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How Personal Responsibility Enhances Resilience

By Jodi Cohen

A group of smiling women holding green pillows with inspirational words such as "change," "fun," "purpose," "experience," "comfort," "compassion," and "energy" in an outdoor setting.

Personal Responsibility – or your ability to take accountability over your own life – is a key factor of resilience.

During this time when so many external factors may feel outside of your control, the one thing that you can control is your ability to control your personal actions and assume accountability for those choices.  This means not blaming others, not throwing a pity party and not playing the role of victim, but rather focusing on the aspects of the challenge that are within your control, and letting go of the rest (including other people’s reactions).

This ability to assume a sense of agency over the factors of your life within your control is also known as the “locus of control” or the degree to which you believe that you, as opposed to external forces (beyond your influence), have control over the outcome of the events that influence your life.

“Someone with an internal locus of control will believe that the things that happen to them are greatly influenced by their own abilities, actions, or mistakes. A person with an external locus of control will tend to feel that other forces—such as random chance, environmental factors, or the actions of others—are more responsible for the events that occur in the individual’s life,” according to Psychology Today.


Shifting Your Locus of Control

Enhancing your internal locus of control helps to increase your resilience.

When you believe that you hold the keys to your fate, you are more motivated to take action to change your situation when needed.

Internal Locus of Control

  • More likely to take responsibility for your actions
  • Tend to be less influenced by the opinions of other people
  • Perform better when allowed to work at your own pace
  • Have a strong sense of self-efficacy
  • Work hard to achieve the things they want
  • Feel confident in the face of challenges
  • Tend to be physically healthy, happy and independent
  • Often achieve success in the workplace

External Locus of Control

  • Pessimistic attitude
  • Blame outside forces for circumstances
  • Feel disempowered to change situation through your own efforts
  • Frequently feel hopeless or powerless in the face of difficult situations
  • Credit luck or chance for any successes
  • Prone to experiencing learned helplessness


Strategies to Move into Personal Responsibility

It can start with one word.

That’s right – one simple, but powerful word can help you move into personal responsibility.

One word helps you focus on the direction you want to grow. For example, you might want to invite more Fun, Creativity, Compassion, Support, Gratitude or Joy into your life.  Whatever word best resonates with what you most want to be/think/feel/do is a good one to choose

Once you choose a word, post it somewhere where you can see it regularly, like a bathroom mirror or refrigerator.  Micro focusing on one specific word can help you prioritize and focus on the goals and actions necessary to foster change and enhance resilience.

For example, a word like gratitude might inspire you to keep a gratitude journal, express out loud one thing each day that you feel grateful about,  remember to write thank you letters and notes or even make a daily practice of acknowledging gifts that you have offered or received during your day. These gifts can include the gift of a hug, a smile, kind gesture or remarkable sunset.  Focusing on gratitude allows you to focus on these positive experiences.

Remember that having one word at the front of your mind means you will ALWAYS have a solid point of reference and simple one word motivation when things get tough.


Essential Oils to Align with Words of Empowerment

Here are some words that might resonate with you along with essential oil blends to help amplify the benefit of the words:

Please share your word below or in the Facebook Discussion Group.


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.