Everyone in our Trust update: Self-Responsibility

24 March 2023 |

We believe we are all special and unique. We will INSPIRE and be INSPIRED, so that we all develop the knowledge, skills and understanding as well as resilience, aspiration and confidence, to succeed.

Our value of self-responsibility is rooted in the conviction that every member of our team, regardless of position or title, does their bit. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that they are taking a positive, proactive and purposeful approach to the mission we have as a family of schools. It is therefore about every individual taking the accountability for their own actions and collectively for the success of each of our schools and our broader and deeper work.

We take responsibility for, and answer to, our actions. Democratic participation brings with it accountability and responsibility. We instil confidence in our learners and allow them to be responsible members of society and our young people are encouraged to develop a strong commitment to their own learning.

I believe that self-responsibility is a crucial value for us all, as it is fundamental to the self-improvement we all need to undertake as we journey through life. Personal responsibility is when you take full accountability for your actions, decisions, and thoughts and more. When you hold yourself responsible, it leaves little room for blame games, and you develop better control of your life. Being self-responsible is being self-aware. I have found over time, both personally and professionally, that those quickest to criticise, complain or see the worst are most often those who are not pulling their own weight or causing issues and conflict for others through cynicism and negativity. As I have said previously, we get to be radiators or drains in terms of our contribution to culture and the wider atmosphere of our schools; those who take self-responsibility are invariably radiators. Those who lack self-awareness and a commitment to their own development or contribution to the wider cause are most often drains.

It can be all too easy to avoid self-responsibility. To default to blaming others in fact disempowers ourselves from change. It is easy to point fingers at other people when things go wrong. However, blaming others is only a temporary solution. Blaming others does not solve anything. It makes us feel good temporarily, but it doesn’t change anything. People who blame others usually end up feeling guilty because they feel like they failed in some way. They often feel helpless and hopeless.

When you blame someone else, you are denying your own responsibility. By refusing to accept responsibility, you are letting yourself off the hook. When you blame others, you are saying that you are powerless over their behaviour. You are giving them power over you. This is a dangerous thing to do. People with low self-esteem tend to blame others for their failures. By blaming others, you are setting yourself up for failure. You are putting yourself in a position where you cannot succeed. By accepting responsibility, you are showing that you are willing to work towards achieving your goals. You are demonstrating that you are able to control your environment. Self-responsibility helps us to overcome some instincts that we all have but are not collectively focused. Self-serving bias is the tendency to believe that our own behaviour is more beneficial than that of others. We also tend to believe that our own success is due to our efforts, while others’ success is due to luck. Our brains are wired to favour the self. Self-serving bias has been shown to affect decision making. When people have an opportunity to make a choice between two options, they choose the option that benefits them personally. The problem with this is that we don’t realise that we are actually harming ourselves by choosing the less healthy option in the long term. The only right choice is to look for an objective perspective. We must remember that we are part of a larger system. By looking from a broader perspective, we can see how our actions impact others. If we want to live healthier lives, then we need to become aware and own our biases. That’s the only way to become a self-responsible person.

It is such a liberating feeling when we realise that we are responsible for our own happiness. We feel like we can finally take control of our lives. This realisation gives us the courage to face the challenges that come our way. This is especially true when we recognise that we are not 100% responsible for other people. We cannot expect them to change unless they want to change themselves first. Having a feeling of autonomy is a good thing. It allows us to do whatever we want without worrying about what others might say or think. It enables us to stand up for ourselves and speak our own truth. When we accept responsibility for our own lives, we gain freedom from outside influences. We need to stop letting other people dictate our behaviour. We become free to do whatever we want because we are in total control of our own destiny.

Dan Morrow
Trust Leader