Escape the Responsibility Trap

Are you feeling confused, trapped and overwhelmed by the seemingly endless “responsibility trap” that zaps your time and energy?

Have you ever found yourself saying?

“I don’t have time for me”

“I have to take care of everything or it won’t get done”

“I feel guilty when I say “no”

“Something or someone always gets in the way of me taking time for myself”

If you’ve said or thought any of the above, you are not alone!

Our lives become unmanageable when we don’t you fully understand the differences between responsibility and choice.

Responsibility means you have some control or authority over a situation or another person.

Choice means you have options and the right to make decisions based on what you desire.

The truth is, many of us trade in time for our self-care for a “mask of responsibility”.  Of course, we all have things that must be taken care of but you get to decide how, when, where and if anything gets done.

The responsibility trap is just another mask we wear to cover up who we really are, hiding our feelings and desires underneath layers of “responsibility”. Your self care does not have to take a back seat, spinning around like a merry go round on autopilot just because you have “responsibilities”.

Escape the Responsibility Trap

1. If you are overwhelmed by all the things you feel responsible for, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I delegate, dismiss or desire to do this at another time”.  Most often, someone else can handle the thing you feel most responsible for; it’s not your responsibility; or you can take care of it at another time.

2.  Make sure you’re not hiding control behind the mask of responsibility.  When you try to control people or situations, you set yourself up to become angry, disappointed and frustrated.  The only control you have is the control you have over yourself.

3. Take care of you.  Your self care is the most important task on your to-do list.  So why not add your self-care to your list of responsibilities and take authority over how your time and energy is spent.

4.  Learn to say “No”.  Set firm limits on what you choose to spend your time and energy doing. Don’t take on more than you are willing, able and desire to do.

It’s my firm belief that we create lives of joy and abundance or lives filled with drama and confusion. Taking on more and more that is outside your realm of authority plants the seeds of falling into the responsibility trap.

Will you shed the “responsibility trap” or choose to free yourself of overwhelm by setting limits on your time and energy so that your self-care does not get relegated to the back burner?

If you’re ready to escape the responsibility trap and get more tips and resources, I encourage you to join our Self-Care circle and receive free 7 Daily Self-Care Tips To Renew Your Mind, Body and Spirit.




  1. Gladys,

    I love the way you connect over “responsibility” with a mask that we hide behind. That’s been so true in my life. I’m definitely read to shed the responsibility trap and mask! Thanks for the invite.
    Sandra / Always Well Within recently posted…Six Months to Live?My Profile

    • Sandra, thanks so much for stopping by. At times, we all hide behind the mask of responsibility but I hope these tips will inspire you to continue looking at ways to escape the responsibility trap.

      • Gladys,
        I read Sandra’s article and many of the things she mentioned I have been dealing with for a while now and certainly know how it feels. Right now all I really need is the peace and to do nothing for a little longer.

  2. Every now and then I catch myself in the responsibility trap. When that happens I use some of the ideas you’ve shared, especially #3 and 4.

    The more we are taking care of our own needs, the less time we have to get caught up in other people’s stuff.

    When other people try to pull us into their stuff, having a strong sense of self and activities that please us, it’s a lot easier to say “no.”

    Thanks for sharing these important ideas and tips with us.

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