Are You The Problem?

It’s the new year. And we really need to think about something.

I want to ask you to consider whether or not you’re the problem for the ills of your life. This may not seem like a hope-filled, happy post. Yet, it can be in the end.

In my many years of leadership, I have heard of people who struggle to feel like they belong. They state that people don’t like them, they cannot find a friend group, or they cannot advance.

After talking with these people, I discover that the problem often lies within them.

Are You The Problem?

Ask yourself this question today. Think about it. Examine your actions.

My church ran the Foster Swift Grand Rapids Half Marathon in October. I felt guilty when I realized some people were not in the group photo but were at the race.

I completely forgot that they were a part of the team. My bad… Then again, it was easy to forget when they didn’t attend the weekly group runs or respond to communication.

Here’s what I realized: You can’t complain about something if you don’t show up regularly. If you want to feel like part of the team, you have to show up, be there, and do what’s asked of you. When you don’t show up, you’re not playing your part.

Then some people mentioned that they didn’t feel comfortable at the group run. They believed the runners from the other church we partnered with looked at them disdainfully. I asked if part of the problem is that you always want to go in a different direction than the training run. They recognized they had this tendency and reluctantly admitted that could be the reason.

Here’s what I realized: You can’t expect others to like you when you’re constantly changing the plan. Every time you do, you make things more difficult for those who have come prepared. It’s unfair to the others in your organization or those who have helped plan.

Or throughout my years in youth ministry, I’ve heard students say they feel left out or abandoned by other students. Watching these students, you see that there’s another issue at play. They either ignore other students, have their own cliques, or don’t want to get involved with others. They feel left out, but they’re also excluding themselves from any kind of interaction potential.

Here’s what I realized: You have to put yourself out there. You can’t expect others to come to you when you’re isolating yourself, ignoring others, and being rude. Your actions have a lot to do with whether or not people will want to be around you. Put forth the effort to make friends.

You May Be The Problem… You May Not Be… But…

In the end, you may or may not be the problem. However, the first place you need to look is in the mirror.

We can easily overlook our own faults. We don’t realize what we’re doing. We only see what others are doing.

Our actions often undermine our success and effectiveness. You can change that!

Begin working on yourself. Seek out the places where you’re negligent. You’ll soon begin to see that you’re the problem.


You’ll also recognize that you’re the solution.

If you’re the problem, you can change. You can take action. You can stop being the problem.

The examples I gave above, they all have solutionsBe present, Stop being difficult, and put yourself out there.

You’ll soon discover that you’re no longer the problem when you do these three things. You’re able to get along with others better. You’re able to form those friendships and relationships you’ve always wanted.

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