Are you an over achiever? A ‘yes’ person who places unrealistic expectations upon yourself as you constantly strive for perfection in everything you do?
Are you are driven by responsibility to your job, your family and not just fulfilling but being ‘the best’ at every role you take on?
Are you impatient and don’t like to get others to help you because “I can do it better” or “if I do it, at least I know it will get done properly!”.
However, this kind of martyrdom only leaves you feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and resentful when you don’t get rewarded for your selflessness.
WHAT IS OVER RESPONSIBILITY?
Those of us who are over responsible have an innate focus on the need of others. We are the kind of super women (and men) who run from task to task, people pleasing along the way, telling others what they want to hear (which is not necessarily the truth) because “we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings”.
We make ourselves indispensable in the eyes of others by adapting and moulding to any given situation joining in their lives as a kind of replacement of our own “Who can I be for you to help you get what you want?” Our unconscious need to be seen as useful, valuable and a good person drives this need to be needed.
And, the more we are rewarded for what we do for others as well as what we achieve, the more and harder we’ll work. However, if we’re not recognised we often feel deflated so we work even harder to get the validation we’re looking for … sounds kinda exhausting right!
THE DOWNSIDE OF OVER RESPONSIBILITY
We live in a society where we ‘try’ so hard to be seen as being successful, as being smart, as being strong, as being good etc so we step into this ‘perfect’ image or persona of who we think we ‘should’ be in the eyes of others.
Unfortunately, because our attention has been so strongly focused outward we become disconnected with who we really are and what we want on the inside. We suppress our feelings because ‘feelings are messy’ and get in the way so rather than feel we channel our energy into action, productivity and results. This wreaks havoc on our health and wellbeing and we end up stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted and completely burnt out.
WHAT OVER RESPONSIBILITY FEELS LIKE ON THE INSIDE
Stress is a major contributing factor to many of our health issues and the stress hormone cortisol is the number one enemy when it comes to our health and wellbeing.
Studies show that excessive stress or prolonged periods of stress causes our cortisol levels to rise often leading to hormonal imbalances. Statistics show that almost 80% of women suffer from some kind of hormonal imbalance, resulting in a number of physical and emotional health issues.
Do any of the following symptoms resonate with you?
- feeling tired but wired
- gaining weight around your belly for no apparent reason
- suffering from anxiety, mood swings
- lacking energy or can’t sleep
- craving sugar
If so, you most likely have a hormone imbalance. Untreated hormone imbalances can have serious consequences and can lead to depression, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and breast cancer.
THE SAD TRUTH
Today’s society will stop at nothing to suppress or ‘numb’ our feelings. We are so quick to treat the symptoms of our stress rather than the actual cause. It’s easier to pop a pill or ‘eat’ our emotions instead of expressing them or we choose to drink and take drugs rather than take responsibility and truly feel, experience and understand what is going on for us in the moment. Why? Because if we’re not controlling others’ experience of us in order to feel worthy or valuable, then “Who am I?” and “Will I be accepted for who I really am not who I’ve taken myself to be?”
OVER RESPONSIBILITY vs UNDER RESPONSIBILITY
Over responsibility results in others’ under responsibility. Our actions of over giving are met with others’ equal reactions of under giving.
Why? Often others feel disempowered or inadequate when we don’t allow them to step up. Or we don’t trust them to make the ‘right’ decisions so they choose sit back and allow us to do all the work. Besides, we’re “always angry and stressed” and it’s “never right anyway.”
AWARENESS IS THE CATALYST FOR CHANGE
The truth is we have chosen to be over responsible and although it may have once worked for us, it now feels like a burden.
Awareness is the key! When we become aware that our actions are no longer in alignment with what we truly want, we can then choose to accept, own and change them.
Here are some examples:
When you say: “I have kids – I don’t have time to do what I want to do.”
What you’re really saying is: “I don’t put my needs as a priority.”
When you say: “No one ever offers to help me. I always end up doing everything myself!”
What you’re really saying is: “I don’t ask for help”
When you say: “I couldn’t exercise because I had to stay late at work.”
What you’re really saying is: “I made a choice that my work is more important than my health and wellbeing.”
What are you not accepting and owning about yourself that you’re constantly blaming things outside of yourself for?
THE PATH TO HEALTHY RESPONSIBILITY
1. LET IT GO!
The need for control is one of the biggest causes of stress and anxiety in our lives. When we are over responsible we try to control anything and everything outside of ourselves. By taking responsibility for our 4 powers (how we think, feel, act, communicate) we realise that we cannot control anything outside of our 4 powers. We can’t control the weather, if the buses are on time, whether our meeting will run over nor can we control what happens in the future. What we can do is, rather than react to reality, choose to control our responses to it.
2. LET’S BE HONEST!
Our fear of conflict and desire to keep the peace keeps us from telling the truth because we don’t want to be seen as a ‘bad’ person. However, instead of being honest and saying no when asked a favour, we spend way too much time coming up with an excuse. Start to count, honour and own what you think and worry less about managing others’ perception of you. Instead of fluffy excuses, try open, honest and direct communication delivered in a kind, loving and respectful way.
3. ASK FOR HELP!
I know, I know! We don’t want to be seen as weak! After all, we’ve spent so much time building up this strong, invincible facade, right! However, when we let go of our need to control others experience of us to get the validation we’re looking for, an effortless unfolding of reality takes place. We begin to relax into our hearts and do what’s most true and right for us. And, by letting go and allowing others to help us, it actually empowers them to step up, trust and take ownership for themselves.
4. BUILD A HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU!
We’ve always felt that it was selfish to focus on ourselves. However, depriving ourselves of what’s important for us only leaves us feeling stressed, resentful and overwhelmed and can lead to more serious physical and emotional health issues.
Instead of focusing on the needs of others, ask yourself daily “What do I want/need?” It may be something as simple as ‘more sleep’, however be as specific as possible. How would it make you feel if you got more sleep? What would it allow you to have if you got more sleep? Would it enhance your wellbeing, relationships, life? If so, how? And, what is it costing you to NOT get more sleep?
The beauty of speaking and expressing your truth is that you allow yourself to be seen – truly, deeply, vulnerably seen for who you really are, not who you’ve taken yourself to be in the eyes of others. In the process your anxiety will subside, your stress will disappear, you’ll sleep better and you’ll lose a lot of ‘emotional’ weight. And, when you choose to do things for others you’re not doing it out of guilt or obligation but out of connection and love.
Developing a deeper and healthier relationship with yourself is about being open and receptive to life and what it has to offer. It’s about being right here, right now, in the moment and having your souls antenna fully attuned to the beauty, joy and authenticity that is within you as well as around you. So relax your mind, feel into what your heart and body is trying to tell you, express your emotions and fully embrace and experience what life, in all its beauty, has to offer.