The Power of Taking Responsibility

“It is only when you take responsibility for your life that you discover how powerful you truly are.”

Allanah Hunt, Coach & Author

My mom likes to tell me this story. When she was pregnant with me, she dove into learning about conscious parenting because she wanted to do things differently than her own parents did. She wanted to interrupt generational trauma.

One of the ways she did that was to pick the one value that was most important to her. It would be the characteristic she most wanted to develop in me. This choice would guide many of her parenting decisions as I grew up.

The value she chose: responsibility.

To her this meant I took ownership of my actions. That I was aware of the impact of my choices on myself, on others and the world around me. That I took ownership of my life.

I am so grateful for that gift because it has guided me throughout my life.

It’s been particularly valuable because the tendency of my easy-going, laid back personality is to avoid or procrastinate especially when things are difficult.

That’s when this deeply rooted belief of responsibility kicks in and keeps me moving forward. 

Often when we’re feeling drained and stuck we are mired in the energy of victimhood. It’s that feeling that no matter what we do it won’t make a difference. The “why bother” mentality. 

Victimhood can also look like blaming others for our results. If only they changed, or if only my circumstances were different, then everything would be better. 

These thoughts keep us at arms length from our own agency and personal choice. It keeps us from taking responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions.

That’s why I was jolted to attention when my own coach said to me last year:

“You seem to think you are a victim to your life.”

I had shared with her that I was waking up at 2 in the morning full of fear that I was ruining my family’s future because I was following my dream of having my own business. 

As a coach I know that those inner critic thoughts get louder as we meet our growth edge and increase our capacity.

But in those early morning hours the fear of failure felt so true and inevitable. My heart would beat hard, I’d get clammy and my brain would run wild with all the terrible scenarios. 

Her words…”you think you are a victim to your life”…interrupted the fear thoughts and the blinders dropped away.

I suddenly saw very clearly.

I am the one responsible here. 

That future I was worrying about? It wasn’t up to someone else to make (or break) it. There was no one coming to do it for me.

I was the one responsible for creating my future.

I could stay stuck in fear or I could take ownership. 

This lightening bolt of recognition happens for my clients too. 

These courageous women are going through big transitions and life circumstances – divorce, infertility, stressful jobs, parenting teens, aging parents, big career changes.

When they come to coaching so much feels out of their control that they’ve thrown up their hands and said, “there’s nothing I can do, that’s life” or their fighter is in overdrive and they’re trying to control every. single. aspect. of the situations or people in their life.

Neither of these approaches serves them. 

What does serve is exploring these questions:

          What is not in my control?

          Where do I have control?

          What am I responsible for?

          What is my role in this situation? (and what do I want it to be?)

You start to see that you have agency. That you can make choices. There are possibilities.

You can choose your thoughts and your responses. You can take responsibility for your actions.

You see that you are part of the glorious co-creation of your life.

This is the great news…you are not a victim to your life, you are responsible for it. 

P.S. If you are done with thinking life just happens to you and are ready to take ownership and live a life YOU love, let’s talk. It starts with a free, no-obligation consultation. This conversation alone will change you. You ready? Let’s go!

Published by allisonburch

Hi there! As a Gottman Certified Educator, I love helping new families navigate the transition to parenthood and supporting them as they create a life they love. I get to live the dream in Austin, Texas with my big-hearted husband and two extroverted boys, where we get to put Gottman's techniques to use daily.

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