The 3 Stages of Personal Responsibility (a must read for changing habits…)

by Robert Harrison, Director

Stage 1

In Stage 1 you’re sitting on the side of the road in the passenger seat of your own car.

You say to yourself, “Why is everyone else getting where they want to go? Why am I not moving? What’s wrong with me? This always happens to me?” etc.

CC-License: CC BY Photo: Markus Spiske / www.temporausch.com

CC-License: CC BY
Photo: Markus Spiske / www.temporausch.com

Wouldn’t that be insane? YES…it would.

But that’s exactly what we do when we take no personal responsibility for what we think, feel, and experience about what happens. We enter a stage of helplessness and hopelessness. The only way we’ll get anywhere is solely at the mercy of others.

Lesson learned: If you don’t take 100% responsibility for your life and everything you think, feel, and do – then you can’t do anything about it, you can’t change it and at best you’ll be a really good victim.

And being a really good victim doesn’t work. You can tell a person is having a ‘stage 1’ moment when they are complaining about how bad life is or how something ‘awful’ has happened to them.

We’ve all had moments like this in our lives– relationships, career, home life, finances, friends and family.

When we bring this ‘life is happening to me’ story into these areas of our life – we create fear based neuroses that prevent us from getting what we want, and taking action in that area. We even prevent ourselves from feeling good by creating more stories about how we got that way.

Here’s what you need to know: It’s just a pattern of behavior! It’s not you. A pattern of behavior is just something you do. Like an outfit you wear. You are no more your patterns of behavior than you are the pants and shirt you are wearing. It’s just something you put on like an outfit. So if it’s not working you change it.

Stage 2

In Stage 2 of personal responsibility you finally realize you’re not going anywhere because you’re in the passenger seat of your own car. You figure out that if you want to get anywhere, you’ll have to do the driving. That’s a good realization.

So, reluctantly you climb into the driver’s seat of your own car and begin down the road. But as you do, you start to remember the last time you drove, what happened, and why you swore off driving in the first place – and as you do you are so distracted you wreck your car.

Stage 2 is like driving down the highway, pedal to the metal, while looking out the back window the entire time.

CC-License: CC BY Photo: Markus Spiske / www.temporausch.com

CC-License: CC BY
Photo: Markus Spiske / www.temporausch.com

All you see is wreckage following you, a car swerving off the road here, a ball of flames over there, and you say to yourself, “See…this always happen to me.” You then make the assessment about yourself, “Every time I take responsibility for my life, every time I go for it – something bad happens.”

You then decide to immediately pull your car over, if you have any sense, and get out of the drivers seat as soon as possible before you do anymore damage.

This is what we call a stage 2 moment. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Yet this is exactly what we do when we start to try and take action, but are so stuck in the past, worrying about what didn’t work out, what bad stuff happened that we are dragging that reality into the present by not looking where we are going.

It’s like running backwards as fast as you can without being able to see where you are going. You are bound to stumble, again and again.

So the question is where in your life are you in a stage 2 moment? Where in your relationships are you stuck in the past – something that happened or didn’t happen that’s clouding your vision of now? What distracting you from being present and attentive right now?

Then stop it. Just for a moment – to experience the difference. Notice how that feels. Come into the present moment until you feel the shift. You will experience a significant feeling when you do this.

Lesson learned – when we are stuck in the past, we can’t see what’s right in front of us. And when you can’t see where you are going, you’re bound to bump into things, get lost, and wader endlessly.

With no destination in sight, where will the journey stop, and what’s the journey for the sake of anyway?

Another important point, when you only think about life in relation to ‘how things used to be’ you tether yourself to holding on to that thought – those images and those tapes you play in your head that tell you how to be, how to act, and what is and isn’t true for you.

So the key to transforming the past is to put your attention on something else and experience the letting go as it washes away with the next tide.

Stage 3

In Stage 3, you’ve taken back control of your life, you’ve stopped focusing on the past, and you started focusing on the present moment and what you want. Focusing on the present moment gives you important feedback needed to make accurate assessments about what actions will move us towards our goal most effectively.

This is also where you finally figure out that if you don’t look where you’re going you’re going to run into something and cause a wreck. So you realize being stuck in the past doesn’t work.

Now, in Stage 3 you look where you are going and surprisingly, you stop running into stuff and start driving straight. Not only are you in control, you are taking 100% responsibility for everything you think and experience and that gives you power. Power to start, power to stop, and power to change. It reminds you that you are manifesting everything in your life and it’s up to you to create what you want.

You are not blaming anyone else, any other circumstance, or anything for what is. You welcome ‘what is’ and the evidence of that is you are working with ‘what is’ to transform it by putting attention on each different core area of your life:

Career, Money, Relationships, Romance, Personal Development, Health, Fun & Recreation, and Environment

You’ll create awareness for what’s working and what isn’t. That’s your starting point.

If you want to be successful with ANY goal – you must be willing to make mistakes (and lots of them). In order to do this, you have to be willing to take responsibility for YOU and your life – that includes everything that happens to you.

Final thoughts – remember, you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond to it – and what YOU do next.

At Bay Area Hypnosis Center, we empower you to take back your life. Call anytime for a FREE Hypnosis Screening to find out if Hypnosis is right for you.