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Taking Responsibility


Taking responsibility sucks! But ultimately, when we take responsibility we are able to get what it is we want because we control the story we tell ourselves about everything going on around us. When we tell ourselves a story that serves us, we become empowered instead of giving power to what is external to us and what sits out of our control.

Discover ways you can start to:

  • Take control

  • Own your results

  • Change the story you're telling yourself

The more steps you take, the more empowered you become and the more confident you will be on the path to achieving your goals and dreams. Get in in the driver’s seat of your life, today!

You'll Learn

  • Why hitting hurdles is so important

  • Why nobody can empower you, but you

  • Why taking responsibility and owning your thoughts, feelings, and actions, matters


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Episode Transcript


EP #38

“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 38, with Rhiannon Bush

Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.

Taking responsibility sucks. Let's be honest, when we think about going back to our childhoods and how we could get away with saying things and doing things knowing that maybe we were testing the boundaries but we would simply be told off and guided back to what was right or wrong in between the bumper rails with which we were taught we could behave.

And now, if you’re listening to this, chances are you’ve grown up. And as adults, whether we be a young adult or a mature adult, all of a sudden we have to take full responsibility and accountability for our behaviour.

While there are different definitions for this, I like to define responsibility as being an intrinsic almost declaration. If somebody is responsible, they must own the duties and tasks in order to achieve a certain thing. Whereas accountability is that one-step removed, more about the consequences of a task or action taken or not, and declared by those more highly impacted by those consequences. If that makes sense?

And sometimes, it really sucks that as adults we have to be so responsible all the time. And when we get sick of being too responsible, what do we do? We eat, we drink, we turn to methods that give us instant gratification that make us feel absolutely awesome like watch too much reality TV, or gamble, or drink, do drugs, there are a plethora of things, and let’s be honest, there’s certainly not a lack of things that our society offers us to instantly make us feel better about ourselves in the moment. It just so happens that the things that give us the instant gratification aren’t often stella choices for our longevity or the way we want to live our lives.

I was recently down in the South of Tasmania for a weekend and we took my son on a BMX track. He's 3 1/2, so it was a very knew experience for him. And I watched as he tried, fell, got frustrated, tried again, fell, wanted to give up, got back on, tried again, got frustrated, stop riding. And each and every time he went a little further, a little faster, and could feel what it was he was trying to do. Without falling, he didn't know how fast he had to pedal to go over the bumps. When I stopped pushing him, he could feel that for himself in his muscles and in his body, to get the hang of what it was he was trying to do.

Eventually, he did it. He learned to what extent he had to pedal and continue to pedal to gain momentum and to get up and down all the bumps and go round and around, and as I was watching him I was realising just how true it is that until we fail we don't know our boundaries. Until we fail, we don’t know what it is we are yet to overcome, to get to that next level. It's very easy to remain in where we are comfortable and safe and never realise what it's going to require from us to overcome that obstacle to hit a new height.

So while taking responsibility sucks, it's the key to so much. It’s the key to inner strength, for us to learn to trust ourselves, and for us to go from strength to strength in our lives and to increase our capacity to do things and behave in a way that gives us better internal rewards and gives us that sense of fulfilment, alive-ness and satisfaction.

It is often when we don't take responsibility that we become disempowered. And this is an erosion of our self-worth and a cycle of doom we can't seem to find our way out of. It only perpetuates when we blame things external to ask for everything that we are feeling, seeing, doing or thinking.

There’s a strong relationship between a condition and a consequence. The cause versus effect argument is when “I would have had X, but Y happened”. We want something ‘X’ – weight loss, clarity of direction, to be a better speller, promotions, earn more money, love themselves, have an easier life, etc. But ‘Y’ gets in the way – I’m too busy, I don’t know what I want, I’m just terrible at spelling, it’s been that way my whole life, I’m not good enough, I can’t do that, etc. This is why people get a coach and more importantly why people PAY a coach. Because coaching is based on the belief that individuals (our clients) are ultimately responsible and in control of their outcomes. WE create our future, write our story and we can write whatever we want to write.

Ways in which a coach will identify where you’re at as a client comes down to firstly, their skills and secondly, the way they’ve implemented their training. They’ll listen to your words, and listen for the things getting in the way of you getting what you want. They’ll also look at the gap between your words and your actions. Is what you’re saying matching up with how you’re behaving? Because chances are it’s not, and if it’s not, there’s a lot to explore.

When we’re doing the blame-game, which we’ve all done before so let’s just own it and move on, we are effected by everything in our world. We give things external to us power and allow that to influence our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviours. Think about a time when you blamed somebody or something else. You may’ve blamed your mum for being fat (yes, I did that, sorry mum!), you may’ve blamed your house-mate for breaking your nice glassware, you may’ve blamed your colleague for stealing your promotion.

Being at effect looks like the following: I can’t go to the gym this week because it’s a full moon. It sounds like a silly example and while the cycle of the moon absolutely has validity on our feelings – after all the moon controls the oceans tides and as a human we’re over 70% water, we have no control over the moon. As soon as we give the moon power, we become disempowered because the power and control lies with something we have no control over, rendering it as disempowering, right? Is this making sense?

Example: I want to get back in the gym, but the moon’s affecting my mood and therefore I’m tired and I don’t want to go.

What we want – to get into the gym (x). But (y) is getting in the way – the moon. If the moon’s not the thing, make it what is your thing – the dark, the cold, you’re not a morning / night / anytime is not a good time type of person. You choose but make this example relevant to you so you get it. We have no control over the moon but by letting it be the reason we’re not doing the thing we say we want to do, we have a disconnect, we’re giving it (something external to ourselves) our power, and this renders us disempowered, anxious, depressed, sad, worried, frustrated, eroding our own self-worth.

When we take responsibility, we cause our outcomes, results and ultimately we’re in charge of our universe. We are empowered internally. We control things internally. So despite anything that happens around us externally, we’re able to get where we want to be, we’re able to get what we want in life and get the results and outcomes we want to experience.

When we’re in control and responsible, it looks like this: I want to get back in the gym but for some reason I’m not feeling very motivated (taking ownership and labelling the feeling – internal, not blaming the moon – external). We’re still not quite there yet, at this point because we’re not able to move past ‘not motivated’. Until we’ve actually overcome the hurdle and shifted the thought that shifts the emotion to get into the gym – to get the thing we want, we’re not in complete control and resilient to the emotions we have.

What can we do to shift this emotion? How do we do this? The first is to feel the feeling, label the feeling, make friends with the feeling like we’ve talked about before. Own the feeling.

Then we look at all the ways we can get motivated. The unconscious mind love 3’s so let’s come up with 3 ways you can get motivated to go to the gym. Do that now. If our client wants weight-loss and the reason they’re not getting there is because of motivation, when the client is truly in control and empowered, they will lose the weight they want to lose. Losing weight is an ultimate test because literally nobody can do that for you but. Make this example your own – choose something right now that you want to do but just aren’t motivated to do. Then follow this same process.

Recognise the things getting in your way, then break it down into what you can control, and what you can’t control. The things you can control, let’s zoom in on them for a second. List all the things you can control and then put an action plan in place to do those things.

In life sh*t happens. Again we all know this. Sh*t happens that we can’t control. We can never control the actions of others and sometimes the events that occur in our lives. When we’re at effect, we give others (or those events) power over us and yes, there are some things that are inevitably not our fault. However, we always have a choice about how we react to those external events, how we interpret what happened and then how we choose to reflect on it to move forward. It’s also about the questions we ask ourselves. Asking whether it’s our ‘fault’ or not is not a resourceful question. Asking ourselves what we need in order to pick ourselves back up and move forward, even if that’s slowly, is a better question.

There are lessons in everything that happens, especially if we believe in the quantum soup, energy world – that everything that crosses our path we attract. So take time to reflect and when you evaluate it, evaluate it internally. How do you feel about it? What do you think about it? What is it trying to teach you? If the answer’s nothing, don’t give it a second thought. Move on.

If you do have strong feelings about it, pay attention, there’s a reason. whether those feelings are good or bad it’s giving you valuable information. Without feeling into the emotion, taking ownership of the circumstances or our reactions, we can’t have power over our thoughts, feelings or actions and we can’t move forward to make change. Give yourself permission to feel terrible. Just don’t give yourself permission to stay there.

We can certainly aim to be responsible all the time. As beautiful human beings we have emotions and a lifetime of programming to contend with, it’s ok. All we can do is pay attention to ourselves and if you’re a coach, get your clients to pay attention to themselves. Of the 60,000 thoughts we have per day, 93% are the same. So if we can help ourselves by being consciously aware of how we’re feeling at any given moment, but particularly in moments when we don’t feel like being responsible, guess what? We have a chance to identify how our thought patterns, how we’re feeling, acknowledge it, process it and change it.

I had a client who was having a fight with her father. She was very close to her father and fighting wasn’t something that happened often according to her. She was quite angry with him and during our session, it was clear that she was investing a lot of un-resourceful, precious energy in being angry with him. Firstly, I stopped her talking about it a second time – she started the same story over again, which we know just reinforces the problem because it thickens the myelin sheath around that neurological pathway (for those confused by what I’m saying, visit Episode x?) , and I got her to say out loud ‘I’m choosing to be angry about this right now’. By doing that, out loud and choosing, she owned it and didn’t give it more power than it deserved. During our next session she told me that for the first time, she went to work, didn’t talk about it with her colleagues and when she was driving home the next day actually thought ‘oh that’s right. I was meant to be angry with my Dad.’ She hadn’t given it tonnes of her precious energy.

Being responsible and even a bit ‘hard on ourselves’ is extremely intrinsic. It can have external consequences, or even be positively motivated by external factors but it starts intrinsically, with the right emotion generated by the right thought patterns. This is with something you truly want and know, for your higher self, is the right thing to do for your greater good.

Until we take responsibility, we’re not in the drivers’ seat of our lives. We’re not owning our current circumstances or our future results – either positive, neutral or negative. We’re not creating our success.

It’s paramount that we get in the drivers’ seat, as fast as possible.


Pay someone. Seriously. Get buy-in by paying somebody and give yourself a reason to show up. The quickest way I know how to do that, is to pay for accountability. Don’t buy into your own limiting beliefs that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not whatever enough, you need to contact me via my website –, and let me help you by having this conversation. Let me help you solve your problems and get results.

Ask questions – do not make assumptions. Get super curious about where you’re at and what’s going on for you. What are your emotions telling you? What thoughts are you thinking that are conjuring up those emotions? What different thoughts do you need to have to create different emotions instead?

Look for the gaps between words and actions - what are you saying and what are you doing? What’s the gap?

Don’t loop – I learnt all about our Myelin sheath and every time we tell ourselves the same story it seriously embeds it. We want to embed new stuff, positive, successful thoughts. Not reinforce drama or negativity that won’t progress us.

All the things that aren’t working and that are making us miserable, stuck, sad, whatever else, is causing pain. By addressing this pain, we can then builds the picture for where we want to be instead. It gives us a bigger vision and inspires us with our own picture worth fighting for.

Do something tiny. Just one tiny thing. Let that build momentum for bigger steps.

Reward ourselves for behaviours we want to see. I believe we all want to be empowered and self-confident and live our truths in whatever way we’re designed to do so. By rewarding behaviours we want to see in ourselves, positive reinforcement, we give ourselves permission to step into our power even more and start to own our results.

Power Pose – intrinsic feelings of power, self-love, confidence. The more we feel these things and the more WE create those feelings for OURSELVES from within, the more we can detach from listening to what others think about us and follow our own voice.

The thing I forgot to mention when I was talking about my 3 1/2 year old riding his bike on the BMX track and I was watching him grow, right before my eyes, by overcoming that difficulty most of us have experienced when it came to learning how to ride a bike, letalone on a BMX track or learning a new skill, is the pride I saw in him when he realised he could do it himself and that I wasn’t holding him up or pushing him. He didn’t need me. And what I realised, was that I could buy him the fanciest bike on the planet. I could pay for someone to teach him. I could do all the external stuff but absolutely nothing was going to make that easy for him, or for any of us. But when he persisted. When he pedalled, and fell and got back up, all the fanciest things in the world still wouldn't have meant nearly as much, not even a skerrick, on how and what he felt from learning to ride the way he did that day. Because he had to fight intrinsically to accomplish what he accomplished and the pride in himself is something not even I, his mother, could’ve given to him.

So while we can fill our lives with the best of things, to help us achieve those new skills and motivate us to learn and do better, material things and even people around us congratulating us on finally achieving something we've been working towards, will never come even close to the feeling that we get when we know we are competent and capable because we've taken responsibility, we’ve held ourselves accountable, and we’ve worked on it to achieve it and we finally reached the top of our mountain.

See you next week my friends. Take responsibility.

Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…

I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!

Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

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