Fault and Responsibility are often seen as the same thing. But in reality, they are very different. This difference is especially important when we are looking things that hold people back in life (or the reasons others are propelled forward)
Fault is negative, it’s about blame and disempowerment. Responsibility is generally positive, it’s about control and is empowering. This simple distinction between the 2 can change lives.
When it’s considered, it doesn’t matter if people blame themselves or blame others, it’s never empowering. No one has ever said, “I feel empowered now I know who to blame” or “it’s empowering knowing I was the one to blame and it’s my fault”. Nothing can be solved, and no one can grow when fault is assigned. Fault and blame are only good for directing punishment.
Responsibility on the other hand is about control, it gives power to the person who is, or was, responsible. If anything good or bad happens to someone, the person who was responsible was in the position of control, that’s what responsibility is, control.
This is why successful people always take responsibility especially for mistakes and therein lies the key to change.
Whoever is responsible is in control and you can’t be successful if someone else (or something else) is in control of your life.
Think about it this way, children as they grow are never given the opportunity to be at fault, they are given the opportunity to be responsible.
This is so important when it comes to looking for the cause of people’s limitations. The person who looks to find fault and blame is always disempowered. Generally, it’s someone or something else’s fault. We have all heard these excuses time and time again.
I haven’t quit smoking because…
I would be less stressed if…
I actually used to be pretty fit but then…
The list goes on and the reasons are almost always external.
In complete contrast to this, people who takes responsibility are empowered. Even though they may be taking responsibility for something negative they’re empowered. They’re empowered because they are in control and you can only change something you are in control of.
This simple act of taking responsibility gives people, at the very least, the opportunity to change and grow, something the person who is looking to assign fault rarely has.
The difference is subtle but dramatic.
Remember that without responsibility it’s much harder to create change because it’s impossible for a person to change something they have no control over.