On one hand, there are people that take responsibility for just about everything, and on the other hand, there are others that avoid taking responsibility for just about everything. And while it could be said that the first option is better than the second option, they are both going to lead to problems.
Out of Balance
It could be said that the ideal will be for one to realise what they are responsible for and what they are not responsible for. If they are unable to do this, their life will be harder than it needs to be.
As if one takes on too much, they can end up feeling like the weight of the world is on their shoulders; whereas if they don’t take on enough, it can cause other people to take on what doesn’t belong to them. Based on this, either one will suffer or they will cause other people to suffer.
This is not going to be the complete truth though, as no matter option they take it will have a negative effect on their life. Along with this, it will also have a negative effect on the people that they come into contact with.
The reason for this is that if one takes on what doesn’t belong to them, they will stop other people from playing their part. And if one doesn’t take on what belongs to them, they won’t be playing their part.
A Common Outlook
However, when one is in a position where they take on too much, it can be normal for people to see them as an example to follow. As a result of this, it can mean that they will overlook how destructive their behaviour is.
In these people’s eyes, they could believe that one is doing something that more people should do. This will then stop them from taking the time to think about how they are stopping other people from taking responsibility.
A Deeper Level
The reason one is overly responsible is likely to come down to the fact that they lack boundaries, and this then causes them to take on more than they should. This can mean that they don’t feel comfortable with their own needs.
Other people’s needs are then more important than their own and being there for others can be a way for them to get their needs met. But while this may be their intention at a deeper level, they are likely to find that it rarely works, and it can then be normal for them to end up running on empty.
A New Experience
So in order for them to realise what they are responsible for and what they aren’t, it will be important for them to develop boundaries. As they do this and become comfortable with their own needs, they will no longer feel the need to take on what doesn’t belong to them.
Through doing this, they will have more energy and they will give other people the chance to take responsibility for their own life. As if they were to continue to do what other people should do for themselves, they will stop them from growing.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that one won’t be holding other people back, and if they were to continue to behave in the same way, they would be holding them back. On the surface, they may believe that they are helping others, but this will be nothing more than an illusion.
Now, this is not to say that one should no longer lend a hand or make a difference in the lives of others, for instance; what it comes down to is that they will be coming from a difference place. They will be comfortable with their needs and have boundaries, and this will allow them to make better decisions.
The Other Side
When one doesn’t take responsibility for their life, it will be normal for people to criticise them. Yet this is unlikely to have an effect on their behaviour; in fact, one could end up getting defensive.
As far as they are concerned, they are is always going to be someone else who is at fault for what is taking place in their life. This could cause them to push other people way; but if they do have people around them, they could have the same outlook.
Some of the people in their life could be the complete opposite, and this is likely to mean that they end up being blamed for what takes place in one’s life. They are then different to the other people they spend time with but as they lack boundaries and don’t feel comfortable with their needs, they are going to put up with their behaviour.
Point of Focus
If one was able to take a step back and to no longer focus on what is taking place externally, it would give them the chance to reflect on their own behaviour. From here, they could look into what is taking place within them.
This would give them the chance to see how they are influencing their life and after a while, they would begin to see what they are responsible for. But unless one is able to take their focus away from what is taking place externally, it is not going to be possible for this to take place.
When one experiences life in this way, it can be a sign that they were not encouraged to take responsibility for their life when they were growing up. This could have been a time when the guidance they needed wasn’t available.
Also, it could be part of their nature to focus on what is taking place externally, and this means this that it can seem as though they are not responsible for anything. There are other people who are naturally focused on what is taking place within them, and it can then be a lot easier for them to see what they are responsible for.
If one can relate to this and they want to change their life, it will be important for them to develop the ability to reflect on their own behaviour. This can take place through working with a therapist and/or reading books on self-development, for instance.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.