Taking ownership of your problems was one of the things I learnt from my final year at university, and it has also helped me with my mental health recently. My strength comes from expanding my horizons academically and professionally. Accountability is something that I find to be paramount in any adults life, or at least I feel that it should be. We all have and will continue to face problems, that’s part of life. But it’s how we deal with these problems that is important, and can determine whether we meet our goals and targets we set ourselves. Taking accountability for your problems or actions truly helps you grow as a person. It helps your self confidence and overall personal growth.
I want to therefore use this blog post to discuss why it’s important to take responsibility for our problems and talk about things that have helped me. Sometimes we get caught up in our day to day lives and not take the time to reflect on what we’re living. This encouraged me to analyze within me and execute on what’s needed to be done in order to be where I want to be. I want to note that I am no expert in this topic, and that everyone’s situation is different. Furthermore, different people define the term problem in different ways. Therefore, what I say may not fully relate to your situation, and I understand that.
Taking responsibility for your problems is important for several reasons. I think the main reason why it’s important is that at the end of day only we have the power to make a situation better when problems arise. Although we can use other people to help us, expecting someone else to solve our problem will only lead to disappointment. Another reason why taking ownership of your own problems is important is that it helps you in the long run. When I started taking full responsibility for my own problems, I found that I further developed skills such as resilience and problem solving. You automatically develop many skills when taking ownership of your problems, which will help you when it comes to dealing future problems and challenges. Furthermore, the satisfaction you get after taking the ownership to overcome a problem is amazing!
In reality, taking ownership of your problems is very difficult for many reasons. It can be hard to identify that a problem exists in the first place, because the signs are not usually obvious and can be quite subtle in many cases. However, even when we take the first step in identifying the problem, taking the responsibility to solve it is very challenging. I have found that when a problem arises, a lot of time and energy is spent either denying the problem exists, making excuses or feeling sorry for ourselves, which could have been spent in being proactive in tackling the problem head on. This obviously isn’t done on purpose, but it is easy to fall in the trap of doing.
An example that illustrates this is when I have been in toxic friendships in the past. I spent a lot of time denying the fact that the friendship wasn’t good for me, and I often made excuses for their behaviour. Looking back, I realised that this was because I was trying to avoid and run away from the problem, as I felt that pushing away the problem would be easier. However, things would have ended up better if I took the responsibility to do something about it early on.
A good example that shows me taking ownership of my problems effectively is dealing with my anxiety and mental health issues recently. Before, I would spend too much time feeling sorry for myself and having a negative mindset towards life. I also spent too much ranting to other people about my problems. The reality was that I didn’t do anywhere near as enough try and make things better. I eventually realised that I was the only one with the power to do something about my situation, and that I had to take a high level of responsibility when it came to tackling my mental health issues. How mental health impacts other areas of our life? From my own personal experience mental health can affect your physical health, day-to-day routine and goal achievement. When I am feeling anxious or in a low mood and state not mind, I don’t have the energy to take care of my body, I just want to stay in bed. Then my routine gets thrown off which makes me feel bad for not getting things done and then I don’t accomplish the goals I had for the day. It can be a vicious cycle that I have to break so that I can get moving. Sometimes that is dragging myself off the bed to do stretching exercises or even reading a funny story to boost my mood. Mental health is so important and not an isolated event. It affects a lot of things, might I say everything.
Now I tackle the problem head on whenever I feel low mental health wise, and spend time in finding ways to overcome these low moments rather then feeling sorry for myself. This has led to my mental health generally improving recently, and although I am not immune to having anxiety or low mental health, I am much more confident in my ability to deal with it.
One tip I would give when it comes to taking ownership of your problems is to take time to think things through when problems arise. Often, problems aren’t dealt with well because people rush things and try and find a solution quickly, and this is easy to do when a problem seems big or urgent. However, in most cases it is worth taking the time to actually be clear on what the problem is and evaluate it before going about solving it. This is why reflecting on things is so powerful. When reflecting upon things, you may find that the actual issue is different to what you first thought or that the problem is not as bad as first feared. I also want to say here that it is a good idea to talk to other people when it comes to thinking the problem through and getting their views, as long as you are aware that you are ultimately responsible for tackling the problem.
We’re living in a world where competition is high and we compare ourselves with each other. Even though each and everyone of us is unique in our own ways, we couldn’t help ourselves to think if we’re better than them. Often times we’ll find ourselves in situation where we’re faced with the ugly truth— we’re just not good enough.
There’s always going to be someone better than us in this world but if you want to be the best you have to put in work and dedication. Being the best takes time, and it also takes a lot of failures. There are a lot of rejections along the way but not being good enough is not a sign of being a failure, it is a phase from becoming the best.
If we ever go back to our past failures and rejections, we now know better. We are not good enough back then because we didn’t have the experience and wisdom but if we go back knowing the things we know now, we’re more than good enough back then. We are all born to be good enough, we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. We just didn’t have all the tools yet at that certain time. We just needed time to gain experience and wisdom.
Have there been any recent examples where you have taken ownership of a problem? What do you think are the main challenges when it comes to taking ownership of a problem?