Helen McKillen

helenmckillen I am responsible


“I am responsible”  – These three simple words helped me to grow up and start taking action for creating what I wanted in my life.

Up until that point, I naively believed that external circumstances had to be just right before I could feel OK.  Whether it was my career, personal or home life, I believed that when they improved, I would feel better about myself and life.   Having read many of the relevant self-help books, I knew the theory. However, I wasn’t putting what I had read into practise.

If I’m honest, at that time, I was looking for someone or something to show up and make me feel better. Never for a moment did I think that the person I needed was ME.

Thankfully, I was jolted out of this thinking pattern one particular day, when I saw those  three simple words “I am responsible” blazoned across a huge banner.  It was the wake-up message I needed to see.  To stop waiting and relying on external conditions being right in order to feel better. It was time for me to start being responsible and creating new routines and habits that would make the difference for me.

What can help is learning the difference between what you are and are not responsible for.  Here are just a few things that made a difference for me.



It can appear that having the right people, property and things around us can make us feel happy, healthy and secure. Whilst these things can contribute towards health and wellbeing, they are never constant and will always be changing. Life will not always go according to our plans. Things will happen that are totally out of our control. However, it is not the circumstances of our lives that contributes to our wellbeing, but how we respond to those circumstances, and this is when we need to pay particular attention to looking after ourselves.


Being loyal to ourselves and looking after our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs when we struggle, can be challenging. Especially if you are inclined to think that focusing on yourself is selfish. So if that applies to you, remember to give yourself permission each day to practise self-care.  You could start with small steps like swopping to one or two healthier options in your diet. Or remembering to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. Another option to consider, is to reduce your screen time, especially in the evening. This can contribute to better sleep.

Many of us have lived in habitual patterns for years, so it’s not going to change overnight, regardless of how good your intentions are.  So always be patient with yourself. You are always going to be a work-in-progress.  And remember, not all self-care recommendations you read about are going to suit your personality or lifestyle. Its best to experiment and find what works for you. Small simple steps done consistently are always the best way to creating new habits.


Having the right attitude is half the battle, as we can literally think our way into a good or bad day. Likewise, blaming other people, places or things might make us feel justified, but it can easily keep us stuck in a victim mentality.

That’s why changing our attitude is so empowering. It puts us back in control. We get to choose how we respond to life, rather than feeling powerless.  Another great tip is to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’ each day. By reminding yourself what you have in your life will keep you in a better frame of mind. This simple tool is very effective especially during challenging times.



It’s human nature to want those we love and care about to be happy and healthy. Unfortunately, no matter how much we love and care for those closest to us, we cannot be responsible for their happiness, as this is a choice each person gets to make each day. Neither can we be responsible for how people think and act – again this is a choice, we as individuals have to make ourselves.

So caring for others must be balanced with care for ourselves. It can very easily happen that we can burn out by trying to make other people well or happy. These are all good intentions, but be careful,  if it all gets too much, its important to seek extra help and support for yourself.


It is human behaviour to want to fit in and to be accepted. The reality is we won’ t be accepted or liked by everyone. This is OK. We won’t like everyone either. We can still be respectful and open to others opinions and choose how we respond to them. When we give up the need to be accepted and approved of, we become grounded in our own sense of self and less impacted by how other people perceive us.


No matter how often someone may try and blame us for their disappointments or mistakes, we are not to blame.  We we are each responsible for the consequences of our own lives. We may not have had a say in our past, but we can choose to accept responsibility for who we become.

” I am not responsible for another person’s happiness, and neither are they responsible for mine – we each must find our own way back to our true selves”


You may  be interested in this bloghttps://helenmckillen.com/facing-your-fears/

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