Hi and a very belated New Year to you! I have had a month or so of just hanging out with my family and friends and have neglected the blog somewhat…but I’m back on it now.
In my last post I mentioned how anxiety could be maintained when we take on too much unnecessary responsibility for something/someone. It’s a bit like we’ve had too big a slice of pie and we are fit to burst! So, let’s look at how we can start to shift our perspective on things a little, reduce how much responsibility we accept and reduce our anxiety.
Here is one helpful technique:
- Think about the things that are worrying you and write them down.
- Identify ONE that keeps popping up or the one that you would like to deal with first. I am going to use the example, “What if my teenage son does not get the A’levels he needs for university?”
- Grab a large piece of paper (A4?) and draw two circles- one at the top and one at the bottom. Leave some room to write a short list at either side of the circles.
- Using the TOP circle, I’m going to estimate how much responsibility I take for my son’s A’levels…I’m not going to think too hard…OK, about 75%. No wonder I’m feeling stressed, that’s a bit piece of pie!
- Now I am going to write a list of everyone that might also share some responsibility for my son’s final A’level grades:
exam paper markers
I could go on but it gets a bit tenuous, so I will stop there.
- Finally, I am going to portion out a piece of pie for all those on the list. It looks like this:
Using this pie chart, I am able to really think about who is responsible for his A’level grades. If I had another go I might increase my son’s own personal responsibility and reduce all the others further. What I need to reflect on though, is that I am certainly not as responsible as I first thought and really the only person’s A’levels I am mostly responsible for were my own…if only I had this insight 30 years ago!!!
Have a go and see what you think. Perhaps you are taking on too much responsibility for when things don’t go to plan at work? Or when your grown-up children make life decisions? Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you got on.