Personal Responsibility

Most of the teens I work with have a multitude of problems, but one trend I see a lot of is the lack of personal responsibility. They think of themselves as victims and take on a personality of victimhood where everything happens to them and they have no direct effect on their lives as

Most of the teens I work with have a multitude of problems, but one trend I see a lot of is the lack of personal responsibility. They think of themselves as victims and take on a personality of victimhood where everything happens to them and they have no direct effect on their lives as if they are living life passively and everything that happens is not their fault. If they fail a class it’s the teacher’s fault, other students in the class’ fault or their parents fault… anybody’s fault but their own. The same is true when they get in trouble, despite any evidence provided to them that it’s their fault, their mindset of victimhood makes it hard for them to see reality for what it is.

I spend a large amount of time teaching the teenagers I work with that they are not victims and are not passive participants in life, but that they directly effect their lives every single minute of the day. Even when things are out of their control, they are still in control of their thoughts which in turn gives them control to how they will feel and react to any situation they don’t have direct control over, but more importantly, they have much more control than they realize.

Thoughts, Feelings, Behaviors

Teenagers (and adults) love to say that someone made them mad, sad, angry or whatever feeling you want to insert here. It takes me awhile to get them to understand that they are not victims and no one can make them mad or sad, but that they do it to themselves with their thoughts. I won’t go into much detail here because it can get complicated and probably deserves it’s own post to pay it proper attention, but basically your thoughts control your feelings which in turn control your behaviors. It’s the things we tell ourselves and the thoughts we have about a situation that makes us feel a certain way and then those feelings make us act in a corresponding way… depressed, angry, nervous, etc. Teaching them to control their thoughts is the first step to getting them to take more personal responsibility.

Things I can and Things I can’t Change

One thing I have them do is make a list of things they can control and things they can’t control. This helps them to realize how much power over their lives they actually have. Many times teenagers are stressed and angry at things they can’t control such as their parents, their teachers and their friends. I let them know that everyone was giving one life and they have to learn when to let other people live their lives, despite the paths they chose, so that they can live theirs. I teach them that they can’t control the situation, but they can control the way they think and respond to the situation.Otherwise what happens is that everyone becomes the blame when something doesn’t go right in their lives instead of them taking responsibility for their own life.

Architects 

The other thing I teach them since most of them are trying to figure out what and who they are, is that they are all architects. They are, like all of us, architects, creators and designers of their own lives. They build, create and establish the life they want, no one else does. Sure many of them are born in poverty and have horrible guardians, but unless they learn that they are responsible for getting themselves into a better situation, they will just replay history and be stuck in the same situation over and over again. I tell my kids who I know are in impoverished situations and yet don’t take school or life seriously to look around. I tell them that if they like where they live and how they are living then to keep doing what they are doing, but if they want something better they have to do something different… different for them and definitely different from what others around them have done even if it means they will be doing something no one they know has done such as going to college, the military, trade school or whatever. They design their own lives and as long as they are allowed to believe they are victims then they will never reach for the stars and will blame everyone else for their failures.

CEOs, CFOs and Mission Statements

I also let them know that besides architects they are also already chief executive officers of their lives. They are in charge of the business of them. They are the sole person responsible for them becoming who they want to be. And I also let them know that they will soon be chief financial officers, in charge of their own money and prosperity. I get them to write mission statements because every company has a mission statement and I think ever person should have a mission statement. A mission statement states who you are, what you believe in, what you value and what’s your purpose. Many of them have no clue about these things and further more, never took the time to sit down and think about it so this is the prime time to have them do this.

All of these things combined together add to a greater sense of personal responsibility and loosens the shackles of victimhood. My question to you is, what is your mission statement? Share it with me if you would like and even if you don’t share it, please think about it and make a mission statement even if it’s just for your eyes. I know it will change the way you interact with life for the bette

if they are living life passively and everything that happens is not their fault. If they fail a class it’s the teacher’s fault, other students in the class’ fault or their parents fault… anybody’s fault but their own. The same is true when they get in trouble, despite any evidence provided to them that it’s their fault, their mindset of victimhood makes it hard for them to see reality for what it is.

I spend a large amount of time teaching the teenagers I work with that they are not victims and are not passive participants in life, but that they directly effect their lives every single minute of the day. Even when things are out of their control, they are still in control of their thoughts which in turn gives them control to how they will feel and react to any situation they don’t have direct control over, but more importantly, they have much more control than they realize.

Thoughts, Feelings, Behaviors

Teenagers (and adults) love to say that someone made them mad, sad, angry or whatever feeling you want to insert here. It takes me awhile to get them to understand that they are not victims and no one can make them mad or sad, but that they do it to themselves with their thoughts. I won’t go into much detail here because it can get complicated and probably deserves it’s own post to pay it proper attention, but basically your thoughts control your feelings which in turn control your behaviors. It’s the things we tell ourselves and the thoughts we have about a situation that makes us feel a certain way and then those feelings make us act in a corresponding way… depressed, angry, nervous, etc. Teaching them to control their thoughts is the first step to getting them to take more personal responsibility.

Things I can and Things I can’t Change

One thing I have them do is make a list of things they can control and things they can’t control. This helps them to realize how much power over their lives they actually have. Many times teenagers are stressed and angry at things they can’t control such as their parents, their teachers and their friends. I let them know that everyone was giving one life and they have to learn when to let other people live their lives, despite the paths they chose, so that they can live theirs. I teach them that they can’t control the situation, but they can control the way they think and respond to the situation.Otherwise what happens is that everyone becomes the blame when something doesn’t go right in their lives instead of them taking responsibility for their own life.

Architects 

The other thing I teach them since most of them are trying to figure out what and who they are, is that they are all architects. They are, like all of us, architects, creators and designers of their own lives. They build, create and establish the life they want, no one else does. Sure many of them are born in poverty and have horrible guardians, but unless they learn that they are responsible for getting themselves into a better situation, they will just replay history and be stuck in the same situation over and over again. I tell my kids who I know are in impoverished situations and yet don’t take school or life seriously to look around. I tell them that if they like where they live and how they are living then to keep doing what they are doing, but if they want something better they have to do something different… different for them and definitely different from what others around them have done even if it means they will be doing something no one they know has done such as going to college, the military, trade school or whatever. They design their own lives and as long as they are allowed to believe they are victims then they will never reach for the stars and will blame everyone else for their failures.

CEOs, CFOs and Mission Statements

I also let them know that besides architects they are also already chief executive officers of their lives. They are in charge of the business of them. They are the sole person responsible for them becoming who they want to be. And I also let them know that they will soon be chief financial officers, in charge of their own money and prosperity. I get them to write mission statements because every company has a mission statement and I think ever person should have a mission statement. A mission statement states who you are, what you believe in, what you value and what’s your purpose. Many of them have no clue about these things and further more, never took the time to sit down and think about it so this is the prime time to have them do this.

All of these things combined together add to a greater sense of personal responsibility and loosens the shackles of victimhood. My question to you is, what is your mission statement? Share it with me if you would like and even if you don’t share it, please think about it and make a mission statement even if it’s just for your eyes. I know it will change the way you interact with life for the bette

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