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Tuesday
Apr032012

Taking Responsibility

Adding to my last post about "getting out of the rut,"  one step in accomplishing this is to take responsibility.  What do you need to do to take responsibility in your life?  What do you have control over?  What do you have no control over?  The only thing you really have any control over is your own reaction to a situation or another person.  When we keep choosing not to take responsibility, it is often because it is what we learned and it worked for us at some point in our life.  Usually, though, it ends up being maladaptive, and not doing the job for us anymore.  So, how do we go about taking responsibility?

  •  Be honest with yourself.  Don't judge or blame, just acknowledge.  You don't deserve harsh judgement and you do deserve the ability to take some control of your life.
  • Be kind to yourself.  Honor that not taking responsibility was a way that worked for you, but now is the time to let it go and find a different coping skill.
  • Look at other options.  Many times we see ourselves in a situation with no way out.  Almost always, there are options.  Brainstorm with a person close to you or make a list of things you could try.  Write down everything you can think of, no matter how outrageous!  One of those ideas may lead you to the answer you need.
  •  Get back on the horse and try again.  Don't give up if the situation feels too tough or something you tried didn't work out so well.  You don't want to get back into that rut.
  • Fight apathy and paralysis.  Doing nothing keeps us immobilized and feeling dependent and helpless.
  •  Try mindfulness.  Be in the moment.  My favorite way is with a cup of coffee or tea.  Sit with the cup, trying to focus on your senses.  Feel the warmth of the cup, smell the aroma, look at the color of the liquid contrasted with the cup, taste the drink.  Engaging all of your senses is key.  If intrusive thoughts come in, acknowledge them without judgement and let them go.  You might visualize them blowing away in the wind or rolling away on a wave.  This exercise will help you keep from staying in the past or stressing about the future.

 If you continue to have trouble, seek a mental health provider who can help you find tools that will work for you.

When you blame others, you give up your power to change.  --Author Unknown

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