'The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.' Denis Waitley
As a mature adult, I'm 100% responsible for me – for my self care, self respect, self love, development of my personality, my spiritual growth and general well-being. I have responsibility for my choices, actions, behaviour and attitudes and I take ownership of my mistakes and learn from the consequences of my actions. I'm responsible for deciding what's in my integrity and behaving accordingly. I support my own happiness and I'm independent as far as possible. It's my responsibility to set good boundaries about what I accept in my life and respect others' boundaries too. The only other people I have responsibility for may be children (e.g. for their health) and those who are either so sick or so old that they cannot take responsibility for themselves. I'm also responsible for the environment and wise utilisation of natural resources. I share a collective moral responsibility for what happens in the world (e.g. the violation of others' rights) and therefore I need courage to speak up against oppression while remaining objective and non-judgemental.
I have responsibility towards others, e.g. that I turn up on time, pay my taxes, be as prepared and up to date as I can when I'm teaching or practising as a doctor. I need to fulfil commitments as far as I'm able and be the best version of me that I can.
Responsibility sadly often becomes confused with care-taking behaviour where, despite our best intentions, we trample over others' boundaries and, rather than help, disempower them as we present ourselves as the apparently wiser, healthier, superior person, the other being vulnerable and helpless by comparison.
Demanding to have our own way, believing or acting as though no one else's needs matter, having tantrums when we don't get all we want, blaming others when things go wrong and expecting others to take care of us are irresponsible and immature behaviours, as is abdicating our responsibility in relationships or in the world. These actions undermine our power and rob us of our chance and right to be equal.
Success flows from taking responsibility for our own lives. Acknowledging that our lives are a direct consequence of who we are and what we've done, empowers us to build and change our lives, direct our growth and drive ourselves wherever we want to go. Moving the focus of responsibility to ourselves, refusing to blame something or someone 'out there' for the state of our lives or waiting for someone to do something to positively change our lives, take care of us or heal our wounds, puts us, finally in command of ourselves. Taking responsibility shifts us out of the rut where we're constantly waiting for our real life to start. This is it!
So… what's holding you back right now? What do you need to do now to take responsibility for yourself?
- list 5 ways in which you feel stuck and 5 actions you could take to start to get unstuck
- set a date to begin each one. (Start with the easiest and get a feeling of success and empowerment in completing something.)
- make an affirmation and start to use it right now, e.g.'I take responsibility for me and my life.' Say it several times out loud, feeling the shift of energy as you start to feel empowered. Write it down and copy it out 10 times every day.
- let your actions follow this new truth and observe how it feels to be in command of your life
- check your boundaries and update them where necessary e.g. I take care of me and don't allow anyone else to rescue me and leave me feeling helpless
- decide on one action you'll take to help the environment – e.g. help to pick up some litter; plant a tree; switch off electricity you don't need; recycle.
- congratulate yourself daily for starting to create the life you want to live!
This content was provided by one of our users, Empilweni