When things go wrong, it is a natural human tendency to place our focus on the problem. Whether you are struggling in a relationship, a deal fell through at work, or your best friend’s disappointing behavior; our first response is to begin by diagnosing the problem. While diagnosing where mistakes were made can be a good starting point, we must move beyond the problem quickly and direct our focus to the solution. If you keep looking back at the things that went wrong you can never move toward a solution.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “What you focus on expands. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.” People that focus on the problem are looking for someone to blame. They become victims and fail to embrace their ability to move beyond whatever went wrong. People looking at possible solutions are looking for ways to make the future better. They are focused on the new possibilities that will be created when necessary changes are made.
Here is what Solution Focused People do:
1. Acknowledge the problem
2. Stop the bad behavior that caused the problem
3. If the problem involved people, seek forgiveness
4. If the problem involved process, make corrections
5. Focus on the NEW POSSIBILITIES made possible by new behavior
6. Move forward!
Author Seth Godin says, “The problem with problems is that they always keep us from focusing on opportunities, on a chance to contribute and to make something better. Focus on our opportunities doesn’t mean the problems don’t exist, it merely means that we are far more likely to do something that matters.”
The past is the past, we all make mistakes. Don’t be trapped inside the mistake. Live in the new possibilities that are created by moving toward solutions.
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