Accepting personal accountability for change

Editor's note: The Coaches Corner column appears regularly on the advice and opinion page, Second Opinion.

It's human nature to "pass the buck." There were times in my life when my practice wasn't living up to what I thought I bought into, when I was exhausted, overworked, struggling, fretting. ...

What did I do? I found myself blaming, blaming, and more blaming.

It was easy to blame, and blaming was also temporarily satisfying -- but, ultimately, nonproductive.

Finally, I discovered that something magical happened when I accepted personal responsibility for the results of my own thoughts and actions. It took awhile to gather up my courage, look at myself, and acknowledge the power I have to create positive change that would enhance my life -- and the life of others -- without blaming others and, importantly, without being hard on myself.

Most of us living in North America have an opportunity to make a conscious choice about how we live. How we choose to deal with situations that come our way is our choice, and every choice is an opportunity.

Victor Frankl said it best:

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom."

Once you tweak your attitude to accept responsibility for your actions and to see change as opportunity, you can begin to feed into another powerful emotion -- enthusiasm! It may sound like a little thing, but imagine living your life from the perspective of joy and enthusiasm instead of from the heavy place of blame and the grudging acceptance of your "lot."

How you hold or frame things will make the difference between a life fulfilled and one that is not. Life coaches are skilled in offering you different perspectives for you to try on and ultimately hang your hat on.

Dan Kingsbury, D.D.S., life and dental coach, is a co-founder of the Dental Coaches Association, an organization of dentists who are professional coaches committed to bringing coaching to the dental profession. Learn more by visiting

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2009

Page 1 of 348
Next Page