7 Reasons Why It’s Important To Hold Others CAPABLE…John Page Burton

Most of us have found ourselves impulsively or impatiently taking charge of a situation because “it will get done correctly if I just do it myself”. Many of us unconsciously take this approach with our children, friends and employees. Rather than taking the time to show someone how to do something and letting them run with it, we habitually jump in and do it for them. Ultimately, WE become burned out, angry, resentful victims of our own insatiable need to be in control and WE effectively teach those in our charge to wait for someone else to do things for them.(Learned Helplessness) As a leader in our family or business, it is imperative that we practice holding others capable. Experience tells me that most of us will rise to the level we are held capable of reaching. Below are 7 benefits that come from being held capable.

7 Benefits of being held CAPABLE….

*CREATIVITY. When we hold others capable we are encouraging them to tap into their natural, creative nature. Creativity (thinking outside the box) stimulates our problem solving skills which in turn enables us to experience a stronger sense of self worth. Whenever we stifle someones creativity we are stifling their authentic spirit.

*ABILITY. It is imperative that we encourage others to rely on and develop their natural ability. All of us have been blessed with specific talents and skills. When these talents and skills lie dormant, we will have a minimal impact on the world around us. On the other hand, when we are encouraged to exploit our talents and skills we are given permission to truly impact the world.

*PROFICIENCY. In order to earn a living, advance through the workforce and thrive rather than survive, we must develop and become proficient at certain life skills. For example, our ability to effectively communicate with others is one of the most important skills we can develop. When we are held capable, we become self reliant. When others willingly do everything for us there is little motivation for us to develop the sufficient life skills needed to create an abundant life. I am reminded of the quote…”Feed a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

*ACCOUNTABILITY. When we hold others capable, we are effectively helping them to develop a bottom line mentality. When we step in and do everything for those in our charge, we are effectively encouraging them to develop a bail out mentality. When we hold others capable we are encouraging them to take full responsibility for their decisions and actions. When we do everything for those in our charge, we are effectively sending them a message that they are not capable and consequently many become highly unaccountable people.

*BELIEF SYSTEM. Our belief system is a direct reflection of the degree to which we have been held capable. If we have been held capable since childhood, more than likely we have established a realistic view of what it takes to navigate through life. On the other hand, if we have been conditioned to believe that others are always going to be there to pick up the pieces when we fail, we will undoubtedly be in for a rude awakening when our primary support system is taken away. This often happens to adults upon the passing of a smothering parent or spouse. If we hold the belief that “if it’s going to be, it’s up to me”, we are going to face life’s challenges with a stronger sense of certainty and purpose.

*LEARNED HELPLESSNESS. I recently spoke at a divorce recovery workshop. I was amazed by the number of people who were struggling with the concept of being on their own. Among the challenges of being newly divorced, many of the men were at a loss because their wives had done so much of the parenting and many of the women were at a loss because their husband had handled all of the financial responsibilities. By the end of the workshop, most in the group realized just how spouse dependent they had allowed themselves to become. One of the keys to a strong relationship lies in holding each other capable. For example, dad is just as capable of parenting as mom and moms is just as capable of managing the check book as dad. ***It is important to be mindful of the “subtle control dramas” that can play out within a relationship. CHILDREN AND CHECKBOOKS ARE OFTEN USED TO GAIN EMOTIONAL LEVERAGE.

*ENERGY. DOER’S can’t help but feel energized. There is a “rush” that accompanies any significant achievement. When we are held capable we naturally summon the energy needed to face the challenge at hand. When others do everything for us, we tend to lack energy and drive. I have some friends who have a 15 year old daughter who is an exceptionally talented student athlete. She is dedicated to her sport and truly enjoys facing challenges when they arise. She is an excellent conversationalist, has a great sense of humor,an outstanding sense of self and it’s easy to tell that she truly enjoys life. In short, she is energetic and driven. Her parents hold her capable. On the other hand, I work with a client who is frustrated because her son, a senior in high school “is lazy and unmotivated”. He recently failed to show up for his college entrance exams, has never held a job for longer than a couple of weeks and is “addicted” to video games. My client still does his laundry, recently bought him a car, pays for his auto insurance, gives him money for food and entertainment and justifies doing this because “his father left the family when he was three years old”. Mom has never held him capable. Consequently, he lacks energy and drive. Which child is being groomed for life success?

My hope is that you can clearly see the value of holding others capable. If you find that you are resisting holding others capable it may be a good time to explore strategies to help release your need to be in control. A good coach will be able to help you in this process.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback. Cheers!

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