Does the word responsibility make you cringe? Do you always feel like your plate is too full? It’s easy to associate the word with negativity or burden. Here’s what the word responsibility really means.
Response – Ability
The dictionary definition for responsibility is “the state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control, or management.”
Often times when we hear the word responsibility we have a negative reaction. We think of our responsibilities as chores or things that bind us. Until recently I also thought of the word this way.
It’s funny how we deem something as “too much” responsibility or too little. How do we accurately quantify what is too much or too little? We can’t. We can only accept what we’re willing to based on our own circumstances.
One day, my coach explained how responsibility actually translates to freedom. We have the ability to respond to whatever we’re faced with however we want.
When we are faced with a decision, it’s up to us to decide how it will get handled. You’re not forced to respond to someone because of what they want. If you do this, you’re only reacting in the moment based on emotion. Pleasing others is passive aggressive.
This concept is so profound to me. I was often looking at my responsibilities in a completely different light. At times they felt heavy. I’m not talking the big responsibilities in my life. I’m talking the situations that arise in the day to day.
These can be difficult or the same situations we are presented with over and over again.
When I started to look at everything as an opportunity instead of a barrier, life changed around me. I had the ability and freedom to respond however I wanted, not how someone else wanted me to.
Responsibility in your favor
When we shift the narrative in our head that life is happening for us instead of to us, this concept comes easily.
The next time you feel that negative pull stop, pause and remind yourself you are in control. You have the ability to respond. You have two choices: you can let life run you or you can run your life. I prefer the latter.
Dealing with triggers in a whole new way
No matter who we are, we all have triggers. These are the things that invoke intense negative feelings deep within us. They cause us to tap into our emotional minds vs our wise minds.
Triggers can be dangerous because they cause us to be reactive instead of proactive. Reshaping the way we think about the word responsibility helps us manage triggers in a whole new way.
Over time and repeated habits, we program our minds to act a certain way without realizing it. This can take shape of bad habits and negative self talk.
If you tell yourself something enough you’ll believe it. Through a lot of meditation and self reflection, I realized I was telling myself I couldn’t do a lot of things.
I would say things like “I can’t go here because my health won’t allow me to.” Or “I can’t do that because I’ve never done it before.” Yikes. I found out I was holding myself back in ways that were completely ridiculous.
Reprogramming your brain to view responsibility as the ability to respond is powerful. You manage triggers in a new way.
These can be small triggers or large triggers that invoke deep pain or anxiety. When triggers arise stop, pause and remind yourself you are in control.
Practice some breathing exercises if you need to. Breathe in to the count of four, hold for four and exhale for four. Do this four times before you even think about responding to the situation.
When we understand and have a grip on our mind, we are able to navigate life much easier. This also allows space for peace and positive energy shifts. Negative energy will only exhaust you and prevent you from living your best life.
Summary – What the word responsibility really means and how it will set you free
Spending just 21 minutes a day alone with our thoughts can greatly impact how we use this to our advantage. Set aside time in your day to nurture your mind. Remind yourself you have the ability to respond to any situation however you choose.
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