Taking Responsibility as a Form of Self-Care


Have you ever awakened, looked at your alarm clock, and said to yourself, “I don’t want to get out of bed today. I want to sleep in.” Or even thinking, “I do not want to be an adult today. I want to be a child with no responsibilities”? We all go through sluggish times — accepting responsibility can seem draining, and the reality is that sometimes the tasks we have to be doing are indeed exhausting. But, there is another way to look at responsibility such that it becomes a means of nurturing yourself rather than depleting your emotional and physical energy reserves: Responsibility is a basic human need, just like food or oxygen; we cannot fulfill or justify our existence without it. It is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been endowed with — the gift of being active participants in the unfolding of our destinies. And responsibility is not just about helping others — it can save your life, as well.

What Happens When You Don’t Accept Responsibility

  • You might experience a state of aimlessness.
  • You might also be anxious.
  • Your conscience could pester you.
  • You and other people might suffer.
  • You’ll miss opportunities.
  • Feelings of dependency and indignity could plague you.
  • You won’t make your full impact on the world.

The Magic That Happens When You Do

  • You’ll feel like an active participant in life, rather than a victim of circumstances.
  • You’ll feel connected to the world around you.
  • You’ll enjoy dignity and independence.
  • The joy of using your distinct talents and abilities will be yours.
  • Feelings of frustration and helplessness will give way to satisfaction.
  • You’ll go from being reactive to being proactive.
  • The positive effects of your actions will reach far beyond your scope of vision.

Exercise: Look at your attitude toward responsibility. Then, look for an opportunity to help, to inspire, or to lend support. Act on it. Write about it in your MyMLC Journal.

Go deeper into this subject:  Toward a Meaningful Life | What If You Were Adam or Eve? Taking Responsibility for the World | Our Responsibility Is to Shine | In the Beginning | Critique | Common Wealth |

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6 years ago

I have a burning desire to know and I cannot answer these questions:

What helps a person cross from thought (agreeing, standing up for, pontificating, etc) to action?

What makes action trump aimlessness, pestersomeness, suffering,missed opportunities, and feelings of dependency and indignity?

What makes one finally give up aimlessness, pestersomeness, suffering,missed opportunities, and feelings of dependency and indignity and take responsibility?

I see over and over and over, people who choose to be pestered rather than take responsibility.

My answer to how would be: When they can finally “see.” But how can that happen?

My further answer to how is: They can “co-think with someone, visually” while talking. But who will do that?

What are your thoughts?

I want to know once and for all, and I’d like to do my part to help (I want to teach and coach doodling and visual thinking in order to go beyond and above intellect to see the big picture and naturally come to action).

Charlothe williams
6 years ago

I am union representative at work. I take action most days to represent staff when in a disagreement with their employer. But I feel pestered and indignant. Personally I try to work hard as I can and have bought up two beautiful successful young ladies and yet I fear responsibility and less and less able to earn money to manage , sometimes through my own fear and sometimes through the efforts of my employer to stop me. I feel there are too many personal battles as a result of winning those for others . I don’t know how to change this and can find no support or understanding. Thanks x

The Meaningful Life Center