Ownership is an interesting word that means very different things to different people. By definition it is the act, state, or right of possessing something. This definition carries a lot of weight and honestly speaking can be very scary. Most of the time when we think about ownership we think about large material possessions. Such as a car or a house, boat or company. The “something” in the definition always tends to be something tangible that takes time to achieve by way of dedicated time, a large amount of money, sacrifice, hard work and energy. But what about the multitude of things we already naturally possess. The things that live inside of us that don’t take money to attain or sustain, such as confidence, empathy, integrity, breath, honesty, movement, success, positivity, growth, etc… Why do we often find it so difficult to take ownership of these seemingly less assuming elements focusing only on the materialistic components that are said to make a “happy” life?
Good question? Great, then you are in the right place because that is what I would like to explore this week. Finding ways to navigate how to take ownership of the more personal entities that exist based on our belief systems. Exploring how strengthening your relationships with yourself here will automatically lead you to the success and ownership of the additional material objects you wish to possess.
Per my post last week on letting go, I was thinking the other day about what I thought might be missing or overflowing in my life. With all things considered, wondering where does my life fall on the fulfillment scale? There is a tool I use with many of my clients called the wheel of life. A sliding scale system to rank specific areas of one’s life such as career, environment, social life, income, physical fitness/ well- being, etc. So I pulled it out and started taking inventory for myself. Naturally, as most of my clients do as well, there were several areas of which that I personally thought could use some work. You know those things that you go throughout your days disregarding that need more attention than others but “you’ll get to it later” or when you tell yourself and others that everything is “fine” knowing deep down it's really not. I find the exercise interesting and powerful for several reasons but I think the most important point being that it creates a sense of honesty and vulnerability that may not exist otherwise. When you commit to being as honest as you possibly can you come face to face with the sometimes not so appealing reality of what your life truly looks like and ownership of ones behaviors and actions naturally starts to take shape.
Continuing with the exercise, I gave value to each area that the wheel highlights, and I chose the three sections that I felt needed the most work. For each of those sections I began asking myself what specifically needed to happen or change in that area in order for the value to increase to an acceptable level of living my best life. For fulfillment to take place.
This is the key.
When you pose the question about fulfillment in that way it’s no longer about what you have vs. you don’t have but rather how do you work with what you have to get where you want only then do you begin to move forward creating the life you really want. You’ll notice I didn’t say anything about what do I need or want to make this portion of my life full but rather what needs to change, in my current state with what I already have? Perhaps it’s time, motivation, networking, etc. … Now my focus is on taking ownership of my actions because at the end of the day I am the only one responsible for getting me where I want to go.
It’s incredible to see how this simple shift can lead to so many ground breaking insights that help propel you forward. My motto for my practice is Think Better, Do Better, Be Better and I believe this exercise is the perfect example of just that. When you think about things in a different way than you have in the past it catapults you to take different actions, better actions that ultimately result in fulfillment and being better than you were before.
Therefore, this week I challenge you to pick 2-3 areas of your life that you feel lack a sense of fulfillment and ask yourself the question of what has to change in order for you to get where you want to be. The first few answers you come up with will be your go-tos. Things you’ve thought of before but clearly haven’t worked so don’t stop there. Scrap those ideas and dig deeper connecting with your behaviors, actions, and if you dare your core values. Decide what things you can take ownership of that will be key in driving your forward. Your attitude, positivity levels, being proactive, listening, speaking up, learning a new skill, refining and old skill, letting go, building consistency, developing social responsibility, etc. … You may notice there are several actions that overlap and can be seen to improve multiple areas of your life and that’s great. Create a running list that is easily accessible. Make several copies to keep in a few different places. On the night stand next to your bed. On your fridge or posted to your vision board. In the notes app on your phone. On your desk at the office. Wherever you think could be useful. Ultimately the goal is to get to the point where you notice a reflection of each value working in every facet of your life.
It is said that what we focus on is what we get so keep your eye on the prize and own your life.