Self Responsibility and the Law of Attraction

I was just over at Steve Pavlina’s blog reading a post on Responsibility and the Law of Attraction, and it got me thinking about the topic.  

I’ve been pitching the importance of taking responsibility for your actions for a long time. It’s one of the core concepts of the Law of Attraction and one that I find most empowering. I love the idea that no one else can create my experience for me. Ultimately, it is our internal reactions, our feelings, that determine whether an experience is positive or negative. And there is only one person responsible for my feelings…and that’s me!

In the 12-week Law of Attraction group that I lead as well as the Evolutionary Business Course I teach, we devote an entire week to the concept of self-responsibility.

Certainly it’s easier to take responsibility for our lives when things are going well. After getting a big raise, landing a great contract, meeting a wonderful person, or losing five pounds, it’s easy to feel great and accept that you created those experiences. 

It’s at those other times, you know the ones I’m talking about – when we get a speeding ticket, or bounce a check or overeat or twist an ankle or show up late for an important meeting – it’s those times that it becomes more of a challenge to accept responsibility. But every time that you do, every time you acknowledge that your inner state has caused the manifestation of the external circumstances, you instantly increase your power of attraction. You take another step forward on your path of mastering the art of deliberate creation. 

I used to be somewhat surprised at the level of resistance and fear that some folks feel around this particular topic. At the first Saturday of the month drop in Law of Attraction group that I lead here in Sebastopol, some people would get downright belligerent when I suggested that they take full responsibility for their life experience. 

For some people it can be very difficult to separate the present from the past. There is a fear that by asking them to take responsibility for their present experience I am going to suggest they take full responsibility for their past life experiences. 

First, I would point out that I’m not asking them – or you – to do anything. I’m merely presenting my thoughts on the subject and holding a space within which they – or you – can explore and experiment with some alternate ways of approaching your life. 

And second, I’m definitely not suggesting that anyone take responsibility for events that happened in the past. In fact, I’m suggesting that we take as much focus off of our past as possible. Our past provides us with some good information about what works what doesn’t. But anytime that we focus on or fixate on our past, we get stuck in that old vibration. 

The law of attraction is all about moving forward, expanding, growing. Our past does not lead us in that direction. 

One powerful and fun way I’ve discovered to help people explore this topic is what I call the Victim Mode Sociologist game. Imagine that the Gates Foundation has just given you $1 million. This grant is for you to go out and observe people in their natural environments and track the prevalence of victim-mode speech patterns and behavior. 

You get to observe people at work, at the grocery store, at the family dinner table. You get to track them and take notes when you hear a statement that places responsibility on someone or something other than themselves. You get to listen for statements such as: 

  • I’m so stressed out because my boss gave me extra work. 

  • I hate that gas is so expensive. I wish they would do something about it. 

  • Sorry I’m late. The traffic was horrible. 

  • I just can’t seem to lose these last few pounds. It must be my metabolism. 

You get the idea. Watch for the victim-mode in the media as well. If you read the newspaper or watch the news, take note of experts who list all the “reasons” why something is happening. Pay attention to advertising and catch the subtle, and not so subtle, ads that play on this idea. 

One thing you do NOT get to do is tell others they are not taking responsibility for their life experience. Our job as deliberate creators is NEVER to impose our views on anyone else that doesn’t want to hear them. (And that can be a tricky distinction). As the Law of Attraction clearly states, “It is not necessary for even one other person to understand these Laws of the Universe . . . for you are the attractor of your experience. Just You!” 

We are not here to control anyone or change anyone. We are only here to change our own vibration. And as we do that – as we become better and better at intentionally choosing positive thoughts and vibrations - others can’t help but notice that we are doing something “right.” And it is through our example that others will come to the Law of Attraction.   

Now you might be thinking that this is a silly game. But it’s not, and here’s why. When you begin paying attention to the ways in which others slip into victim mode, you become sensitized to it in your own life. When you become aware of how many people abdicate responsibility for their life experience you will begin to notice when you are doing it. When you recognize how, as a culture, we take it for granted that we are going to hand over responsibility for our life to someone or something else, you begin to bring conscious choice to your actions. 

In other words, as you increase your awareness of responsibility within the context of our culture and the world around you, you automatically increase your awareness of it within the context of your own life. And that’s really the only thing that matters.

You can download a pdf version of a victim/responsibility worksheet that might help you with this exercise.

I’d love to hear what you discover. Drop me a line or leave me a comment with some of your interesting discoveries.

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      8 Responses to “Self Responsibility and the Law of Attraction”

      1. Jason Clegg on August 28th, 2006 4:02 pm

        Great stuff! (And a nice complement to Pavlina’s post.)

        I especially appreciate your discussion about focusing on your own responsibility and not worrying about others. When adopting new growth habits, It can be tempting to start thinking “Hey, I’m being responsible now. What about you?”

      2. ed on August 29th, 2006 10:10 am

        Thanks Jason. I speak from experience. When I excitedly took my first ventures into the world of Attraction, it was far too easy to get into the habit of “pointing out” how everyone around me was attracting from a negative place. I have learned – and continue to learn – that it is far more effective, and less energetically draining to remain focused on my own vibrational offering.

      3. Jonatahn on May 21st, 2007 11:32 pm

        Thanks. Really enjoyed reading your post. I found it after reading the one by Steve and following a trackback to this one. Glad I did.


      4. Edward Mills on May 26th, 2007 6:08 am

        Hi Jonathan: I’m glad you found it also. Welcome to the site. I’ll look forward to hearing more from you!

      5. Manifesting on March 8th, 2008 9:45 am

        I find also doing something of a practical nature- helps manifesting.
        Love the article.

      6. Edward Mills on March 12th, 2008 8:12 pm

        Manifesting: Absolutely! You have to take action or there is no attraction!

      7. Candice Payne on August 21st, 2008 2:48 pm

        Hi there Mr. Mills, I am a life coach in Idaho with my own business and I LOVED your article! I would like to use your form in my workshops if that is ok and of course I would change nothing about them just simply print them and hand them out. Would this be acceptable to you? If so please send me an email stating so and I will continue to ck your site for more useful tips and articles. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.


      8. Edward Mills on August 21st, 2008 8:25 pm

        Hi Candie

        Thanks for the comment. Feel free to use the form. I appreciate that you asked! Let me know how it works for you.


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