In life, the biggest step one can take for themselves is take responsibility for their existence, life circumstances, and anything and everything. When you understand that the power to do anything or nothing lies within you, you automatically feel empowered.
On the contrary, if you depend on external factors for your happiness or self-growth, you are most likely trapped in a false sense of reality. A lot of us get trapped in the victim mentality, wherein we feel that we are the victim of certain people or circumstances. The truth of the matter is that you are not a victim unless you allow yourself to be one.
Remember, there is no such thing as a bad experience, because you always learn something from each and every thing that happens to you if you keep your eyes and mind wide open. Taking personal responsibility would also mean that you respect yourself wholly and fully, and that you understand that at the end of the day you are a human being. Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself is only going to bring you down because you will never be able to achieve them.
This is the reason one should always take small steps towards their any kind of dream. Each successful small step gives you motivation to take another step. After a point in life, when you look back at all the small steps you have taken, you realise that you actually have come a long way.
So, take responsibility for each and every thought and action of yours, and see your status of mind and body rise to another dimension of peace and happiness. There is no happiness as real as being in charge of your own life. When you value yourself, you also begin to understand the gem that life is.