The majority of my private coaching clients are abnormally high functioning people. They’re self-employed and loving their work, they’re in good shape, and they have relatively conquerable issues in their love life.
Over the past few years I’ve noticed a specific trend in the character traits of my clients that made me take notice.
Each and every last one of them does the same thing when it comes to how they deal with their lives… and this one character trait is largely the reason that their lives are operating at such a high level.
So what do they do that most people happily neglect to do?
They own the problem.
They take responsibility for what’s happening in their lives.
They accept that they are playing a part in whatever is coming up for them, and they commit to doing whatever it takes to work through it.
So what does owning a problem mean, compared to simply acknowledging a problem?
Acknowledging a problem is the process of becoming aware of it… but there is no action.
When somebody owns a problem… they acknowledge the problem, accept it as it currently is, and then take full responsibility for doing whatever action is necessary in order to move through the problem.
Here are a few examples of acknowledging versus owning a problem…
– Acknowledging that you wish you made more money versus owning the fact that you are deciding to become more valuable to your marketplace and finding a way to create more value for others.
– Acknowledging that you wish you had more control over your ability to orgasm (or delay orgasm) versus proactively investing in removing your sexual blocks by reading materials, doing courses, or committing to personalized coaching.
– Acknowledging that you wish you were in better shape versus hiring a personal trainer and dietician to help you towards feeling like you’re in the best shape you could be.
I once had a client, within the first five minutes of our first call, tell me that he had been having some sexual difficulties with his long-term girlfriend. And he phrased it in a way that stuck with me ever since.
He said, “I just noticed our sex life going a bit stale and I wanted to nip it in the bud before it went any further. When a problem comes up between us, it doesn’t stay a problem. I do whatever it takes to get it handled.”
How beautiful is that?
“When a problem comes up between us, it doesn’t stay a problem.”
With that kind of single minded intentionality, you could feel the truth in his words. Whatever issues came up between him and his girlfriend… whether it was today, next week, or years from now… it wasn’t going to stay a problem. He knew, and expected, that things would come up between them… but they would be handled as they needed to be handled. And he would be there to put in the work.
This is the essence of owning the problem.
It’s looking your low self-esteem square in the eyes and telling it “I’m going to love myself whether you want me to or not.”
It’s looking your partner in the eyes after a fight and saying “I am so sorry that I reacted defensively and lashed out with my words. I was acting like a child, that’s not the kind of person I want to be… and I’m going to do things differently next time.”
It’s looking at your calendar and saying to yourself “This is not how I want my life to look. I need to cut these things out starting today, and make more time for my significant other/family/close friends/exercise/etc.”
It’s realizing that you haven’t been as proactive about verbally praising your significant other over the past few weeks, and making several notes in your phone/calendar/daily planner to do just that.
You can call it responsibility, or authenticity, or intentionality, or self-assertiveness… whatever you call it, it’s the same thing in practice. People in successful relationships own the problem. They see where they want to go and they go there… no matter what obstacles might seem to be in the way.
So where in your life could you exercise more ownership of your problems? What emotional or sexual blocks would you dive more deeply into? What common issues would you face with more honesty? What would you change?
If you need help with this process, I’m always here to lend an ear.
Dedicated to your success,