Discover your choices and own your success!

Posted by on Jul 12, 2011 in Personal Development | 14 comments

You have choices. Too often we react to life and blame people, places and things for getting in the way of our happiness and success. The truth is the only thing in the way of your happiness and success is you. Your attitude, behavior and belief system has a greater impact on your life than anything or anyone else.

The good news about accepting responsibility for your success is you begin to influence your life and career positively. You’re no longer at the mercy of your boss, your co-workers or customers- you’re directing your life.

Recognizing your choices helps you make smart decisions, and follow a new course of action when a choice you made is no longer working for you.

The idea of taking ownership of your happiness and success is easier said than done. Your behavior and belief system has been shaped over the years by internal and external stress and pressure, and it takes months or years of practicing positive behaviors to create change.

Maybe you are lucky enough to have experienced positive internal and external influences and attitudes and you are already living a life taking ownership of your choices. That’s great- keep it up!

Whether or not you are already aware of your choices and responsible to yourself, you have to keep practicing these principles to live the life of your dreams and enjoy an accomplished, fun and rewarding work-life.

Taking ownership of your work and your life can come in many forms. If you stop and reflect on your attitudes, you can re-adjust your perspective and begin to take responsibility of your experience.

making choices

Start taking responsibility for yourself using “I” statements.

Using “I” statements is a tried and true method of conflict resolution and it also applies to all your thoughts and conversations about your life.

Listen to yourself talk about your career to co-workers, family and friends. Do you say “I feel”, “I want”, and “I am”? Use “I” statements to own your thoughts, feelings and emotions.

“I” statements give you power over your own experience so you can do something about it.

Take responsibility for your life.

You can’t be all things for all people. You probably can’t even be most things for some people. If a situation is not your responsibility, don’t assume responsibility for it.

You are only responsible for yourself in the workplace. From manager to assistant, your job is to do your own work first and foremost. If someone else isn’t doing their part, it’s not your job to pick up the slack. Nor is it your responsibility to police anyone else at work.

You will find greater satisfaction and success at work if you stay out of other people’s work and mind your own.

Tell your story.

When you tell someone about your day, do you find yourself going into great detail about the actions of others? Avoid telling stories about other people’s behavior. You can’t control what anyone else does or says and focusing on someone else’s influence over your day gives your time and energy to someone else.

Starting today, when you talk about your day focus on you. What did you do? How did you contribute? What are your ideas?

Focus on solutions.

Career success is built on solutions. Identify a problem or need in your business and find a solution. Don’t complain about the problem, be the one to step up and solve a problem.

Doing your assigned work is not enough to achieve your goals and dreams. Tackle a tricky problem and you’ll build confidence, gain experience, show initiative and you might even create a new process or product that saves your company time or generates profit.

Discover your choices.

Ask yourself if what you’re doing is working out for you. If something in your life isn’t working, you have a choice. You have a choice about your attitude, perceptions and your action and reactions.

If you’re stuck, make a list of every possible choice you can make from the unlikely to the productive. If you are unemployed, your list might include everything from “become a hobo” or “become a street performer” to “get a part time job” or “join a networking group”.

Making a list of your choices will help you recognize that you have choices. You aren’t stuck. You may not have the choice you want, but you do have choices.

Taking ownership of your success and embracing your choices will improve the quality of your work-life and create opportunities in your career.

I’d love to hear from you! Please share a choice you’ve made today. Use an “I” statement to tell me about your day. What is your story?

Image by Flominator


  1. I just read the article on the power of suggestion, which led me here to your article on choices. Two very good reads. I needed that – thanks!

    Living with a chronic illness, everyone seems to have a perspective and quite often an attitude, particularly authority figures in the medical field, as well as in family and social circles. Onto of it all, I’m mine own worst enemy, and this can escalate in the face of the opinions of others and especially when I feel particularly vulnerable.

    I found the language for what my choice is: “I will be responsible for the limitations of my illness.”. What this means to me is BIG. : ) It means I won’t let the voices of others nor my own internal dialogue confuse, guilt or scare me to scramble to do more than I’m able and waste precious moments. I will take good care of myself and design a beautiful, fulfilling life within the realm of what I CAN do, and never look back at the coulda woulda shoulda ideals of others or of my past self. I am awesome. I am living with the biggest challenge of my life and doing beautifully.

    Is it possible some people are jealous of the clarity and maybe the liberty of a chronically ill person? One thing I would say is true: I’ve had to shed several layers of skin, unload all unecessary weight in order to carry on. I guess that could appear as an enviable lightness of being.

    Here’s to me!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Jennifer!

      I’m sorry to hear of your chronic illness. I agree taking ownership of your life, and your illness, changes you from a victim of your illness to a champion of your own life. We all have struggles and limitations. We’re all faced with people who don’t support us in the ways we want and need.

      The only way I know to live a great life is to accept responsibility for my life, accepting my strengths and my limitations, and making the most of what’s in front of me.

      You have an awesome attitude and you are, indeed, and inspiration! Keep up being awesome and trust in yourself.

      Have a grateful day!


      • Thank you, Chrysta! I think it’s wonderful that you share your experience here. It is a lovely, super-accessible resource for anyone in need of some instant solidarity. : ) As we journey through life, it always helps to know we’re not the only one to process the myriad of emotions that arise and to face the moment-to-moment challenges of choice. It reminds us how fun it is! : )

        A mind-set I advocated in the acting classes I taught: “the play is work; the work is play.”

        Thanks again,

  2. It we often do not own our responsibilities. Own our part in the wrong doing. We have become a poor me istead of I am going to change things for the better.

    • I love your insight on this topic, Angela!

      Taking responsibility for my life is so freeing because I can admit when I’ve made mistakes and then I can do something different next time. I can’t have any real growth if I’m playing the role of the victim or the martyr. I can have growth when I accept myself as I am, and love myself enough to take risks and learn from my mistakes.


  3. Chrysta, aloha. This post so resonates with me and is such an important message for people to get. Your life is all about the choices you make each and every day. Even not doing something is a choice.

    Chrysta, you are so right that when people take 100% responsibility for their choices and their attitudes, they will be well on their way to having the lives that they want.

    Something you had in your post that I had not thought of yet is so true, is to talk about “YOU” when telling the story of your day rather than on the behavior of others. This makes soooo much sense.

    Chrysta, one of my choices for today was to go for a nice long leisurely walk. What I want is to enjoy each and every moment of every day. I want to appreciate all the wonder that is in my life–both my world and the world at large–rather than take it for granted. Always, I want to be filled with gratitude for the good, the beauty and the opportunities in my life.

    Chrysta, wishing you a glorious day. Until next time, aloha. Janet

    • Janet,

      So lovely to hear from you today! I love your choices for today- I can only imagine how wonderful your day must be.

      I think accepting responsibility is difficult for many people because we can easily blame everything and everyone but ourselves and think we are not at fault and/or believe that we should have to accept responsibility for anyone else’s bad behavior.

      What I’ve learned is it doesn’t really matter who is at fault- what matters to me is living the best life I can live and that only happens when I accept responsibility for my life.

      I’m thrilled my post gave you something new to think about! I can usually tell I’m veering off track when I hear myself talking about other people instead of myself. Once I recognize I’m headed into troublesome territory I can turn the focus back onto myself.

      Thank you for your comment!


  4. Hi Chrysta,
    I am embracing my day & I will enjoy my day’s interactions. Choices abound. We have many & you rightly mention that we must take responsibility for our lives. It is liberating. Thank you for this post.
    be good to yourself

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, David! I love your choices for today- embracing and enjoying your day are great choices to make.

      Taking responsibility can sound scary, but in my experience it’s almost always a good thing. Even when I make a mistake or fall down, I can learn something about myself and pick myself up and try again.

      Have a great day!


  5. Wonderful post today Chrysta. I started learning these things a long time ago but I’ve actually done the majority of this work within these past 4 years. The not worrying about what others think and knowing that I am good enough, those types of issues.

    It does take time to reprogram your brain and I admit it was a lot harder than I thought it would be but boy was it ever worth it. Not that I’m perfect by any means because we are all a work in progress but I’ve learned so much about me, about other people, about my surroundings, everything since venturing into my own self discovery.

    Enjoyed this topic, it’s one I can relate to so much. And wish everyone else would step into with open arms and take on themselves. Their life would be so much better for having gone through this journey.

    Thanks again for this wonderful post.


    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Adrienne! I’ve been practicing a healthy life for many years and my most significant progress has come in the last 4 years, as well.

      I find I grow and develop more when I really immerse myself in healthy behaviors and attitudes and spend time with others on the same path. I’m grateful to have found many such others through blogging!

      My greatest wish for my blog is that it inspires others to love themselves and their life as it is today, through the practice of attitude, gratitude and respect for ourselves and others! The really great thing about blogging is our words are there for someone to discover today, tomorrow, and maybe even years from now.

      Enjoy your day!


  6. We all got to take responsibilities. In fact, sometimes, we got to stop reading self help stuff because most of the people reading these things don’t want to take responsibilities. They are running from their faults and searching for solutions. You are so right. Focusing not on methods of solving the problem but on solving the problem puts us on the stand.

    • Astute insight, Jaky! Self help advice only gets us so far if we aren’t really examining the feelings and motivations behind our behavior. I often find my own worst behavior is fueled by fear and no amount of self help is going to be effective unless I acknowledge the fear is there, examine my motivations, and make a loving and honest decision about how I want to proceed.

      Thanks for your comment!


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