I want to talk to you about taking responsibility. That means taking responsibility for everything single thing that happens in your life, good or bad. That means no more excuses, no more blaming, no more justification.
I can hear some of you asking, “But, what about the accident I had last year – that’s not my fault!?” “What about the coach not picking me for the team – that’s not my fault!” I repeat, take responsibility for everything.
With any situation there is a cause and there is an effect. When we are living as an effect of circumstances, we are living reactively and feel helpless to change our results. We come up with excuses, perhaps blaming others. For example, “I’m late because of the traffic”. Really, or did you just not leave in time to allow for traffic?
It’s quite easy and comfortable to blame others, and perhaps others did behave in such a way to contribute to your situation. When you choose to live your life as the cause of all your results you claim your personal power. Being responsible, gives you the power to create the results you really do want in life.
When things go wrong!
It is not always obvious how or why certain situations occur – an accident, misunderstandings, and financial concerns? I still choose to believe that I have created these misfortunes in my life. It’s not necessarily real or true, however it still helps me to move forward and come up with solutions, rather than feeling a victim of the whims of the world. We create situations in our life through our unconscious thinking - the beliefs and expectations we have for our future.
It is our habitual thinking, the emotions and thoughts that will most often determine our outcomes. Subconscious fears, doubts, inner conflicts will sabotage our conscious desires. It’s only when you start examining these, truthfully, that you start to see the reason why events occur.
For example, in my own volleyball career, I came to expect little support by coaches and that I had to do it on my own or work hard for any support. Funnily enough, that’s what I got (or perceived to get). I was looking for all the proof (the acts and words) that supported my expectation. Consequently it was tough and I had to overcome many obstacles to persist in my dream to play at the Olympics.
Have you ever said to yourself – “I knew that would happen!”? It’s amazing our ability to be prophetic at times. Our expectations, whether conscious or unconscious will often determine our results. Our mind works in pictures, sounds and feelings, and if you plant negative expectations into your unconscious, then that is the result you will get.
Increase your awareness of your thoughts and self-talk – what are you expecting? When you catch yourself expecting negative outcomes, think about what it is you really want. Try this next time you are running late for an appointment and stuck in traffic. Rather than reinforcing that you are going to be late, predict the time you will arrive (on-time) and create the picture in your mind of arriving on time easily. I’ve done this on numerous times and love how the traffic eases up or makes way for me, and I make it on the time I predict. You can use this to ‘predict’ many more useful results in your life, on and off the sports field.
More often than not, it is the small ordinary things done regularly that will ultimately determine the results in our lives. That is why it can be difficult to see how we could have caused some of the situations we find ourselves in. Or perhaps you look at somebody else’s results and consider them to be ‘lucky’. There is no such thing as luck, just as there is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes years and years and years to become an overnight success. Years and years of doing the little things often and persisting.
These same little things can be the very thing that creates the undesired results in your life. Repeatedly eating the poor foods will lead to ill-health. Repeatedly trying to do the least at training will show up in competition results. Repeatedly overtraining and not listening to the body will cause the body to breakdown.

Taking responsibility is NOT about transferring the blame to yourself and getting down about it. Taking responsibility is about facing a challenge or setback, and considering “How did I create this?” and “How can I move forward?” or “What do I do now?” I personally like the “How” question because I can always trust my unconscious to come up with the right answers for me.
The good news is that, armed with this knowledge and being the cause for all your results, you can start taking control of your future results. This is how a true champion thinks! What do you want to achieve and who do you want to be? Start doing the things today that will produce the desired results tomorrow. Be the cause of your own success.

Author's Bio: 

Annette Huygens Tholen is a former player on the FIVB World Tour and Australian Beach Volleyball Tour and participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. She is now a Master Results Coach and speaker using her learnings and experience to empower individuals to produce better results in their life – sport, career, finance, relationships, health, etc.