At a certain point we all stop, we quit making the moves that got us ahead, we find comfort and seek not to challenge the status quo.
This is all very well and good until something strange happens, your inner drive kicks in, you recognise that you’ve stopped growing and the fear of responsibility has taken over.
It can be an unnerving experience to realize you’ve mentally given in to fear, doubt and worry that keeps you from pursuing your greatest capacity and expression of self.
In this article I’ll outline some of the most powerful action steps you can take immediately to give your life a giant boost in the right direction to choosing the hard road, overcoming challenges and expanding your capabilities; so you can start to
Implementing any of these heavy duty strategies will help you get over the fear of responsibility and achieve more in life.
Make It Your Motto
When I was talking to legendary YouTuber, Evan Carmichael (3.2m subscribers and counting), he shared with me something that stayed with me indefinitely, his motto.
Evan grew up a shy, innovative kid from Toronto, Canada, in his mid-twenties he faced a huge life choice, either go down the normal path, take a 6 figure job and play it safe or branch out and become an entrepreneur.
Evan chose the latter and you will see from his speeches and Instagram posts that he is famous for saying
“F.E.A.R has two meanings, Face Everything And Rise or Forget Everything And Run”.
He is now recognised by Forbes as one of the top 40 social marketers. Evan’s motto that he shared is “I do difficult things”.
By deciding to implement this creed as his mantra for life, it helps Evan take action and step out into the unknown despite the fear. He is able to overcome the fear behind responsibility due to his perception of himself.
Doing difficult things is quite literally who he is, it’s part of his identity and by cleverly setting this as his blueprint he courageously takes on things that scare him and as a result he achieves more.
The big question is:
What motto or mantra could you set for yourself so that you go out there and grab life by the horns every single day?
The incredible thing is by repeatedly doing the thing that scares you the most, it stimulates a rush of endorphins that set you up for success for the next challenge.
As it is part of your identity to do difficult things, it becomes a habit, and because you celebrate the small wins each day, you reinforce the behaviour and which causes your brain to systematically seek out more opportunities to push the boat out.
As a result you’ll move away from your fear of responsibility and towards feeling more capable to take on responsibilities you previously would have shied away from, in fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if you’re putting your hand up for extra commitments all over the place.
Remember this, the biggest reward is usually behind the door we fear most, this can be the gift of winning new clients, new relationships or simply discovering new talents we never knew we had.
Take Personal Responsibility
Speaking of responsibility, it all starts with you!
No one can make you feel anything, even though it feels real, it is your choice to accept these emotions as your truth.
The way to move through this is to take personal responsibility for everything that happens in your life.
This means that the level of preparation you do for the interview, the traffic jam that causes you to be late and the unexpected low laptop battery are all your responsibility.
This is an attitude change to complete ownership, when you approach the situation with this mindset, it transforms the energy within, and the flames of passion, purpose and direction begin to fan again.
For example, if you blame your boss for making your life miserable, working overtime, and you harbour feelings of resentment and anger, you totally miss out the opportunity to develop a rock solid confidence that comes from an inner knowing that it’s all you.
Experiences like this become empowering not debilitating.
By choosing instead to focus on what you can control, your attitude and how you show up despite the problems you put the wheels of success in motion.
When you take this path, and you show up early for work instead of resenting the fact that you have to work, you switch your energy to the opportunity ahead of you, it is a game changer.
Instead of ‘having to work’ you now see it as a privilege to work, you get to do your best every day and as a result you end up over-delivering, the outcome being your boss eases up and you give you the autonomy you crave.
Speaking of focus, the next point is really worth noting down.
Change the Perspective
When your mission is to give, you wake up your senses to live life large!
It doesn’t matter how small, it’s the perspective of looking to do more for others, to serve, that is the change agent.
For example, you get offered the opportunity to give a big speech but you’re afraid you’ll mess it up and therefore you decline. When you have it as your mission to give, you operate from this principle and say to yourself, “I will give this speech because I am helping those in need, if I change one life it is worth it”.
When you set this as your barometer for success, the fear drops away and the mission reappears. It is no longer about you and your doubts, it is bigger than that, it’s about the cause, giving and serving on a deeper level.
When giving is at the center of what you do it creates meaning and purpose to the struggle, it doesn’t eradicate the fear but it gives you the strength to continue on.
It gets you out of your head, it stops the analysing and the worrying and enables you to live a life of heartfelt purpose.
This is where you truly feel alive again.
What can you give today? How can you serve others by doing something you’re afraid to do? What responsibility are you avoiding that, if you really think about it, is an opportunity to give in disguise?
Eat the Frog
When you feel stuck and you’re brooding over what has yet to come, you are not in the present moment, in fact you are stealing joy by worrying about what is yet to come.
When you commit to eating the frog, it means you tackle the hard things first, you get them out of the way early.
You wake up and hit the gym, you get that start building that presentation right away, you send that difficult email, you have that awkward conversation – bottom line, you get into motion and you start doing.
When you witness yourself taking action on things that scare you, putting your hand up for duties and roles that are outside of your comfort zone, you show yourself that you respect and value everything about you.
The next piece is magic, this is what translates all that effort into accelerated progress and deep self confidence, that is self trust.
Self trust is a huge deal, it is vitally important to keep the commitments you make to yourself at all costs – entrepreneur and motivational speaker Ed Mylett covers this in detail in his podcast on this exact topic.
By doing what you say you will do and keeping the promises you make to yourself, for example, “today I will make contact with 20 new clients for my business” it builds self trust and as a result your faith in yourself to deliver multiples.
By eating the frog you get to practice this daily, and you get the hard stuff out of the way first each day, it’s a win for yourself and you will achieve remarkably more.
Choose To Run With Lions
You might be thinking, that’s a bit odd, why would I opt to instigate a race with the king of the jungle but what I am getting at is, surround yourself with those that empower you, build you up and see your potential.
If you constantly feel pulled down, restricted by others and absorb the negative energy of people who themselves are hampered by a mindset of limitation, lack and problems it is absolutely draining.
Be mindful who you spend time with especially if you are recognising that you’re starting to fear responsibility. This is a big sign that you need to guard your inner circle closely because they might be doing more harm than good.
In fact, this might be your issue in a nutshell, be careful to classify your fear of responsibility as a problem created only by you, it could simply be the case that it is time to find a different crew to run with.
Life is messy, we all get busy, previous ideas or goals can lead us to create habits that are unhealthy, such as not changing direction when needed.
You’ll find that when you upgrade your environment, primarily those you let influence you everyday, you will feel a flood of new energy rush in. When this happens, capitalise on it, and get stuck in.
Similarly, if you find yourself energised, more confident and in peace when you are around certain people, this is telling you something – be not afraid to follow your intuition and make some changes.
All said and done, feeling a fear of responsibility and getting over it so you can achieve more in life has to do with making a conscious effort to be aware of it when it happens and taking action swiftly to address it.
More Tips on Achieving More in Life
- What Is Incentive Motivation And Does It Work?
- How to Be Determined and Achieve Your Goals
When you make a mistake, you quickly forget all the wins and praise lauded on you over the years. Make one measly mistake and it’s all you can think about. And, unfortunately, you may carry it with you for a lifetime. This is normal, but not healthy.
Mistakes happen, and the wise know that that’s how you learn. Stumble and fall, and get up again—it’s the cycle of human development from toddlerhood. Still, when you make mistakes, this experiential wisdom can fly out the door. Your first reaction may be, “I’m angry at myself.” This may also be the exact phrase you use in your Internet search for answers. First, know that you’re not alone. Second, there are numerous ways to cool this heated emotion and get yourself back on track.
So, sit back, take a deep breath, and consider these ten things you can do when you’re angry at yourself for your mistakes
1. Remember, You’re Human
Everyone makes mistakes, and you will, too. Once you’ve realized that you are a part of this imperfect group called humans, you’ll feel better about your journey. In fact, when you’re angry for making mistakes, consider it a rite of passage. You’ll inevitably fail at times, say things that you shouldn’t, or fall short of expectations. Not to be glib, but rather honest—this is life. It’s being human. So, whatever mistakes you’ve made before and whatever ones you will make in the future, they’ll help you grow as a professional and as a human.
2. Get Your Anger in Check
Anger is a troubling emotion because it clouds your judgment and logical decision-making process. It’s also incredibly unhealthy. Anger fuels a spike in your blood pressure, increases stress and risk of cardiovascular disease, and suppresses your immune system. Additionally, unmitigated anger can fuel dangerous outcomes including violence and addicted behaviors.
You need to learn how to manage your anger. By admitting aloud, “I’m angry at myself,” you own your state of mind. Now, check it. Don’t let it fester and grow. Remember, mistakes are manageable, but untethered anger is not. If you don’t get your anger in check, it can have a negative impact on the rest of your life.
3. Vent and Get It Off Your Chest
One way to get your anger diffused is to vent. There’s nothing more liberating than sharing how you feel with the world. But take note—venting on social media isn’t a wise idea. It can derail your personal and professional life if you go off on someone or indulge in a self-deprecating rant.
Instead, find a trusted source to vent to. This could be anyone from a friend to your pet. Just tell them, “I’m angry at myself.” Get off your chest all the bottled-up emotions weighing you down. The company of a trusted group of friends or even a support group is a great place to vent. These collectives are designed to listen to whatever is weighing you down.
You might even find the best place for you to vent is a journal. Writing down how you feel and what you’ve learned from this experience is not only a great way to vent but also gives you a place to park your thoughts and emotions for later reflection.
4. Get Up and Get Moving
Exercise and activity are great ways to exhaust the “I’m angry at myself” emotion bubbling within. Take a brisk walk or attack the weight bag or consider cleaning out the closet or garage. Occupying your mind, body, and soul with productive physical activity is the next logical step in freeing yourself from this burden.
There is nothing more liberating than working up a healthy sweat. You’ll find that physical activity will instantly diffuse your anger and that a spike of endorphins gives you clarity. Once you’ve found a healthy way to exercise your adrenaline, you’re ready to step into a logical space and examine what went wrong and how can you manage things better next time.
5. Seek Counsel From Others
When you’re angry or dealing with any heightened emotion, your judgment is clouded. It’s hard to find your way out of the forest. Seek counsel—whether it’s in the form of a friend, family member, or professional—and tell them, “I’m angry at myself,” and layout why. They’ll listen and will help you sort through your anger. They may also offer advice on what you could change moving forward or how you could get past self-berating. Their authentic positive affirmations and willingness to listen will be the best antidote for your anger.
Keep in mind, it’s not a sign of weakness to seek out professional help, especially if anger is an ongoing reaction you experience to setbacks. A counselor or clinician is trained to help you unearth the root of such emotions and help you explore why they are triggered. Moving forward, you’ll have the skills to better manage your emotions and explore alternate and more thoughtful paths when mistakes occur.
6. Tamper Down Your Inner Critic
Don’t let mistakes flair up that inner voice that says, “I’m not good enough.” While you’ll wonder if it’s true and for a moment (or two) believe your inner critic, stop yourself from heading down that victim slippery slope. Giving in to your inner critic can halt your progress. You’ll succumb to the doubt and always wonder, “if I tried again, would the same results occur?”
That kind of paralyzing fear will get you nowhere. Instead, recall the words of your counsel and your inner wisdom—mistakes will happen. So, announce aloud, “I made a mistake. I’m angry at myself.” Then park it there, shut off the engine, and walk away. The next day, get up and get back to life, and don’t let wasteful, inaccurate, and self-sabotaging inner dialogue slow you down.
7. Learn From Your Mistakes
I’d like you to go back to the idea that mistakes happen and that they happen for a reason so that you can learn what not to do. “I’m angry at myself” should be the motivator to get it right. Stop and explore where the lesson is here. What is one thing you won’t do moving forward? What else did you take away? Perhaps there are people you need to speak with to smooth things over. There may be some course corrections that you need to make to move forward in a more positive direction.
Recently, I participated in a pivotal career conversation that didn’t go well at all. “I’m angry at myself,” I thought, for speaking too much in the moment to try and make things right, where silence would have been the best alternative. I learned from this mistake. Instead of overtalking, sometimes just pausing and listening is all that is needed. Moving forward, I’ve practiced more restraint when needed and have walked away from my professional conversations with better results and more confidence.
8. Take Time for Yourself
“I’m angry at myself” is one of the better motivators to get happy with yourself again. How? Exercise, reset, relaxation, and healthy distractions are just some of your gateways into a better headspace. Too often, people believe that the best way to get over something is to jump right back into it—whatever it is—or wherever your mistake is rooted. While this does work for many, some need a little time and space to sort it all out—and that’s okay. Separating yourself from the situation for a while and taking a mental health break can do wonders to cleanse your spirit. It may also give you some greater clarity.
Right now, you may be too close to the mistake(s) to gain a clear perspective. Remember, it’s okay to step back for a while and clear your head without feeling guilty about taking time for yourself. This mental reset will put some space between you and the mistakes so that you can come back refreshed and in a better state to step up and move forward.
9. Practice Relaxation Skills
Deep breathing, yoga, and meditation can do wonders to help you relax and reduce your heightened emotions. Just like exercise, you may discover that this form of release and restoration will not only help you work through your anger but also help you clear your head and restore your confidence. This may also be the time to build your own personal relaxation practice so the next time you make a mistake, you can step into your healing and restorative practice space and quiet your mind, body, and soul.
10. Forgive Yourself
“To err is human, to forgive is divine.” We know this to be true, but don’t always practice it. Forgiveness is the true path to healing. You’ve probably have heard many stories about how this process has helped people come back from a very dark place including recovering from illness.
Forgiveness is powerful and is the only way to move forward. So, I’m going to leave you with this final challenge: how can you transition “I’m angry at myself” to “I forgive myself?”
When you find yourself stewing about all the “woulda, coulda, shouldas” that accompany the overarching thought “I’m angry at myself,” you have no more excuses to wallow in the derailing emotion of anger. Experimenting with one or all of the above strategies can help you shorten the period between making a mistake and having a moment of enlightenment. The reckoning that you’re human, you have people that believe in you, you have resources to support you, and you have a golden opportunity to learn and move forward should be all you need to make tomorrow better and your future better.
More Tips on How To Handle Your Mistakes
- How To Bounce Back From a Failure At Work
- 40 Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes