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4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

We are well conditioned to believe that it is our job to fix others and solve their problems for them. If we see someone struggling or uncertain, we are quick to race in and save them from their challenges. We have been trained to see this as an act of care, a gift to another. But is it really? 

What is it that we may be assuming and impeding by jumping in and acting as the savior? Perhaps it is more about our thoughts, needs and feelings than theirs.

Reason #1: People are more capable and resourceful than you think

We are born with much more inherent capacity and resourcefulness than we know. Unfortunately, we don’t realize this because we have been treated otherwise our entire life. We have been treated as if we don’t know what is in our own highest interest, and have given our power away to others to know for us. We have placed more faith in our parents, teachers, ministers, friends and managers than in ourselves. With little trust in our inner capacity, we then project this onto others by not having faith in them. The moment we begin to live more from the inside out rather than the outside in, we reclaim our inherent birthright to make empowering decisions. We begin to live for ourselves, and are better able to trust and encourage others to know what is best for themselves.

Reason #2: You project your fears onto others

If someone is feeling angry, we may feel compelled to save him from this feeling if we don’t feel comfortable with our own anger. If someone is feeling scared about the uncertainty of moving forward in a new entrepreneurial adventure, we may attempt to rescue or redirect her if living without security is a trigger for us. We will save others from feeling what we can’t be with ourselves, and from the associated circumstances, instead of meeting them as/where they are. We can only hold space for others to the degree that we can comfortably sit in that same space within. Our attempts to rescue others will be our unwitting attempt to protect ourselves from our own related feelings.

Reason #3: You stop people from growing and learning

A boy saw a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon. He was so concerned he decided to help. He got scissors and rescued the butterfly by making the hole in the cocoon bigger. As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The boy assumed that the butterfly would eventually fly, but it never did. It spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. The butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly can never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

#3 Reason ~ Excerpted from here. Click to read full story.

Reason #4: You don’t know what is best for another

It is easy to assume we know what is best for another. But the truth is, the more we believe this to be true, the less of service we can be. We actually do not know what another’s life path is about. Their life will zig and zag differently than ours. It may take detours that we could never imagine for ourselves, pathways that our logical mind deem unreasonable and impractical. But who are we to judge? Can we really possibly know what another’s soul path is? Absolutely not. We must have faith in the unfolding of life, and that means letting people have their own experience – good, bad and ugly – and believing it is right for them and their growth as an individual.

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There is a place for offering advice or your opinion, but I would suggest that you try giving it when asked, rather than by default. Practice listening, offering empathy, and perhaps asking questions that support the other to look within. Encourage them to seek their own answers. Remind them that their intuition knows best, and that it’s always there to provide answers much better than those anyone else could give.

About the author: Vince Gowmon presents keynotes and playshops and offers somatic counselling and life coaching in person, on Skype and over the phone. For more of his writing, subscribe to his free e-newsletter. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Check out Vince’s book: Wilde Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart

Related Reading:
Start with Empathy
4 Keys to Conscious Communication
Releasing the Need to Be the Responsible One
Your Presence is Enough
Hold the Agenda of Others

Related Training:
Inspiring Inclusion & Engagement ~ Empowering Individuals & Families

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