3. Where’s Your Problem?

Finding problems like rocks in a shallow river.
Bill Boss Photography

I ALWAYS WANT TO LOOK “out there” when I have a problem. I like to assign blame somewhere other than myself. 

After all, my intentions are always to win, whether that is in a relationship or in a project. Since I usually give my best effort, at least to look good, in everything I do, it is not natural to look “inside” myself. 

There is a correlation between success and the difficulty it becomes to look at me rather than “out there” when something goes wrong. When I am in a powerful position over circumstances or people, I don’t want to do the work it takes to consider what happened inside me before I react.

Instead, I want the negative energy I’m feeling already—because something went wrong—to go away as quickly as possible. If I have the upper hand, I would much rather kill you, thereby transferring my pain to you in the form of guilt, shame, or humiliation. 

I would much rather you feel afraid of disappointing me than to admit that what happened made me uncomfortable inside. 

The more successful I am in controlling people, places, things, and circumstances, the harder it becomes to take any responsibility for failures in my life. 

However, there is a cost to pay in trying to control the world I live in. The truth is that I don’t really want to control everything. I tried that and found it exhausting and after many failed attempts, I found it impossible. 

It also caused me to accumulate more negative emotions than I could vomit onto my next victim, and still look like the nice person I wanted to be. I knew I was an angry person inside, and I became short-tempered, living in a state of disappointment and letdowns.  

I have come to learn the work it takes to focus on what’s going on inside me, rather than the people, places, things, or circumstances, that seem to be my “problems”, is not hard. 

It just sometimes hurts. 

The good news is that it is far easier to change my thoughts, attitude, and behavior towards my problems than it is to change other people, places, and things. 

This is especially true when people in my life may not have a problem with whatever I see as a problem. 

As a result of my experiences, I have found some commonalities in the problems most people want solving, and some commonalities in the solutions, too. What I will share with you in this body of work are very simple, yet essential elements that were usually missing, misunderstood, or misused by the people I have helped. Read More...

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