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What Is Personal Responsibility?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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What Is Personal Responsibility?

Can you imagine a world where you don’t have to confine yourself within set rules that you set in your life? Often these rules are put in place for personal gains like achievements, accolades, accomplishing goals, being more conscientious, improving quality of life or more.

Setting personal boundaries and rules to play by makes you consciously aware of your every action. When you are consciously analysing your steps, you hold yourself actively responsible for your life. This personal responsibility, when practised correctly, can help you not only lead a better life, but it’s butterfly effects also touch the people around you.

You may not have thought so, but personal responsibility doesn’t just end with you. No. That’s where it begins.

As you carry on, this personal possibility will extend towards every facet of your life and reflect in your environment, impacting much more than you could have imagined.

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10 Examples of Personal Responsibility

Why Is Personal Responsibility Important?

Personal responsibility is when you take full accountability for your actions, decisions and thoughts and more. When you hold yourself responsible, it leaves little room for blame games, and you develop better control of your life.

Being self-responsible is being self-aware. Personal responsibility also can mean that you are aware of and accept society’s standards for behaviour. In case you fail to comply, then there’s no blaming anyone else but yourself. In essence, personal responsibility helps you take control of your choices and your own perceived reality.

Personal or individual responsibility is crucial because it helps you regulate your life properly and prevents you from derailing your mental and physical health. Lack of personal responsibility reflects in how you care for yourself as well.

It becomes very easy to develop a victim mentality when you constantly blame others and external factors for the negative aspects of your life. Doing so only results in a worsening quality of life and driving away mental satisfaction.

Upholding yourself to personal responsibility and accountability standards can help you become a more honest, organised, successful, healthier and confident version of yourself.

Personal responsibility has proven to help achieve life satisfaction, success and improving productivity and conscientiousness. So, how can you begin to employ personal responsibility in your life?


How To Attain Personal Responsibility?

The steps to begin inculcating responsibility for your actions and behaviours can begin small and with simple routines.

Not Blaming Others

You can learn to become personally responsible by first understanding that your actions and their consequences are solely your own. No one else or any other external factors are to blame for them. Learning to stop blaming others is a big step towards gaining personal responsibility. It helps you come face to face with your shortcomings, and it can be unpleasant and difficult.

You also learn to be more mindful and introspective before you take actions. Naturally, we all want to avoid self-recrimination. Stopping the blame game with others is the very foundation of self-responsibility, without which it can be difficult to incorporate other self-responsibility skills.

Learning To Not Take Things Personally

Life can be unfair and difficult to live. Some people have it harder than others. However, learning to take responsibility can help you find meaning in your life, even when it seems futile and difficult. That’s because the alternative to not holding yourself personally responsible is worse.

However, it is important to understand that while you should take responsibility for yourself, you should not indulge in intense self-depreciation. Accountability is good, but personally blaming yourself too much can have bad effects.

Sometimes, things happen that have nothing to do with you but might be the outcome of your environment or the natural order. Taking things too personally can disturb your mental peace and cause a lack of motivation, interest and satisfaction.

Have Reasonable Expectations

We often forget our human constraints and boundaries. We are not made for perfection, so it is unreasonable to expect it. Upholding yourself to unrealistic expectations can lower your productivity and motivation drive.

When you wish to become personally responsible, having reasonable expectations of yourself is a big part. This helps you realise your limits and helps you focus your efforts better towards actions that will improve your life.

Form Good Habits

Forming habits that promote your mental, physical and emotional hygiene will help you increase your responsibility. It helps you become more attentive and aware of your unconscious habits and train yourself for higher productivity.

Forming habits also lets you practice training yourself to uphold a moral, civil and social code to live by.


You will ultimately know yourself best. When you actively introspect and pay attention to your behaviour, thoughts, actions and words, you help improve your personality. It helps you become more honest with yourself.

You accept your imperfections readily and understand that caring for yourself is also a big part of being personally responsible.