• Theresa Gray

Own The Responsibility

My response is my responsibility

Who pushes your buttons? I’m sure someone in your life knows how to get you fired up! Have you ever exploded on someone and then blamed that someone for making you blow up? Do you hear your kids justify their reactions as “it was not my fault - he made me mad?”

Well, I have an awesome new phrase that I will be using myself and I want to share it with you!

My response is my responsibility.

Pretty simple and easy to remember, right?

My husband and I went to a weekend marriage getaway and I learned this phrase from the main speaker. His name is Emerson Eggerichs, and he is a pastor and author of a great book - Love and Respect.

The main point of the book is the belief that love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man. He did research that revealed that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts unlovingly when feeling disrespected, and a wife reacts disrespectfully when feeling unloved.

It’s a wonderful book and I would recommend it - go to loveandrespect.com for more info or you can order it here from Amazon.

But, I’m most fascinated by the catch phrase because it works so well with helping me stop feeling powerless in situations. It also works well with my passion - financial wellness psychology.

My response is my responsibility.

I must stop blaming everyone for my reactions to them.

No one can make me act a certain way. When my husband is annoying me, I can still be loving and kind. I could choose to be ugly and grumpy, but that is my choice and therefore my responsibility.

Notice that I didn’t say ‘if he is annoying me’? Ha ha ha! This is life, it’s not always smooth sailing. He’s going to annoy me, and I’m going to frustrate him. But we get to choose how to respond.

My response is my responsibility.

I must stop blaming my environment for my spending habits.

If my ice dispenser stops working I do not need to go buy a new refrigerator. I can reach in and grab the ice, or figure out how to fix it! It doesn’t matter if that’s not how people do it out here. My environment (the mentality of buy a new one if it doesn’t work - buy a new one if it doesn’t match) does not have to dictate my response.

Trying to justify my actions as the results of someone else's actions doesn't help me to grow or be a better person or even help the situation get resolved.

Owning the responsibility for how you respond to things means that you need to look at your underlying psychology to help you stop responding the same way you always have and make a positive change in your response.

Getting out of debt isn’t as simple as making more money or spending less money. What are the underlying behaviors that lead you to spend more than you have? What ways are you justifying your purchases or your spending? If you objectively assessed your reasons, do they make sense?

It’s really hard to be objective when you are in the middle of it and your actions become driven more by emotion than by having a plan.

Do you see your credit card bills at the end of the month and panic?

Do you review your bills and not remember what the charges were?

What you ate?

What you bought at Costco for $300?

I’m not judging, I’m relating. I’ve been there. It sucks.

It can be better. You don’t have to live in dread of your finances, or even worse, pretend that everything is ok because you are able to make the minimum payments this month.

All it takes is some bravery, paper and pencil, and some time to research and reflect.

Make a budget. Ask yourself some hard questions.

Are you spending more for your home than is appropriate?

Are you splurging on clothing/electronics/stuff to make you feel good?

Are you shopping for entertainment / retail therapy?

Are you too busy to have planned a dinner and so you drive through for every dinner?

Do you know where your money goes every month?

Do you treat yourself to things you can’t afford because you deserve it?

You need to view your financial problems from a position of self responsibility.

To do that you have to have financial awareness and pay attention to the little details instead of seeing your credit card bill at the end of the month and realizing that you are short by a couple thousand dollars.

To have financial success and to be healthy you need to make a plan and not just hope that the debt will go away.

You need to know when to say no and put off getting what you want sometimes. Instant gratification can be empty and make you feel terrible when you realize later, when you get the bill, how much it will cost you in the long run.

Your response is your responsibility. And that means that you have power! You get to choose how to move forward from here. Here is an opportunity to change.

Do you accept the challenge?

You can do it!

your response is your responsibility

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