“Problems are meant to be solved, but unfortunately, a lot of people choose to complain, worry, and cry about them.”
― Edmond Mbiaka
A couple of years ago I was working with a Coach. Tim was helping me to grow my Business as it was early days, I only had a handful of paying clients, and I felt stuck, not knowing how to find my next client.
The day before we were due to jump on a Coaching call, Tim messaged me saying ''Will, I want you to do something before our call tomorrow- Take a pen and paper and write out 20 ways you can create a new Coaching client.''.
Hmm. Was my initial reaction.
20 ways I can create a new client? That's impossible. Surely, if I knew of 20 ways to create a new client, I wouldn't be stuck? I would be doing them!
Nevertheless, I put pen to paper. What happened next, surprised me...
Not only was I able to come up with 20 ways with relative ease, the solutions I had come up with seemed like great ideas (if I may say so myself). I had myself an A4 page packed full of ways I had previously never thought about. As if, by asking myself this question, (what are 20 ways I can create a new Coaching client) I was able to see doors I'd previously missed. Doors I could choose to knock on if I wished.
This taught me an important lesson- to focus on the SOLUTION, instead of the PROBLEM.
Up until that moment, my attention was fixed on the problem (Not enough Clients) so much so that I had given no thought to a potential solution. Problems can do this. They can consume us, engulfing our attention, blinding us to the numerous solutions that exist.
But in truth, our capacity to create solutions is Boundless!
Once we put on our thinking caps, solutions come pouring in thick and fast, often faster than we are able to capture them down on paper.
Jason Goldberg said it perfectly when he said Creativity is greater than circumstance.
Yet, we give so much of our energy away by focusing on the problem.
Resisting the reality of even having the problem by complaining and asking- why me?
Draining our energy by worrying about the future issues the problem may cause, imagining worse case scenarios in our minds.
Imagine pouring that same energy into thinking about Solutions.
In fact, you needn't imagine.
Simply by going through the same process, you can begin to train your thinking to focus on Solutions. Here are a couple of tips for getting the most out of the '20 ways' Exercise.
- State what you WANT vs what you don't want.
It's better to write down, 20 ways I can create more money vs 20 ways I can get out of debt.
With the latter, it still focuses on the problem, what we don't want, Debt. The Brain has trouble processing negatives.
Please, DO NOT THINK ABOUT DONALD TRUMP DOING A STRIPTEASE.
I'm sorry to have to do that to you, really, but it proves my point.
Frame your 20 ways in the positive. For example:
20 ways I can create a new Coaching client
20 ways I can create more money.
20 ways I can increase my productivity.
When coming up with the 20 ways, it helps to consider some Coaching style questions.
I often use this exercise with my 1-1 clients, guiding them to create the solutions for themselves.
Here are some of my favorite questions to ask;
- What would your most intuitive, creative, and powerful self, tell you to do?
- What would your best friend, suggest as a way?
- What would you do if Failure was impossible?
- If you had all the resources in the world available to you, money, time, energy, expertise, what would you do?
- What would the easiest solution look like?
- What would the funnest solution look like?
- Who do you know who has overcome the same challenge as you and what did they do?
I hope you found this article of value, let me know your biggest takeaway by leaving me a comment below!
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