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By Jill Hope

I attended a life-changing 3 day event put on by David Neagle called “Breaking Free Live”.  The content was absolutely thought-provoking and totally inspiring. I definitely left with a whole new view of my world.

Because of the impact David has had on my life, I wanted to share the important learning’s I took away from this conference.  I plan to share these learning in several installments on my blog.

I encourage you to join the discussion by sharing your thoughts, views and comments with me and my other readers. Thoughts grow as they are shared!  Please get involved and share your uniquely special thoughts on these important topics.

Lesson #1:  If you want to make a change, you have to accept 100% responsibility for everything you create. Yes, everything.

Okay, I admit, this can be a hard one to swallow, and maybe a tough one to start with, but I want you to read that sentence over and over and really think about it and what it really means.  Here is why I believe this statement to be true.

Let’s look at 2 people, Person A and Person B.  Both people want to change their lives.  They are struggling financially, have several children to raise, their children are experiencing challenges, and they are feeling defeated.  They both know they are not happy to have things cannot continue on the way they have been.  Something has to give.

Person A makes a decision.  She says “Life doesn’t need to be this hard. I want to overcome these challenges, and I am deciding right now to change this situation, once and for all.  My choices have led me to where I am today, but it doesn’t have to stay this way.  I can make a different choice right now that can lead me in a new and better direction.”

Person B makes a decision. She says “Life has dealt me a bad hand. Why does everything have to be so hard? My boss is so tough on me, no one wants to be friends with my child, may partner treats me horribly, my Dad ruined me by leaving us when I was a child.  Things are so hard.  I feel like there is no way out.  What is going to go wrong next?”

You may say that while Person A seems to have accepted responsibility for how things are in her life and has made a decision to change things , that Person B really hasn’t made a decision.  Here is where I beg to differ.  Person B has made as much of a decision with her words as Person A has.  She has decided that she is a victim to her life.  She has decided that everything in her life has been done TO her.  She has decided that she has no responsibility for what she is experiencing now or what she can experience in the future.

Both Person A and Person B have made decisions.  Who do you think will create a better life based on their decisions? Who seems more empowered in her life?

You are only a victim if you do not accept responsibility for your life.  The only person that makes you a victim is YOU.

I know some people reading this right now will quickly leave this page, never to return.  You will think this is harsh, that bad things do happen to good people, and that they don’t have any responsibility in bringing them on themselves.

Believe me, I used to struggle with this idea too, but having since studied it quite deeply, the only conclusion I can draw is that self-responsibility is one of the most worthy of characteristics to cultivate, both in ourselves and in our children.

Here is what I want you to consider.  Who would you rather be, Person A or Person B?  Which person seems more powerful?  If you choose Person A, then it doesn’t really matter if you buy into this philosophy or not, because in choosing Person A, you are accepting that taking responsibility for your life is a more powerful position to be in.

I know you want your children to feel powerful.  Viewing our life’s circumstances from a place of self-responsibility is one of the most beautiful and empowering gifts you can give to your child.  It is from this place that victimization ends. It is from this place that miracles are created.

Consider the young girl from China who taught herself to play the piano, even though she is missing fingers on her right hand.  You can see her video here:

If she took the victim standpoint, would she have ever believed she could teach herself to play the piano so beautifully with missing fingers?  Instead, she accepted responsibility for her circumstances, and made a decision to play the piano anyway.  She did not allow her lack of fingers to victimize her for the rest of her life and keep her from her dreams.  She made a decision to learn to play the piano anyway because she wanted to, despite her circumstances. She decided not to be a victim to her missing fingers.

I am sure you will agree that this is where you want your kids to be in terms of their mindset.  And this mindset comes through the cultivation of self-responsibility.  When we raise our kids to believe that they are responsible for all that occurs in their lives, we give them their freedom.  We show them that they never need to be a victim to their circumstances.  And this is a very powerful place to be.

Please share your thoughts.  Do you think I’m crazy?  Did this touch a nerve?  Do you resonate with some aspect of this message?  Let me know what you think.