Radical responsibility for burnout


Dear Lexis,

I know that you encourage us to keep moving forward when times get tough, but I feel like I've been doing that for years and things still haven't shifted. I'm so tired of feeling like this and I don't just want to sit around and wait. What advice would you give to someone like me?


Burned Out in Tumwater

Dear Burned Out,

It sounds like it's time to get active. Action is always a possibility for someone who's struggling, and it can be very useful, but it's not always easy to figure out where to start. 

I always recommend starting with radical responsibility. 

This means taking responsibility for everything in your life, the good and the bad, so that you can move forward from a place of empowerment. 

Now, before we go too far, responsibility and blame are not the same things. We all face scenarios in our lives that we didn't initiate (being fired, losing your house), and while we cannot control these kinds of circumstances, we can control how we react to them.  This decision to control our reaction is what radical responsibility is. 

Say you lost your job. Yes, it sucks and paying the bills just got much harder. It's easy to get bogged down in this situation. However, instead of giving in, you could say, "all right, that sucked, but what can I do to make the situation better?"

Simple questions like this can provide you with immediate actions to take.

Someone who lost their job could apply for new ones, look into starting a business, utilize credit, sell things that have been lying around the house for years, or do some gig work. 

In some ways, the action you choose to take is irrelevant, as the action itself will inspire greater action and a better outlook. Feeling better means that you present better. The little actions could go a long way toward giving you that break in the clouds you're looking for. 

If you're still struggling to come up with an action, you could always go for a walk or spend some time meditating. Both of these activities can do wonders for your body and your mood, so you can't really lose.

After you take that time to resettle your mind, new ideas will pop into your head, and then you'll be off to the races. Keep taking action; it won't be long before your life changes. A year from now, you'll probably be amazed by how far you've come.

Best of luck to you.

~ Lexis

Lexis is Alexis Rae Baker. She writes from her home in Olympia.   Got a question about life, relationships, spirit?  Visit her at or write to Lexis at 


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