“Responsibility” can be such a loaded word, even for those of us who are taking a lot of responsibility on many levels. It is associated with being trapped, overworked, and inundated with meaningless tasks. When we think of taking on more responsibility, one of the first things we feel is dread. Why do we tend to feel this way? It’s important to examine this more closely, otherwise we may be stopping ourselves from having incredible growth spurts and new opportunities!
3 Responsibility Traps
1. If we are in a position to choose what we really want to do, but we choose to take responsibility for things that do not feel right or that are motivated by “shoulds” then we can feel trapped by the responsibility. If we commit to things that we really do not resonate with, then of course we will feel stuck and resentful. We are sentencing ourselves to a life without inspiration.
2. If we take on more responsibility than we can genuinely handle, we will also start to feel trapped. Many of us want to accomplish lots of goals but if we overwork to the point where our responsibilities compromise our well-being, then we are not going to enjoy anything. This can creep up on us and we can become immune to it until it we get sick, drained, or start losing the things that are truly important to us.
3. If we think that taking “responsibility” for others means not holding them accountable, placating and enabling them, we will exhaust ourselves. This misconception about taking responsibility makes us feel trapped and can cause us to be stuck in negative, disempowering patterns that deplete us.
Another viewpoint is that taking responsibility is really about taking charge of our ourselves. On The Avatar course this is referred to as living deliberately. When we decide to make the effort to do this, we are paving the way to creating new opportunities, connections and greater success.
In his book Private Lessons Harry Palmer says “Living deliberately is looking and thinking for yourself. It is operating rationally, according to your own aware will. It is assuming personal responsibility for your diet, addictions, actions and mental processes. It is taking your life back.” (page 2).
To me this is very exciting. It’s recognizing that when we take responsibility for ourselves, our whole life changes. It requires deciding, showing-up and practicing what we learn. But these are exciting, liberating efforts, not ones to be dreaded. And the rewards are tangible and immediate as well as long-term.
Taking responsibility for our mental processes means taking charge of our beliefs, thoughts and stories. These are actually the foundation of everything we attract and experience! Going back to the drawing board and taking control of these is vital to happiness and success. The rewards are freedom from old patterns, more joy, and inspiration.
When we take responsibility for treating our bodies respectfully, we are healthier have more energy to do what is important to us. When we choose to take more spiritual responsibility, we learn to be more present, authentic, and kinder, and we can discovering our unique service in the world. So, taking responsibility for yourself and what is truly important to you is inspiring and challenging, and it brings incredible rewards!