Most of us consider ourselves to be responsible adults, and we like to encourage others around us to take responsibility, act responsibly and of course, as the beverage companies advise, to drink responsibly! (the irony of it!)
Sometimes though, we can feel overwhelmed when we automatically have assumed responsibility for many things in life, often without even realising it. I worked with a client recently who was in a responsible job as a solicitor, with responsibilities caring for elderly family members, responsibility for managing home life, responsibility for motivating her teenage sons, responsibility for making sure that her daughter’s friends enjoy themselves at the upcoming birthday party, which of course, she was responsible for organising – that’s a lot of weight to carry. Unsurprisingly, she was feeling quite overwhelmed with everything, and inclined to procrastinate and leave things to the last minute, which made her feel even worse.
So here’s my observation – responsibility can’t really be given; you have to take it, and one person taking responsibility is all it takes. So if you’re taking on responsibilities left, right and centre, then why would anyone else put their hand up?
If we feel that that we constantly have to be responsible, it can mean we neglect the things we really should be responsible for, such as making time for ourselves, our own headspace and health. We can prevent other people from standing up and taking responsibility.
So my client has agreed primarily to take responsibility for herself, and what she wants to achieve, and to look at areas where she can allow other people around her to start taking responsibility for themselves.
It seems we all can benefit from a check-in now and again, to see whether we are being truly responsible for the things that are important to us.
So are you TOO responsible?
Liz Barron, Realize Coaching – www.realize.ie