A QUESTION OF RESPONSIBILITY
Being responsible is good, right? We like people who take care of things, do what they say they’re going to do, and so on. We get points for not letting things slip through the cracks. But it’s interesting, in speaking to many people (individuals and audiences) about burnout, that this is a touchy subject. It’s a bit uncomfortable to look at ourselves and ask, “Am I being overly responsible here? Am I owning a problem that really isn’t mine?”
In my role as a career coach, I realized a similar phenomena with loyalty. So many of my clients were incredibly loyal to the companies they worked for, and then were hurt when they were let go. They’d ask me why the loyalty didn’t work both ways–why they were dispensable? And I often told them that there’s smart loyalty–you make a commitment but also take care of yourself–and dumb loyalty–a blind allegiance. So I think the same can be said for responsibility, that it’s a matter of balance, of degree, and that we can liberate ourselves and help prevent burnout by not being overly responsible. (In my case, this means understanding that there are many things I can’t control–including the weather!)
Another way to look at this is that our strengths often get us into more trouble than our weaknesses. That’s fun to think about! Share your thoughts and together we’ll get smarter.