How to Embrace Radical Responsibility | Fierce

woman seated at a desk in an office practicing radical responsibility

Year of Resilience Tip #12: Embrace Radical Responsibility 

“It’s all my fault!”

My team’s results, the culture inside my organization, the communication issues, everything. 

Doesn’t sound like a positive way to wrap up the 12 Tips for Resilience, does it?

But there’s power in taking full responsibility for your life and circle of influence. While it may sound counterproductive initially, accepting full responsibility for every aspect of your world transforms you from a victim to an overcomer. This tip this week is to embrace radical responsibility.

What is Radical Responsibility?

Radical responsibility is the idea that you are 100% responsible for your life and the outcomes you experience, regardless of external factors. This mindset shift is essential for achieving success in any area of life and greatly enhances your ability to be resilient in any situation. By embracing radical responsibility, you take full ownership of your decisions and outcomes, stop blaming external factors for problems, and start looking for solutions.

Radical responsibility goes beyond just taking responsibility for your actions and consequences. It means taking full responsibility for your emotions as well. Emotions are generated internally, and no one can make you feel anything. When you don’t take radical responsibility, you rely on blame, shame, and guilt to rationalize your circumstances and feelings and keep the ego intact. Blame, shame, and guilt all come from toxic fear. Radical responsibility means locating the cause and control of our lives in ourselves, not in external events.

Radical Responsibility is the voluntary choice to assume or embrace 100% ownership for every circumstance we face in life, not as some kind of “should” or burden, but rather as a conscious act of self-empowerment and the genuine exercise of personal freedom. By focusing on finding solutions rather than someone or something to blame, we take our power back and can ask the question: “What Can I Do?”

The Benefits of Radical Responsibility

Taking radical responsibility is crucial for leaders, especially given the high stakes involved in their work. Leaders are accountable for making critical decisions that can significantly impact their team and organization’s success. By taking radical responsibility, you transform your approach to the external world. You will see an immediate improvement in 3 key areas of your leadership as you shift your mindset.

Decision Making – Radical responsibility leads to improved decision-making. You lead from strategic choices based on your own values and goals, rather than being influenced by external factors or others’ opinions. 

Accountability – Taking radical responsibility increases accountability, you take ownership of your mistakes and take action to correct them, instead of blaming others. This behavior has a cascading effect inside the culture prompting others to shift toward action rather than hiding mistakes and blaming others.

Resilience – Taking radical responsibility also promotes resilience because you view setbacks and failures as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than reasons to give up. 

How to Practice Radical Responsibility

Radical Responsibility is a mindset shift and by embracing the concept and seeing the world through this lens the path to change becomes apparent. 

Yet reprogramming our minds can be difficult. Most of us live in a world where blame, shame, and guilt are used to justify feelings and situations and protect the ego. These negative emotions stem from fear. Instead of placing the blame on external factors, accept that you control and determine the outcomes of your life.

These steps will help begin shifting your mindset:

  1. Accept responsibility for your life and outcomes. Stop blaming others and start looking for solutions.
  2. Develop mindfulness and emotional intelligence to recognize when you are giving away your power through blaming.
  3. Practice self-awareness to reflect on your actions and decisions and identify where you may be falling short.
  4. Set clear, measurable goals to take ownership of your future and commit to taking action.
  5. Take action to achieve your goals and hold yourself accountable for your progress.
  6. Embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a reason to give up. View every experience as a chance to become a more conscious leader.

By embracing radical responsibility, you take control of your life, make better decisions, and become a more effective leader.


The idea that you are responsible for your life and every outcome you experience, regardless of external factors, is a demanding concept, but a powerful step toward becoming resilient. By embracing this mindset, you take full ownership of their decisions and outcomes and stop blaming external factors for problems. This makes you a powerful leader with improved decision-making and increased self-accountability.

To practice this new mindset, accept full responsibility for your life, emotions, and outcomes. Develop mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Practice self-awareness, set clear goals, take action, and embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. By doing so, you take control of life, make better decisions, and become a more effective leader.

As a closing action when obstacles and challenges and mistakes occur, instead of asking “Who’s to blame?” ask: 

“What can I learn and how can I grow from this? What is my responsibility in this?” 

Radical responsibility will create huge growth opportunities on a personal and organizational level.

Check out these Fierce Resources for Resilience, Responsibility, and Self Awareness:

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