Blog Short #9: Why am I in charge of everything?

Welcome to Monday Blog Shorts – ideas to make even Monday a good day! Every Monday I share a short article with you about a strategy you can use, or new facts or info that informs you, or a new idea that inspires you . My wish is to give you something to think about in the week ahead. Let’s dig in!

Do you find yourself in charge of things most of the time? You’re the planner, the manager, the organizer, and the one who has to think about it all and make it happen. If so, no problem if you’re happy about it.

But . . . if you find yourself resenting being in this role, or angry that no one else pitches in, and if you feel taken advantage of, unappreciated, or exploited, then that’s another thing altogether isn’t it?

So what’s the solution?

Let’s look at the positives and negatives, and the solution will become obvious.

Here’s the positives.

  • You’re a natural manager who can plan, organize and execute.
  • You know how to prioritize.
  • You’re super efficient.
  • You’re a master multi-tasker. You’re used to spinning several plates in the air at the same time.
  • You can see the big picture and also attend to the details.
  • You’re the leader. Everyone turns to you to get it done.
  • You like to help. It’s your natural tendency to solve problems and meet other people’s needs when they ask you to, and even when they don’t ask.
  • You might be a “Helper” on the Enneagram.

Here’s the negatives.

  • It’s hard for you delegate. You can do it faster than the time it would take to teach or supervise someone else.
  • You like things done right, and it’s very hard to watch something being done differently than the way you would do it, or done less than perfectly.
  • You aren’t in the habit of asking for what you need. It makes you feel guilty.
  • It’s very difficult for you set boundaries. You’re not sure where those boundaries should be, and even if you are, you feel uncomfortable enforcing them.
  • You don’t like to disappoint people, especially those close to you.
  • You get some secondary gain (self-worth) from being the person who can do it all. It makes you feel good, even as you resent being taken advantage of.
  • You operate under the belief that if you don’t do it, it won’t get done.

So back to the original question, “Why am I in charge of everything?”

The short answer is because you allow it.

That doesn’t mean you wish for it or like it, but those negatives I just listed keep you from asserting what you need, and requiring others to do their part.

You don’t feel like you should, and if you do, somehow it makes you a bad person, or a selfish person.

The key to correcting this problem is to change your view of yourself. You’re likely very talented, reliable, and probably have super managerial and planning skills.

But, you also have a right to say no when you’re exploited or taken advantage of. And, when you require everyone else to do their part, you’re actually being more helpful because you’re affirming that all of us have the responsibility and capacity to contribute, especially when we reap the benefits of the work that gets done. This is a normal expectation!

You don’t want to be the leader with no authority. That’s like being the oldest child who has a ton of adult responsibilities, but without the authority to make decisions.

This is a big subject, so I just touched on it today. If you’d like to read more about setting boundaries (which I think you should if you struggle with this problem), read my longer article which you can access here.

Have a great week and I’ll send you a new blog next Monday!

All my best,

Barbara

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