Develop Your Personal Responsibility


  • “That was a habit that changed my life. A habit of seeing a problem and going, I’m going to problem solve that. And a habit of saying, okay, that’s on me.”
  • You are the captain of your ship! So, when a problem arises in your life, take ownership and responsibility. In this episode, learn how to avoid the victim mindset so that you can overcome obstacles and take back control of your life.
  • Engage. Do your best. Have a good attitude. And don’t worry about the outcome being perfect.”
  • As the main character in your own story, it is key to take personal responsibility in your own life. In this episode, discover how to grab the reins of your life, which removes you from the victim mentality and into the solution mindset.
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in the Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

1. Take Ownership Of Your Problems

Personal agency. Right?

You are the agent in your life. You’re the –  you’re the key actor in your life. You’re the one writing the script. You’re the director and the actor. You are the captain of your ship. You are the responsible party in your life for your behaviors and your actions, your situations, and your circumstances.

That – that personal agency says: I’ve got a problem. I own this problem. I got to deal with this. I got to face this head and I got a problem to solve here. And this is where most people, their personal development and personal growth become stunted very early on in life, where there’s a problem and they want somebody to ride in on that proverbial white horse to save them. They got a problem and they don’t take ownership of the problem, so they lack personal responsibility.

2. Avoid Having a Victim Mindset

Think about those two. The serious effects on someone’s life. If early on in their life they have problems in their life, but they think someone else is going to solve them, they don’t engage the problem. They avoid the obstacle. They don’t face it. And at the same time, no part of it is ever developing personal responsibility or ownership of the circumstances of life. This is how you get people who develop what most philosophers would call apathy towards life, like laziness towards life because I’m disengaged. Not my problem. Right? But also lack that personal agency and responsibility that is so critical to psychological health and where they now the opposite is victimhood.

So, imagine a disengaged habit and a victim mindset versus your personal ownership and solution mindset.

And so that was a habit that changed my life. A habit of seeing a problem and going, I’m going to problem solve that.

And a habit of saying, okay, that’s on me. And that came from my mom. Just seeing her do stuff that she didn’t know how to do, but she was like: Hey, there’s a problem. These two boys in this basement, are fighting all the friggin’ time. We have one bathroom on the main floor for four people. This is not going so well. We’ve got to figure this out. We got kids in school and work. We need another bathroom down here. And we don’t have the money to hire someone to do it. So instead, I’m going to go get these books from the library. Figure out how to do it myself and go scrape together the materials and resources. I’m going to figure out how to do this.

All throughout my life, I saw my parents do that in every possible imaginable way. And I know many of you had role models like that, too. And if you didn’t have a role model like that, to be that for someone. Be that for somebody, you know? Show your kids what you’re capable of. Be proud of that.

Show them how to engage problems, not complain about them. Not to get a bad attitude, not to swear, curse, or get upset about it, but rather go, you know what? I’m going to show them how to handle this right now. Even if you don’t handle it perfectly.

3. You Don’t Have to Be Perfect


See, the worst thing a parent can ever do is to believe that their kids expect perfection from them. What your kids expect is engagement, not perfection.

What they’re inspired by is engagement, not perfection. We’re the ones telling ourselves stories. The kids need to see us perfect. And when I deal with this and I deal with this a lot in high performance coaching, I get an executive, I got a new parent – I’m sorry, who’s a new parent at the same time? And she’s judging herself because she’s so busy and she’s not being a great parent. She thinks she has to be perfect. I’m like, like, how old is your toddler? Oh, so-and-so months are, you know, in one year or two, three or whatever. So I say, so you think that you need to be perfect for this little animal that is pooping itself all day long? Now, where did that come from? Do you think you have to be perfect? That is not what that little being is expecting of you. You got to rewire yourself because you’re going to develop so much self-hatred for not being perfect that it will stunt you. And it will stunt your child’s growth. Engage. Do your best. Have a good attitude. And don’t worry about the outcome being perfect. But get in there.

4. Confront Problems You’re Avoiding


And so I think it’s important for us to realize, is there any problem in your life that you’ve just been not looking at and avoiding?

Early in my life, until I developed that real, I would say, the real solution mindset. I don’t think it set in until my mid-twenties, to be honest. And one area for me was my finances. I just – I wouldn’t look at the credit card statements. I literally was that person who would get the credit card bill. I’d see it. I’d put it on the desk. I just wouldn’t open it. And maybe two or three, four months later, I, you know, I just throw them away. I have them there telling me I’m going to open it. I just wouldn’t because I was in so much debt from college that I just was like, I’m never going to get out of this. That was my mentality, right?

5. Train Yourself in New Needed Skills

Until I adopted some of these other mentalities, these mindsets shifted. No. Okay. This is a problem. I own this problem. I’m going to face this. I’m going to learn about finances and wealth. I’m going to learn how to, at that time, get promoted, at that time, start a business, at that time, understand investing and finances and saving, and how pay off credit card debt. So I read books on it. And many of you have received the benefit of that because I read a book by David Bach on how to Start Late and Finish Rich, on the Automatic Millionaire. And as you all know, Pro members, you have access to David’s training in his replays from his incredible – he gave a master class all year last year. Every month he was live for Pro members teaching wealth. And it was unbelievably great because he was teaching not, you know, not get rich quick stuff, just like financial management and literacy and I would never be here if I had not done that. Ever. I would have never figured those things out. So, at some point, you have to identify the things you’re avoiding. I knew I was avoiding the finances and then I would decide to engage.

Is there something you need to engage? Your health, that relationship you’re trying to avoid or have that difficult discussion, that problem on your team, that, you know, difficult reality with one of the children you’re avoiding. What is it for you? Be honest. It’s okay. And you know what the beautiful about personal development work is and you’re going to learn how to do this. You’re going to learn how to do personal development work with the solution in mind, with ownership in mind. But same thing. Not expecting perfection. See, I’m a solution mindset. I’d do it yourself. But I also don’t expect perfection and that allows me to keep going I just like that first habit of learning to manage my emotions and releasing the outcome.