Fault vs Responsibility

This post came to me after reading (audiobook-listening) ‘the subtle art of not giving a f**k’ (Mark Manson). We all have things in our life that happen to us in our lives that we could blame for the way we act or the way we feel but at the end of the day, these events may not be our fault but we are responsible for the way we respond to them.

When bad experiences happen it is easy to blame others, find fault somewhere, wether they are a direct cause or not. Especially as sometimes we live in an unfair and unjust world – blame is easy to do. How though does this blame solve problems? For example dog ate your homework, yes not your fault but what do you achieve by blaming the dog – some feeling of fairness, however you still don’t have your homework. This is a very simple example but some things in our life we are not at fault for and these things will crop up throughout our life. Don’t blame yourself or others, throw that energy into helping you and enriching your life.

Working in the environment I do its a concept I use alot with the students, we all will experience things that are not always our fault but we are responsible for our responses and reactions to these moments.

Responsibility and fault often appear together in our lives, but they are not the same thing! Responsibility means nothing more than you have the power to fix it or make changes to the problem, by taking responsibility gives you the power back. Okay this happened, how can I fix it or try to better cope with it? It would be much more beneficial to us than blame and fault.

A lot of people hesitate to take responsibility for their problems because they believe that to be responsible for your problems, that also means being at fault for your problems – not the case! Responsibility and fault don’t go hand in hand, responsibility is not connected to who or whats fault.

Many people may be to blame for your unhappiness, but nobody is responsible for your unhappiness except you!! This is because you always get to choose how you see things, how you react to things. You always get to choose which metric with which to measure your experiences with!

We cant control others and the only life we are fully in charge of is our own, therefore accepting responsibility is a vital part of our healing process… I am not to blame for the genetic makeup of my body that caused this cancer to invade me at such a young age and I’m not to fault for the speed at which it has spread. However I am responsible for the way I react to this situation – I live my life to the fullest, make the most of time I have, smile, try things to ease pain/situation, attend treatment, look at alternative (additional) treatments like acupuncture and reflexology, talk, listen to medical (founded) advice.

Accepting responsibility means reclaiming some power and some sense of control over the situations in our lives. Will Smith discusses the differences between fault and responsibility, stating that the two are not only extremely different, they’re not even remotely related.

So let’s not blame ourselves/others but instead put that focus and energy into helping ourselves move forward and be happy 😊.


  1. Debra · June 30

    Very inspiring and thought provoking for all on a Sunday morning. A book to add to my list. You certainly do live life to the full xx

    • Samantha Isaacson · June 30

      Definitely worth the read if I had it in hardback I’d lend it to you but I listened to it as an Audiobook 👍