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Value Creation Blog

Having Problems……Look for What’s Working

Posted by Josh Patrick

Having Problems....Look for What's Working.pngI bet this has happened to you.  You’re working on something and you hit a snag. Or, you’re having a transition in your life.  Instead of focusing on what’s going well you do what most of us do, you focus on what’s not working.  What would happen if you decided to instead focus on what’s good about the change?

There’s a type of planning called appreciative inquiry.  It’s really pretty simple.  Instead of focusing on what’s not working you build off what is working.

Thinking negatively slows you down.

I don’t know about you but when I start to focus on what doesn’t work in my life I get stuck.  Getting stuck only does on thing.  It freezes me and I spend too much time feeling sorry for myself.

If this happens to you and I bet it does, doesn’t it make more sense to focus on what’s worked in the past?  If you think about what you can do that’s positive there’s a really good chance you won’t be getting stuck.  How does that sound?

Why not think about what’s worked well in the past?

If you find yourself in a place where you’re feeling that you have to fix what’s wrong, take a few minutes and ask yourself what’s worked well in the past.  Take this information and see if you can use it with the problem that you’re having now.

This is especially true when you’re feeling overwhelmed and sorry for yourself.  Living in the world of woe is me isn’t a place I want you to be.  I bet you’re not going to want to live there either.  Instead, turn your focus and ask what’s great about what you’re going through.  Then, go to your past when things worked well and think about the strategies you used to help you through a similar problem.  Finally, build on what you did in the past to make your present a better one. 

Apply what worked, build on it.  I bet it’ll make your life better.

I want you to adopt a strategy that moves you forward.

When you’re looking at what’s gone wrong you’re going to have a tendency to beat yourself up.  We all make mistakes.  If you learn to ask, “what did I learn” you’ll go a lot faster.

Even better, combine answering the question what did I learn with what you can do to move yourself forward.  If you do this, two things will happen.

First, you’re going learn from a mistake or something that went wrong.  Second, you’re going to combine what you learned with what’s worked in the past and build on both.  Don’t you think that might help you get to a place where good things will start happening?

To get anything done you have to focus on where you want to go.

When you play the woe is me game you’re not moving forward you’re just feeling sorry for yourself.  I have one piece of advice for you…..just stop it.  Feeling sorry for yourself is not going to help you get to an outcome you want!

Instead, keep your focus on what you want to accomplish.  If you do this by making mistakes a positive experience and focusing on what works I bet you’ll be happier, have a better life and feel way more productive. 

I don’t know about you but when I let myself get into the space of focusing on what went wrong without a learning experience I find that I start feeling sorry for myself.  There is nothing that is positive when this happens.  Instead, when you combine learning with what’s worked and build on it, you’ll move faster and get to a better place in your life quickly.

This is especially true when you’re going through a life transition.

Life transitions can be very tough.  Your IQ drops and it’s just too easy for you to feel sorry for yourself.  I’m hoping that you find a thinking partner who can help you change your thoughts to what’s worked in the past and then build on it.  This will help you move through your transition in a more positive manner.

Let’s face it, being positive is sometimes a really difficult thing to do.  You might even have to fake it till you make it.  I would rather have you fake it, than stew in your own juices of negativity.  Really, being negative isn’t going to help. 

What do you think?  Is this something you’re willing to try next time you find yourself in a transition where you’re feeling stuck?  Why don’t you click here and let me know what you plan to do next time you’re feeling stuck and sorry for yourself.  Or even better yet, leave a comment below.

 

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Topics: life changes, transitions, positive psychology

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