We tend to grasp onto what feels familiar, no matter how limiting or uncomfortable. If you’re a sensitive person, you might be holding onto the belief that you’re responsible for far more than is actually possible. It may feel incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to let go of responsibility.
Many of my clients complain of feeling overwhelmed, and sometimes resentful of the load they’re carrying. Fortunately, even in the most challenging circumstances, it’s possible to make changes that will lighten the load.
Here are some signs you might be dealing with over-responsibility:
Feeling responsible for Others’ Feelings – How often do you walk around not only feeling others’ feelings, but also feeling responsible for changing them?
Feeling Responsible for Others’ Mistakes – Do you ever feel in some way responsible when a family member, partner, or friend, acts out in anger or other challenging ways?
Taking responsibility for Others’ Problems – How often do you step into the role of “the only one” who can solve the problems of the family, office, social setting?
Feeling like you have to fix or save the world – Do you ever feel overly stressed about problems in the world, and responsible to fix things?
How to let go of over-responsibility:
Practice awareness. Become aware of all that you feel responsible for. Notice the difference between the different types of responsibilities you take on. Which ones feel heavy? Which ones feel light? Which ones feel right? Which ones trigger resentment? Which ones feel impossible?
Decide which responsibilities are truly yours. For example, these responsibilities will typically include do-able practices and actions related to your health, your mood, your mind, and certain aspects of your job, family, and social and global situations.
Get clear about responsibilities that are not truly yours. Other people’s feelings, behavior, and problems…
Decide which responsibilities you’d like to let go. For example consider letting go of: Trying to fix someone’s mood. Taking on too much. The belief that you’re responsible for everything and everybody in your life. Feeling responsible for things you cannot control.
Ask for Help — Asking for help can feel difficult for the overly-responsible person. However, it’s crucial. Choose responsibilities to delegate or to share with another. Ask a family member, friend, or colleague for help. You might be surprised…people will often say YES.
Surrender overly-challenging or impossible responsibilities. On a piece of paper, draw a line down the center to form two columns. Label the left-hand column MINE, and write down responsibilities you know you can handle. Label the right-hand column UNIVERSE and write down responsibilities that aren’t yours, or those that you struggle with. Imagine surrendering these responsibilities to a greater source of help and inspiration. Imagine the possibility of welcome solutions, and new forms of assistance.
Another way to do this is to write each overly-challenging/impossible responsibility on a small piece of paper. Place them in a box or jar labeled Universe. (or Surrender, or Source, or God, or Goddess….)
Use Meditation and Creative Visualization: Meditate on letting go of extra layers of responsibility and stress. See yourself able to easily let go of what’s not yours to handle. Instead of engaging with each responsibility, allow your breath to assist the release. Envision yourself centered in your strength, knowing what’s yours, and letting go of the rest.
Use EFT Tapping: EFT tapping is effective for helping to release stress and anxiety when you’re feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities. Tapping helps to lower cortisol, and increases blood flow to the thinking part of the brain. This will help you deal more effectively with your challenges. Click here for an illustrated guideline of the tapping points. Contact me to learn more about using EFT.
Let go, surrender, allow.
In Love and Courage,
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