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Increase Ownership of Yourself?

Updated on January 8, 2018
Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

My passion is to inspire and coach people to achieve what they want to get out of life.

Take Ownership of Yourself

In the self-help and self-improvement field, one subject I don't see the subject of ownership of self-being addressed. Ownership for the purpose of this article is defined as the act, state or fact of being an owner of your whole self. The process and mechanics of ownership are fairly complex since one can gain, transfer and lose ownership of whole or parts of self at any point in your life. Personal ownership is a right given to you at time of birth and should develop over time as you mature.

Relinquishing Ownership

You don't always know when you are in ownership of yourself but you are acutely aware when you do not have it. There are many life events that cause you to relinquish ownership to yourself from being belittled, harassed, or bullied as a child to go through abuse, catastrophic acts of nature, traumatic or combat experiences. Each of these life events causes you to feel a loss. You may feel a loss of your body, emotions, esteem, specific organs, mind, spirit, or worth.

A loss is a major issue and a fact of life. In this society loss is interpreted as something you do not face, you just move on. The resulting feeling experienced with a loss is described as emptiness within. This emptiness is translated internally as “I did something wrong, I don’t have what others have or I am not good enough or worth anything”. This internalized awareness will cause a state of self-doubt, harshly judging yourself as wrong or worthless and then completely disowning yourself. Once the disowning occurs you will seek external validation from anything or anyone other than yourself. The loss is constantly centered on what you did not do with the main theme of “if only”. “If only I had done this.” “If only I had said or not said that.” You then find yourself living symbolically in the past attempting to fix or right the wrong you think you did. You will begin doing or grasping for whatever you think might fill the emptiness from outside yourself.

I envision this scenario as a garage sale. You dim yourself as worthless, empty or of no value so you literally put yourself out for sale to the highest bidder. Hoping that you will be accepted by someone else, and they will take ownership of you. The thought is that everything in your life will be better. Unfortunately selling yourself for something or to someone never results in fulfillment.

How to take back ownership

Ownership is the key building block in the self-development, growth and health field. To achieve the key of ownership of yourself, an action must be done. The action is drawing up a personal legal document of ownership. Writing is very powerful and can enhance your personal authority. Writing takes thoughts and dreams out of the ethereal plane and makes it real in the moment. Seeing on paper gives you power and accountability. The act of putting your ownership of yourself on paper will increase your relationship with yourself, give you pride and confidence. So with that in mind, let‘s start.

Before you draw up your agreement of ownership there two things to do in order to prepare. Start by writing a list of all the strengths you possess. This exercise is not about a feeling that you are being conceited or self-centeredness. Be truthful and honest about your strengths. The list is only for you to see. You may also ask the opinions of people you love and trust what your strengths are to get a different perspective.

Next, write a gratitude list. Gratitude is thankfulness. List all the things you a grateful for in your life. Start each gratitude statement with “I am thankful for……” Search every area of your life.

Once you have completed both lists and had a chance to re-read them, draw up your personal legal document of ownership with yourself. It is a personal statement ownership for the whole of you, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Include ownership of your strengths and having the gratitude of what you have accomplished.

Upon completion of this exercise, place your document in a safe place and bring it out when you feel like you need a reminder of how wonderful you really are.

Personal Ownership Document

I_____________________________________________ do hereby declare that I am the legal owner of myself. This is my personal declaration of all things good of me. (Enter your list here):

I do hereby swear that I take full possession and responsibility of myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for as long as I am alive.

Signed:______________________________________________ Date:___________

© 2010 Bill Tollefson


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    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      3 years ago from Southwest Florida

      I really appreciate your comment on this subject. I feel it is important that each one of us take ownership for who we are instead of trying to be something we are not or what others want us to be.

      Self-worth is something a person commits to and works on. It just does not happen. Invest in yourself today.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Dr. Bill....I see you have given your readers clear direction, as well as motivation to assume ownership (responsibility) of every aspect of their lives.

      This is powerful and I would hope that it is read with an open mind and given time to make a difference in someone's life.

      Refusing to allow ourselves to be pushed around, ordered to be, say or do the will of others is the beginning of realizing our own self-worth and expressing what we know in our heart to be RIGHT.

      Thank you...UP+++

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      4 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Thank you very much for your comment. Owning one's self is very important and it is very over looked. Take back your personal authority by being the legal owner of you.

      Thanks again for your kind words.

      Blessings, Dr Bill

    • To Write Wrongs profile image

      To Write Wrongs 

      4 years ago

      I have to say that this article/topic is profound, and not many people take the time to really reflect on self ownership; they are quick to claim ownership of materialistic things, but never of oneself. In my experience, "owning oneself" is owning up to our actions and decisions in life. In order to "sell to the highest bidder," loosely quoted, we have to first recognize what self ownership is, and it is explained in the marvelous article. In active addiction/alcoholism, you could not get me to "own" up to any of my actions, it was always someone else's fault, I had no ownership, nor did I want it. Now, after working so closely with Dr. Bill, I realize, I have self worth! I want to own that! I have purpose! I want to own that! As many positive things I've uncovered about myself, and as long of a list that it is, I will just say that I'm most willing to accept ownership of all of my "wrongs" or "shortcomings" in all aspects of self ownership mentioned in this article; however, I'm less willing to take ownership my of all "success," something I still fear to this day. I am not there yet, but I know I will be, because Dr. Bill will be sure to get this into my hard noggin! Excellent, excellent man! Thank you! As for drawing up this legal document, I'm going to have to be reminded of my strengths, as we so easily forget the good in ourselves when what others instilled in us are still lurking shadows in our thoughts.

    • profile image

      Anne Marie 

      6 years ago

      Dr. Bill, aka Coach Bill.

      That was a GREAT article. Thank you for being YOU! You are a great life coach :)

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      6 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Woundgal - You are very welcome and glad that the HUB helped you to understand more about ownership of self and the relationship better. Hope you read more of my HUBs.

      Dr. Bill

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      6 years ago from Southwest Florida

      CherylMardis - Thank you so much for your comments and testimonial of what you learned from this HUB and the action you are going to take for your life. I appreciate your validation. Dr. Bill

    • CherylMardis profile image


      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Ownership of self is definatly what I needed to read today. As I read it I realized that I am allowing others to own my time and my emotions. Yesterday I missed out on seeing my Grandson and a friend I haven't seen in 15 years because I let others control everything. I was alone on Easter. After reading "Ownership of Self" this will not happen again. And I say all those negative things about myself. I questions myself. Did I do something wrong? Is there something wrong with me? Will be doing this contract and sharing with my Therapist. Thanks Dr.Bill.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      6 years ago from Southwest Florida

      MehreenM - You are very welcome. I hope my writings on the spot and helps others to find some light in their life. I really appreciate your comments.

    • MehreenM profile image


      6 years ago from Pakistan

      Loved this one more than the first one, Dr. Bill. The way you employ symbolism (the garage sale bit) makes it easy for people like me to relate to the whole process of healing (a prime constituent of which is ownership of our own selves). And you are SPOT ON about the writing bit. I used to write affirmations (have left it and thinking of restarting it after reading your hub) and unconsciously it did have an effect on me. Once again, thank you so much for this helpful piece.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      7 years ago from Southwest Florida

      BobbiRant - Thanks for your comment. The nice thing is that you can regain ownership of self and the empowerment it gives to a person. Fill out your document of ownership today.

    • BobbiRant profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      This one thing is probably the most difficult to do in one's life. But once I was determined to take back my life, I suddenly felt like I had come out of a tunnel and maybe I had, or at least out from the tunnel vision I had so long allowed to block my options. Great hub.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      7 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Thank you Wysley for your comment. I know that your comment will help you and others to take ownership back of self. Follow the instructions and create your own document of Ownership, sign it and store it with all your important paper. Remember - “Declare your independence and freedom through ownership. It will amass your confidence”.

    • wysley profile image


      7 years ago

      Truly awesome article!!! Your explanation of ownership of self; how and why a person frequently gives it away; and the importance and methods to reclaiming it are exellent! The information is something I will continue to actively use and refer to. Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Susan Zidron 

      8 years ago

      Thank You for the info...You always seem to somehow be reading my mind. What a joy! Great article and I will do my best to keep it in mind as I journey further into recovery. God Bless

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      As always Dr Bill reminding me where I need to be....Thks!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for addressing this issue. I was completely unaware of not having ownership of self. Within these past few weeks I have felt self-doubt creeping in, causing me to feel a sense of loss within my spirit. After reading through “how to take control of your life” I realize that inwardly I was aware of the fact that I did not possess ownership. Thank you for this excellent exercise. I need to be reminded of my strengths, and what I am most grateful for. This will definitely put me back on track.

    • profile image

      Carol Ryan 

      8 years ago

      This is wonderful! Thank you so much for blessing us in this way!

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      8 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Thank you so much Donna. Your comment means a lot to me. I am doing my best to my truth of healing out.

    • profile image

      Donna Brumbaugh 

      8 years ago

      excellent, thank you.


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