It’s Up To You! [the R words]

Jim Rohn

“Nina, you share so much about changing and growth and flourishing. What would you say is top of the list?”

Such a great question! The answer is both simple (taking responsibility for your life and its outcomes) and complex (understanding how self awareness and self management combine with responsibility.) But it’s worth the time and energy if you’re serious about moving forward with your life – and it’s always beneficial to learn more about how we tick.


Self Awareness

Self awareness is essentially understanding the positives and negatives of:

  • your drives
  • your values
  • your strengths and weaknesses
  • your attitudes
  • your habits
  • your needs and desires
  • your emotional responses – to your own actions and others’ actions

By being totally honest with with yourself, recognising what works and what needs to be improved, you can act from a position of strength. This builds personal power, boosts self esteem and elevates your effectiveness personally and professionally. You can make good decisions, respond positively to circumstances and set meaningful and achievable goals.

Self regulation

Being able to deal with your emotions, no matter how difficult the situation, by:

  • not acting impulsively
  • not immediately looking for someone else to blame
  • acknowledging your feelings (and those of others) but not allowing feelings to get the upper hand
  • thinking before you respond
  • communicating clearly and calmly
  • staying focused on what’s important
  • looking for the best next step

Self regulation is basically self control to bring about the best result. With this self control we are well-fortified. Without it self-control we are vulnerable. tweet this

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” [Proverbs 25:28 ESV]

Hiding from the truth

Andy Stanley says that, “Irresponsibility is very difficult to see in the mirror.” He’s right!

Psychologists talk about the self-serving bias which is a tactic or process used to protect or enhance self-esteem, in every area of life. Basically, it means that we take credit for good outcomes and blame others for bad outcomes – regardless of how we ourselves contributed to the outcome.

“For example, a student who attributes earning a good grade on an exam to their own intelligence and preparation but attributes earning a poor grade to the teacher’s poor teaching ability or unfair test questions is exhibiting the self-serving bias.” [Wikipedia]

And it’s not helpful in the long term because it deludes us into being less than we can be, when we refuse or fail to take responsibility for our actions. It can also make us unpopular with friends, family and colleagues.

And yes – it is tough to face up to – I’ve had many moments of crying into my pillow when I accepted that I’d played a part in many of the things that had gone wrong in my life. But it’s also incredibly liberating and empowering.

Help yourself help yourself 🙂

It was totally worth the effort I made to overcome the bit of me that wanted to play the victim or the martyr. Like forgiveness, taking responsibility is a huge gift that you give yourself –  the benefits are incredible!

Thank God that it doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past – every day offers you  a fresh start and an opportunity to plonk yourself firmly in the driving seat of your life and where it’s headed.

When you fully accept that you are in charge of the outcomes of your life and how you react to circumstances, then you can truly move forward. tweet this

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

Areas of responsibility:

  • Your words
  • Your decisions
  • Your actions
  • Your health
  • Your finances
  • Your career
  • Your talents, skills and gifts
  • Your life
  • Your spiritual life

“If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” [Robert Schiller]

Once we get a grip on self regulation and responsibility, we open the door to amazing changes.

You will feel more motivated and more excited about the present and the future. You will feel more able to deal with life. You can plan and set goals. You can stop blaming others (even if it is their fault, deal with the situation) and you’ll know that if problems come against you, you’ll find a way through.

I love the following verse – its sums up everything in this post.

“Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Galatians 6: 5 MSG)

Any questions or comments?  Share them both or email me at You can also follow me on twitter 🙂

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.


7 Reasons why you should love your goals!

 “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going – it’s as simple as that.”  Earl Nightingale

earRight, I’m going to start with a big confession.

I love, love, love goals and goal setting! I can – and do! – talk about goals for hours to anyone who’s interested. [Yes, my family and friends are very long-suffering :)]

Why? Why am I so keen on something that most people don’t do?

And in fact I didn’t use to, until I discovered that proper planning makes a HUGE difference to my life and its outcomes.

Why goals rock – ie why you should love them

Goals are plans and strategies to move you and your life forward, not wishes or daydreams. In other words, goals give direction to your life. How do you know where you’re going, how to get there, or if you’ve got there without goals?  

Writing goals down in a journal and reviewing them regularly, sticking post-it notes in prominent places and/or discussing them with a supportive friend, activates your reticular activating system (RAS). This brings clarity and focus – helping you to quickly spot things that help you reach your goals.  Basically, the RAS is your best buddy in reaching your goals.

Knowing the why behind the goal [all the benefits] gives you purpose and fulfilment.

You simplify your life because you have a clear focus and can eliminate what isn’t going to propel you forward.

Goals make decision making easier.

Celebrating every small success releases dopamine which makes you feel good and encourages you to tackle the next task.

People who set goals and work on them are more successful, fulfilled and happier.

Honestly, what’s not to love about goals? If you have any comments, doubts about how lovable goals are or queries, pop them into the comments box or email

You may also find this post useful – Why and Other Questions You Must Answer Before You Set Your Goals – yes, it’s a mouthful but it’s a good read 🙂

“Setting goals is the single most important step you will take in improving your life.” Oli Hille

dream   Nina Franklyn Bsc[Hons], CCLC, RSA is a qualified life coach, with a special interest in goals, success and influence. She runs popular workshops as well as offering 1:1 life coaching, often via phone or email, for people who are serious about creating a better life or following their purpose.

Why Are Values Valuable?

ValuesHave you ever spent time examining your values and how they influence your life? Most of us don’t. Yet it’s  enjoyable and illuminating and is a real help in decision-making as it helps you identify key areas such as the right job or the right partner or school to send your kids.

Values are the principles or standards that steer you through life

 Do you ever think about your values and how they impact your life?

Can you list your core values?

Don’t worry if the answer to these questions is no – most people would he hard-pressed to answer them.  I can send you an assessment sheet if you want to explore your values.

Values are valuable and vital because they:

  1. define your character
  2. underpin your habits
  3. influence your decisions and choices – job/partner/schools for kids etc
  4. affect your behaviour
  5. become your normal
  6. help you prioritise
  7. guide the goals you set & help you achieve them
  8. help you recognise how successful your life is
  9. create happiness and well-being

Values are influenced by:

  • life experiences
  • parents
  • school
  • peers
  • spiritual beliefs

You may be able to identify a range of values that matter but you have a handful (6-10) core values, which define who you are and are the foundation of who you are and how you want to live your life.

By the time we reach adulthood, our core values are established. although these may be modified as circumstances alter. e.g. a mum is unlikely to have exactly the same values as she had when she was a fun-loving student 🙂

In a sense, values are like the rudder of a ship as they direct  your path through life. Knowing your values can make decision-making easier as some options can be eliminated immediately because they do not fit in with your values. Goal setting is also facilitated through an awareness of personal core values and is hugely motivational in achieving goals.
However, difficulties can arise if we are not clear about our personal values or are working or living in an environment where these values are not commonly held.

As children we may have found school difficult initially as we discovered that not everybody conformed to the values that our family held as important.

In a work situation, this incompatibility  results in feelings of unease and unfulfilment either with the job requirements or the attitude and approach of other colleagues.

Trying to fit in continues to erode core values.  Although people may not consciously realise this is happening, it will add to their feeling of discomfort and in some cases  lead to deep unhappiness or stress-related problems.

This can subsequently impact other areas of life, causing new problems or rifts in relationships, adding to stress levels and unhappiness.

Ways to cope:

  1. Look for another job
  2. Let your family know what’s happening – don’t bottle it up
  3. Talk it through with a close friend and work out tactics to help you cope
  4. Journalling – write out all your frustrations, ways of coping etc
  5. Make a list every day of things you are grateful for and why
  6. Develop a hobby you love
  7. Spend time with people who support, encourage and uplift you
  8. Go for walks in the country
  9. See a counsellor or cognitive behavioural therapist
  10. Consult your doctor if you feel very stressed

Knowing your core values and allowing them to guide you is important. So is using core values to help you identify what you want from life and how to set goals to achieve it. These are definitely areas where coaching can help and I can happily send you a free Values Assessment sheet – contact me at

Nina Franklyn BSc[Hons], CCLC,  is a popular and qualified life coach, with a special interest in personal & professional goals, success and influence. She runs hugely popular workshops as well as  successful 1:1 life coaching.  To enquire whether Nina has space available to take you on as a client, email: