccessful people are afraid to be flexible – they don’t challenge themselves to learn new things. Avoid this pitfall by exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas every day.

9. Successful people handle problems well. Unsuccessful people act before they think.

The next time you run into a problem or even an emergency, try to work through your initial panic reaction with a few deep breaths.

Instead of acting rashly, think through your next actions as quickly but as logically as you can.

Learning to handle problems thoughtfully is an absolutely essential tool in the successful person’s toolbox (that’s you!).

10. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others.

Along with a previous tip about humility, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn to do – but also the most rewarding. When you’ve failed, you must fight the urge to pass the blame. Successful people are able to fail honestly and gracefully.

And, hey, don’t feel bad about failing. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed too many times to count. It’s all a part of the process.

You can check out this article for more tips on how to fail well:


How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow

11. Successful people work with passion and commitment. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.

A short and sweet lesson for you:

You should never expect to achieve the things you want without working hard.

Follow your passion and stay committed to pursuing it. Work hard and stick to your habits every day. You’ll earn your reward.

12. Successful people spend time with the right people. Unsuccessful people think they already know it all.

A lot of people miss out on useful relationships and information sharing because they think they can do it all alone.

Spend time with people who inspire you, spur you to be a better person, and remind you that you can’t go it alone.

13. Successful people make to-do lists and maintain proper life balance. Unsuccessful people waste their time.

Ah, time management. Unsuccessful people never master the art of organization and planning.

Here are a few tips for you when it comes to time management:

  • Make to-do lists. Seriously, this will help you. Make time to do it every morning, evening, or whenever you are able.
  • Keep track of your time. Are you happy with the way you are currently balancing things? What changes can you make?
  • Keep a calendar full of your long-term goals (see next tip).

14. Successful people write down goals and think long term about their burning desires. Unsuccessful people get distracted every day.

Why is it so important to keep a long-term goal calendar? Here’s the deal:

The things you are passionate about today need a backbone.


Give your passionate ideas sustainability by writing down goals and staying on task instead of succumbing to distraction.

15. Successful people compliment others. Unsuccessful people try to bring others down to their level.

There is no greater confidence than saying “no” to sudden jealous or envious feelings and choosing to sincerely admire someone’s talents instead.

Unsuccessful people live in a world driven by competition, but successful people know that building people up is far more rewarding than bringing them down.

16. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope they fail.

In the same vein as the point above, this tip is all about good intentions.

Care for the people around you. Encourage them toward their successes. Hoping that others fail will not help you at all.

17. Successful people know their purpose and mission. Unsuccessful people don’t know what they want to be.

The last thing that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is one of the most important:

Keep your mission in mind.

Don’t be swayed to and fro by passing emotions and events. Know who you are and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

Final thoughts

Above all, stay confident. Truly believe that you can be and are successful. Strive to prove it in your day-to-day habits and activities!

What are you waiting for? Choose one of the habits above and get started today.


Featured photo credit: Unsplash via


[1] Berkeley University of California: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

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