Some days do you feel like you’re carrying around a heavy burden?
Do things feel harder than they need to?
Do you ever wonder what’s adding weight to your day?
It’s most likely that big tangled ball of responsibilities. The things you try to remember…. the places to be, times to be there, people to message, actions to take and tasks to be done.
And it gets heavier and heavier the more responsibilities you add and hang onto.
Does the vacuuming get done by anyone who notices or are you the only one responsible for clean and tidy floors?
Does everyone add appointments to the family calendar, do the kids check the time for their basketball game or are you the one responsible for knowing whats going on?
Do you delegate at work and trust the job will be done or do you maintain responsibility with follow up emails and reminders?
What do you apologise for? Are you sorry when the milk runs out even if you weren’t the one to finish the carton?
Are you responsible for things that are not your sole responsibility?
I once had a boss who would delegate a task to me and then check in constantly to see how I was going and offer advice. When he left me in charge he expected calls throughout the day with updates.
He thought he was sharing his responsibilities and giving me an opportunity to grow, and although he said he trusted me, his actions suggested different.
Inadvertently he left me thinking I wasn’t really up to the task and his hovering was exhausting for us both, while crushing for my confidence.
Just like my boss, you may not realise how tight you’re holding onto the reigns of responsibility.
Every time you check, follow-up, remind, ask and nag, you never really let go.
Asking for things to be done isn’t letting go.
Letting go of responsibility means trusting someone else to get things done and then allowing them to experience the consequences if they don’t.
I know the uncertainty of letting go can be scary.
Does your 9 year old need to be told to put his shoes on?
Does the scheduled meeting need any reminders?
Are your staff incapable of completing the task without you?
All responsibilities require focus, time and energy. Let go of the ones you can.
If someone is ready, then let them be.
I know your worried things may not be done to your standard. And they may not, you can give feedback later.
You’re worried they may even forget. They’ll learn more from missing out than from all your reminders.
What if they don’t get ready or they’re unprepared? Once again the learning is enormous.
If you care more about things getting done than the person doing them, it’s time to let go.
Time to let go and support the people around you with trust.
Holding the responsibility for someone else is not serving you or them.
Being responsible is a valuable trait and something you want to encourage in everyone, not rob them of.