What if I were to tell you that taking responsibility has nothing to do with shaming or guilt tripping, what would you answer to that?

If you are like the old me, you might answer something like:

“That’s horse shit!”

“Of course taking responsibility comes with shame and guilt! How else do you expect anyone to become responsible if they do not feel wrath?”

 

But is it true? 

 

 

Just so we are on the same page here, I believe

 

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

means to

ACKNOWLEDGE the CHOICES we have MADE

and

ACCEPTING THE RESULTS we currently have.

 

 

The CHOICES we have made, being:

-> The words we spoke

-> The actions we took

-> The words we refused to speak

-> The actions we refused to take

 

 

The RESULTS we currently have, being:

-> what we currently perceive as good, bad, or ugly in our life

 

 

When my children were little, like any good parent I guess, I wanted to teach them about taking responsibility.

Case at point…

As my young son kept leaving his socks scattered all over the house, I yelled at him and gave him the cold shoulder. One day, I lost my shit and put all his clean and dirty socks into one big bag that I hid inside my bedroom closet. With zero socks to wear the next day, that ought to teach him, right?

 

 

How many of you have ever used yelling, 

given the cold shoulder, or

taken away a privilege 

as a way to teach someone how to take responsibility?

 

 

Now let’s assume for a moment

we all agree on the definition of taking responsibility:

 

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY 

means to

ACKNOWLEDGE the CHOICES we have MADE

and

ACCEPTING THE RESULTS we currently have.

 

 

Let’s look at the sock tragedy.

 

  • Did my son acknowledge the ‘bad’ choice he had made, aka leave his socks scattered all over? No, he did not. Why not?

 

 

To ACKNOWLEDGE a perceived ‘bad’ behaviour, 

one has first to be aware INSIDE THEMSELVES 

that something might need to change. 

 

If this is true, then either my son was unaware of his sock behaviour (clearly not the case based on my yelling alone) or his sock behaviour suited him just fine. Therefore, in his view, there might have been nothing needing change inside of him, hence the lack of acknowledgement?…

 

 

 

  • Did my son accept the results he currently had, aka, have all his socks hidden in my closet? No, he did not have to. Why not?

 

 

To ACCEPT a RESULT, 

one has to first acknowledge

they have played a role in said result.

 

 

Let me remind you here…

Who yelled? Me.

Who gave the cold shoulder? Me.

Who hid the socks? Me. 

Soooo, if I did not teach my son how to take responsibility, what is it exactly I have taught him?

 

  • Tuning out. From me, he has learned how to disconnect, ignore, dismiss. Sounds harsh? How many of you tune out when someone is yelling at you?

  • Becoming invisible. From me, he has learned to soothe and please in order to appease irregardless of his feelings and emotions. Sounds terrible? How many of you walk on eggs when given the cold shoulder?

  • Dismiss own needs. From me, he has learned to forego his own needs, tell himself he does not care for much (I took all his socks!!!). Sounds horrifying? How many of you have ever felt less than after you lost a privilege?

 

In light of what I have just shared with you, how can anyone take responsibility when they are tuning out, becoming invisible, and dismissing their own needs? 

Where is the integrity? 

The love of self? 

The self-worth? 

I believe the integrity, self-love, and self-worth are being stripped away with yelling, cold shoulder, and privileges removal.

 

I have personally found out that,

 

To take responsibility, one needs integrity.

 

To take responsibility, one needs self-love.

 

To take responsibility, one needs self-worth.

 

So, how do we take responsibility? 

 

We take responsibility by becoming self-aware of who we are and what we need while at the same time aligning our self to what we say, think and do. Only then can we develop the integrity to acknowledge and accept all the choices we have made.

 

My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who assists her clients in taking full responsibility for the choices they have made in their life. You can reach me at anne@walkinginside.com

 

With love & compassion,

Anne

www.walkinginside.com

www.fullmontyleadership.com