What to Do When You Fall on Your Face
What do you do when faced with a challenge? From my experience as a business coach, I know that most of us have been programmed to figure out the “why” something happened. Delving deep into all the causes and the consequences is supposed to make us feel better about whatever IT is.
But you know what, most of the time, if you are like millions of others, knowing the “why” doesn’t really make you feel any better, solve the problem or inform you about the future. In fact, uncovering the “why” can often lead to blame and feelings of inadequacy, guilt and even shame. Not all that uplifting, is it?
That’s why when I read Do One Thing Different by Bill O’Hanlon, I was intrigued and knew it was something I would share. He is a trained psychologist and therapist, and he talks mostly about therapy, but his approach of solution-oriented therapy and living is relevant to everything, including running a business. He says, “The essence of the solution-oriented approach is a very pragmatic principle: If what you are doing is not working, do something different.”
It is, indeed, a different way of thinking and approaching life – personal and professional – that IS uplifting and, I believe, forward thinking.
He says it is good to know and acknowledge what happened in the past, but ruminating on it isn’t going to change one single thing. The only thing that will improve the situation is generating solutions – and then acting on them.
So, I wanted to share the first five of his Principles of Solution-Oriented Living. This is not all of them – you’ll have to get the book and read it yourself to get the rest …
- It’s important to acknowledge how you are feeling and what you have been through, but the past and your feelings do not automatically determine what you do now or in the future. They do not entirely define you, but it is crucial that you acknowledge them.
- It is better to pay attention to what works than to spend a lot of time and energy analyzing why things don’t work or what is wrong with you or with someone else.
- The first place to look for what works is to recall what worked in the past in circumstances similar to what you are facing now.
- Next, examine what you keep doing over and over again in any of the following areas:
- Interactions you have with others
- What you are paying attention to
- What you are thinking or telling yourself (your stories about life, your problem, other people, or yourself)
If what you are doing is not working, try doing something different. Change your patterns and find out if the problem changes.
- Focus on the future that you would like to have instead of the past or present that you do not like. Talk as if that future is possible and likely. Be specific about where you like to be and what you would be doing when you get there. Acknowledge and deal with barriers, real or imagined, that prevent you from getting to that future. Take action steps to begin to move toward and create that future.
It’s quite clear in these first five how to develop a solution-oriented approach. My first inclination is that this would go a long way toward creating real personal development for anyone in any life arena – business, home, relationships, everything. Again, as I am wont to say over and over, it all begins in your head. Your mindset and personal beliefs and habits create the life – and the future – you want.
To Your Success!