The other day I was talking to my teenage son about something that didn’t quite work out the way he wanted. My response to him was, ‘Oh man. I get it. That’s such a tough lesson to learn. You probably already know this, but can you see that it’s your responsibility to set boundaries?’
He got so mad at me for saying that. He was really irritated.
He took ‘taking responsibility’ as a bad thing, like I was blaming him, saying he was wrong, that he failed, or that his undesirable outcome was solely his fault. I took a deep breath and explained. ‘What happened to you meant a lot, right? And you’re upset because someone mistreated your stuff, right? Unfortunately, no one will care for your things the way you do. So if you don’t want that to happen again, it’s up to you to keep it safe. That’s your responsibility.’
That didn’t go well; he still felt blamed. My husband had to intervene because my words just kept pissing him off. At that moment, he thought ‘taking responsibility’ was a bad thing.
In our society (especially in school), we have a misconstrued concept of taking responsibility for our lives as if it’s a bad thing to do. Here’s another example.
I’m in the lobby waiting for my annual mammogram, half-listening to the TV monitor looping a video about breast health. I heard the radiologist being interviewed say something along the lines that studies have shown that women do not need to do self-exams because they don’t know what they’re feeling for. It’s the radiologist’s job to detect any abnormalities in the breast. The onus is on the radiologist, not the woman, to detect any changes in her breasts.
I perked up because I thought surely I heard him wrong. The woman conducting the interview said something like, ‘That’s great that you’re taking such care but shouldn’t women still do their self-exams, anyway? I mean, it is their bodies.’ His response was, ‘Yes, but it’s up to the radiologist to detect cancer.’
What the actual f*ck?!
I was shocked!!! Why would anyone give away such power to another person?! Is this some Jedi mind trick?! Ultimately, the radiologist is the expert in reading the mammogram results, but don’t we also have a responsibility? After all, they are my boobs.
And yet, I see it time and time again—talented, well-trained, high-achieving artists giving away their power by not taking full responsibility for their artistry, wealth, joy, purpose, and well-being. You can probably see that the greatest gift you can give yourself is the gift of total and complete responsibility for your own life. Who knows your life, desires, needs, pains, and body better than you do? No one!
One of the biggest things I focus on with my clients is showing them that taking responsibility for their careers, lifestyle offstage, purpose, and joy is totally an inside job. No one will do it better. No one. No spouse, parent, agent/manager, director/choreographer. No one.
Responsibility is sexy, y’all. Honestly, it is. Here are six ways to make taking responsibility totally sexy in your life. By the end of this list, you’ll come to see how practicing these simple steps will drastically improve your life.
So there you have it. Can you see just how sexy responsibility is? If you want the pdf version of these six steps, click here