Responsibility experiment

Working with coaching clients can offer insights about the human mind and the patterns it operates at. It's fascinating to uncover the recurring principles in our behaviour, and I feel coaching is one of the most accessible tools for self-discovery.

Anyway, I had this thought the other day:

What makes people irresponsible?

It so happens that we know what we need - we even clearly know how to get there,and yet we stand idle. So, one aspect of responsibility is taking action and dealing with procrastination; the other aspect is being accountable for our actions. Both are important if we want to feel stable, to be seen as trustworthy and build healthy relationships.

Furthermore, today's social situation supports us well on our irresponsibility journey. It is enough to visit a supermarket where we immediately get to face a large banner screaming: "Money-back guarantee!"...and we find ourselves coming back home with a new toaster! Although this was an unplanned purchase we stand on the defensive, praising spontaneity in life. We feel calm and good knowing we can undo our last decision any time and get our money straight back.

This is an example of how we're so protected by society that we can feel good in light of our poor decisions. We do feel safe, but that just has to affect our sense of responsibility in some way!

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How are my decisions affected by my environment?
  • How would it be for me to feel responsible for every decision that I make?
  • What is keeping me from feeling responsible?

Here's an experiment:

  • Watch yourself as and when you are making a decision in daily life. It can be any decision from choosing breakfast meal to buying a birthday present.
  • Ask yourself how much responsibility you feel for the coming results of that decision. Do you take more than 50% responsibility, or less?
  • Consider what influences your responsibility most - name a list of key factors.
  • Experiment and discover new ways to increase it!

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