- When my sister was in the throes of addiction, I did everything I could to try to fix her, make her different. No matter what I did, the outcome was the same: chaos and heartbreak.
- A client spent hours leading a search for a new director. A well-qualified candidate was selected, but the boss said “no” and chose another candidate.
- A friend’s frail elderly parents refused all suggestions for different living arrangements with more support. Untold hours were spent pleading and cajoling them into moving, yet the elders refused to leave their home.
In all these cases, we took on the responsibility without the key necessary co-ingredient: authority.
If you feel responsible yet lack the authority to get the job done, it may be time to name this corrosive dilemma. When we try to take responsibility for people/situations/projects that you have no authority over, you may be on a fast track to poor health, resentment and crazy-making.
Once you recognize the lack of authority, you have no choice but to put the burden down. Let it go and turn your attention to your own lane, even while staying interested in the person or outcome.
What are you taking responsibility for?
“Take charge of your life! The tides do not command the ship.
The sailor does
― Ogwo David Emenike