When a person falls in line with this type of thinking they initially feel great. After all, getting a free pass to eat pizza, not train, and place blame on other's for your perceived short-comings can be a stress reliever, especially when it comes from someone you are placing authority and trust in like a personal trainer, life coach (whatever that is) or nutritionist. The problem lies in the fact that the "woo woo" the client is lead to believe is incompatible with the real, physical world that they live in.
Let's say a person has a goal of losing weight (it should be body fat but whatever...). They can't seem to follow a sound nutritional strategy to save their life. Every time they go to work they fall off the nutritional wagon at lunchtime. The transfer of ownership method would say the problem lies in the client's co-workers, not in the fundamental fact that the decision on what to put in one's mouth is a personal one. I can't count the number of times I have seen people who are trying to be nutritional sound being force fed junk food by their less healthy counterparts......oh wait, that has never actually happened.....anywhere.....ever.
So what is this person to do? After all, if the conditions are less than perfect they cannot be expected to succeed right? The person in the example has "transferred ownership" of their food success to other people. "If only everyone in my office was exactly like me and ate nothing but salads I would be OK...." would be the battle cry. You can see how ridiculous and short sighted this methodology is. I can see it now - someone telling this person that the only way to be successful is to......quit their job of course! Find a new one where everything is to their liking and then they will be on their way. Incompatibility with the real world rears its head as this situation would never exist. No situation is perfect so the search for one with be fruitless and lead to more feelings of frustration and increased stress.
Check back next week for part 2 - "Transferring Ownership Back to You"