100% of the problems you're having in life and relationships can be changed by 1 small number.
When I was in my counseling internship getting ready to see my first "REAL" clients with REAL problems I was anxious, terrified even, and I felt the HUGE weight of responsibility to make these people BETTER.
Talk about PRESSURE. I thought I might not make it. All the new interns at the University Counseling Center went through training together and I'm certain there were moments we all wanted to run out of there screaming, "NEVERMIND!!! I'M NOT ENOUGH!!! JUST NOT CUT OUT FOR THIS!!! SEE YA!!"
That changed for me the instant I heard one of the psychologists say, "Remember, you're only 10% of their solution....90% of the work belongs to your client."
Relief swept over me.
I was only 10%. I relaxed into that 10% and have carried this number with me everywhere I go and it's changed my whole life.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink, right?? Now, don't get me wrong...I'm trained to be a very skilled leader of people to their own well-being, but keeping perspective on the weight of my part has been HUGE.
Many of us have felt the pangs of feeling responsible for another person's happiness. Well, maybe everyone except my husband (**see video below). This number, this 10%, shifted how I thought about not only my part in another's well-being, but also other people's part in my well-being.
I'm telling you, IT CHANGED EVERYTHING.
I still see my job as a Therapist and Relationship Coach as a BIG DEAL, but I can only support someone who is willing to be supported, I can only shift someone who is willing to be shifted, and I can only facilitate change in someone who is willing to work and change.
When people who are READY for big things and commit to big change we get some pretty BIG RESULTS and change pretty quickly. It's amazing to watch and be a part of. I LOVE MY JOB.
This 10% thing has really shifted the way I think about my own happiness, too. What if 90% of my happiness is my job? Well...that means that when someone calls me a jerk and it ruins my day it can't ALL be on that other person. I mean, 10% is not enough to ruin a day, right?
So there's my part, my percentage, which might be me buying into the idea that I'm a jerk. THAT is what's really upsetting. If there was no part of me that questioned my integrity and intent, someone calling me a jerk would simply mean, whoops, there had been some mis-communication and some clean up was needed, and/or that the other person has his/her own junk going on and is projecting their junk onto me... IT WOULD NOT BE UPSETTING.
This really got me thinking about MY PART in my problems.
I beat myself up less, have more compassion for myself, and actually reach out and do more with less fear because I know my part in another's happiness is 10%. And when you let others off the hook for your happiness you can love them MORE because you've stopped using them as your excuse not to be happy!
Think about calling that person who's grieving when you're putting 70% kind of pressure on yourself to make her feel better. "I must find that magical thing to say to take her pain away!" Makes you not want to show up and not make the call. When you sink into your 10% you can just BE WITH a person in a whole lot of pain without trying to move them. This communicates it's OK for her to be where she is which, counter-intuitively, is what makes people feel better.
In the past I COULD NOT STAND for my husband to be mad at me. I wanted to resolve it RIGHT NOW. I wanted him to let me off the hook for his happiness....and my happiness DEPENDED ON IT!!
But now, even if I've done something REALLY jerky to him,
1. I know deep down 90% of why I did it was about ME and probably how I'm not honoring myself, and
2. that 10% of his anger actually has to do with me being a jerk and 90% to do with the meaning he's attaching to it ("What does this mean about me?" or him buying into the really jerky thing I've said).
For example, if someone calls you fat and it upsets you, the upset has to do more with the part of you that agrees; it has to do more with the bully that lives inside you than the bully on the outside. AND/OR the upset has to do with the meaning you're attaching to the insult....does it mean you're less valuable? Is that REALLY true?
Within the last few years research on happiness AGREES with this theory as it states that 90% of your happiness is based on how you and your brain perceive and deal with your world and 10% on what's actually in it.
Ok, now go get 10% tattooed on your hand so you don't forget.
And if you wanna LAUGH watch this video of me trying to enlist my husband in helping me explain this topic. I thought I would explain it and he would have questions and this would help me get more clear....turns out this was NOT the case. This one is definitely blooper reel material. So much ridiculousness.
PS...I love my "something smells bad" face I make when I feel like he starts lecturing you all!! LOL!
Maybe you're your only problem, project, and solution?