What’s your general outlook on life?
Are you a cup half full or half empty? Or maybe your cup might have a hole
in it and all the good stuff just slips through and you don’t even notice it?
When things don’t go as planned do you only see the problem, the negative
in the situation or do you look for a positive?
Your mind is very powerful, so if you “think you can” or your “think you can’t”
– you are right! You are right because your mind will prove you right.
Your thought process will cause you to view situations in either a positive
or negative light. And because of this, you will look for (and find) facts,
situations, actions, events that “prove” your thought.
Remember Positive anything is better than negative nothing.
Think about this scenario:
You’ve booked a holiday to a beautiful sunny place, one that is known for sun,
sand and fun. You know that place, that one, the one you’re thinking about.
Now imagine (just use your imagination now) how excited you are about
your upcoming holiday.
Think about where you’ve booked in to stay, that resort, hotel or air bnb,
holiday park, whatever accommodation you’d love to be staying in.
Think about the excitement for you and your family as you’re packing, going
to the airport, landing and getting off the plane in that holiday destination
and you are really pumped and excited about this holiday.
Then the day before you are due to fly out, you look at the weather forecast to
see just how warm and beautiful it is going to be on the day you land.
And guess what? The weather forecast for your holiday destination
is for thunderstorms and rain for the next two days.
What do you do – where have your thoughts gone?
Have you responded with “oh that’s just great isn’t it, there goes our holiday,
the first 2 days are going to be ruined by being rained out”.
Do you look for the positive, the silver lining?
Do you think “oh, that’s not so good, but let’s see what else we can do to
explore this wonderful holiday destination” and go searching for new stuff to do?
By looking at the positive you are looking for a solution to the rained out days
and you’re not dwelling on the negative.
This small shift in perspective means that you are in SOLUTION mode and
not focussing on the problem. You are looking for the positive in this situation.
You never know what you’ll find – you might just find a wonderful new
experience that you wouldn’t have come across had the weather been
bright and sunny.
Now think about how you respond when things don't go well at work?
As a leader, do you blame others when things go wrong, do you focus on
1. "OMG, what is 'the boss' going to say" or do you ask your team
2. "what do you think caused this?" and look for the learning opportunity and a
chance to change how things are done to avoid this situation occurring again?
Focusing on option 1 above causes you and everyone else to go into defense
mode and to defend, justify and explain.
Option 2 allows your brain to fire off new neural pathways and look for solutions,
to see how / what can be done differently.
Jumping to "worst case scenario" will cause your brain to focus only
on what's gone wrong and, whilst consciously you think you're focussing on
fixing the problem, you are not. You are focussing "on the problem" and
there is no solution in the problem.
You need to move out of the problem to find the solution. Think about
where you are now, what's the current situation? What can we do with this
new information that we have?
So instead of focussing on "the problem" next time something goes astray,
think about it from this perspective.
So when rainy, cloudy times come your way – are you going to look for the
silver lining and see what else you can do? Are you going to sit and wallow
in the rain or are you going to dance in the rain?
It’s up to you – you do have a choice.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts.
What he thinks he becomes” ~Mahatma Gandhi (Indian Leader)
Next time something doesn’t go to plan, be aware of your thoughts, catch
them and see if they are wallowing in the rain, or taking advantage of the
rain and dancing in it? If your natural approach is to see the worst case
scenario, look for opportunities on how you can use this unexpected turn
of events into a learning or growth opportunity.
Better still, how can you use this situation to take you on an even better path
than the one you had planned?
If you can’t see the silver linings in situations and you want to be able to,
seek out a Coach or NLP practitioner and work with them, they will be able
to help you look for at situations differently.
Helen brings a wealth of experience gained over 20 years in Human Resources in Australia and overseas.
Images by JKO
Copyright © 2017 Helen Luxford & Corporate Leadership Coaching - All Rights Reserved