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The Two-Sided Coin

What does it mean to take Personal Responsibility?

Personal responsibility is a two-sided coin. 

One – you must take ownership of your own thoughts, beliefs, feelings, behaviors, opinions, emotions, and outcomes.

Two – you must allow others to take ownership of their own thoughts, beliefs, feelings, behaviors, opinions, emotions, and outcomes.

One side of personal responsibility requires taking for yourself.  The other side requires letting go of responsibility for others.  Both can be a challenge, depending on the specific situation you are dealing with at the time.

In the beginning of my coaching relationship with a client, the push and pull of this two-sided personal responsibility coin is very apparent.  Often the client is looking for me to give them the answer, to solve their conundrum.

It is my responsibility to let go and push the responsibility for finding their own answers back to them.  I do not have the answers, my client does.  I help them dig deep to find it for themselves.

In this case, I have to let go of responsiblity and my client has to take responsibility.

The same kind of thing happens when I spend the day with my nephew, Brody.  It would be easy for me to do everything for him.  It would be quicker and a lot less messy.  But in the long run, that is not helping Brody develop and learn and grow.  It is my responsibility to push him to try, to keep working on it, to not give up, to teach him to take responsibility for his own accomplishments.

Personal responsibility is hard.  It takes energy.  It takes commitment to the long-term goal. 

When you take personal responsibility for yourself you are giving yourself a gift.  You are taking control of who you are and where you want to go.

When you allow others to take personal responsibility for themselves you are giving them a gift.  You are encouraging them to take control of who they are and where they want to go.

If you feel stressed, in conflict, or burdened, consider whether you are taking responsibility for something that is not within your control, that’s not yours to own. 

Ask yourself, “Am I responsible for this?”

Remember, you are responsible for your happiness.  Let others be responsible for their happiness.

Take a look at your agenda. 

Where can you redistribute responsibility so you can alleviate your stress and give yourself more freedom?