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It is not your responsibility to heal, save, punish or control other people.

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There are times in our lives where we tend to take on responsibility for things that we aren’t responsible for. And for some of us, myself included, we find ourselves in this place more often than not. It’s like we have this automatic response to jump in and start ‘managing’ a situation or trying to control things that we have absolutely no control over. It’s ineffective, yet so instinctual. It’s a maladaptive pattern.

Many of us grew up in families where we felt this responsibility to keep other people happy or that we were responsible for another person’s basic wellness. These feelings become ingrained in us and two things happen. One, we become focused on others more than we are focused on ourselves. Two, our moods and feelings become dependent on people and things outside of us. We lose ourselves in this enmeshment and end up defining our self-worth through outcomes with others we could never truly control.

Here’s the real insidious side of this dynamic: By focusing on things outside of us, we are actually ducking taking real responsibility for ourselves. We become martyrs and feel like we never have time for ourselves. Maybe we wouldn’t even know what we’d do if we didn’t have people to heal, save, control or punish. Maybe we even feel like helping others at the expense of taking care of ourselves is our purpose here.

Let me turn this question to you…Do you feel that it’s another person’s responsibility to heal, save, punish or control you? My guess is you had a knee jerk reaction of hell no. Perhaps it’s insulting to feel like someone has to swoop in and take control of your life? Like you aren’t capable of taking care of yourself?

What about the people you are trying to control? How would you feel if they focused too much energy on being responsible for your wellbeing? Perhaps you feel like that would be a huge burden to those people. If that’s the case, why would you put this burden on yourself?

Here’s the thing about making the decision to be responsible for ourselves. Focusing on and taking responsibility for ourselves actually allows us to affect more influence and change than you’d think. When you start taking complete ownership of your life, people notice. We are doing it for ourselves, but we also become a good example and inspiration to other people. They see us empowered to make the changes we need to make in our life that only we can make, and they start thinking about doing the same for themselves.

It allows us to be supportive of others, rather than responsible. It allows us to empower rather than make someone feel powerless in their own life.

Have you taken on responsibilities for things you can’t control? What steps are you willing to take today to shift the dynamic from control to support?

Video for It is not your responsibility to heal, save, punish or control other people.

How to Start Taking Responsibility for Your Life

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