If you’re breathing, you’ve got problems. They’re part of the human experience, and while they’re not a lot of fun to deal with, they’re actually designed to strengthen you. Every time you deal with a problem you have the chance to take a little piece of your power back from wherever its been lent.
What a concept, right? Your problems are for your empowerment!
I’ve been working as a women’s life coach for more than a decade. Over the years, clients have sought my coaching for major life problems like divorce, infidelity, job loss, health crisis, or the loss of a loved. These are problems that rock your foundation. They require you to look at your life (and your self) in a new way.
What’s surprising, yet true in my experience, is that seemingly smaller problems can cause an equal (though less dramatic) amount of emotional pain and suffering.
Issues like relationship problems, financial struggles, job dissatisfaction, and stage-of-life transitions (like dealing with mid-life or empty nesting) can upset your equilibrium and steal your joy.
Whatever the nature of your problem, you can solve it.
You must solve it.
You deserve to solve it.
In this week’s video coaching session I’m going to help you solve it. ☺
Let’s walk through a 3-step formula you can use to master problem solving for real. (Press play already. It takes 5 minutes).
Step 1: Notice when you’re in resistance.
Life is – well – life. Stuff happens. You’re going to encounter circumstances that don’t meet your standards or expectations. When you do, you have two choices. You can move into responsiveness (which we’ll talk about it in step 2). Or you can move into resistance.
Most people move into resistance.
Resistance is about focusing all of your attention on the problem. It’s being mad that the problem exists, and giving your energy over to the injustice of it.
If you’re reactive, defensive, or feeling strong negative emotions, you’re in resistance. If you’re holding imaginary conversations in your head, or obsessing about the situation, you’re in resistance.
Being in resistance is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a normal human response, but it’s not going to get you what you want. To do that, we need to move on to our second step.
Step 2: Condition responsiveness.
You’re problems do not define you. Your responses to your problems do. #GetYourGrooveBack
As soon as you feel yourself enter resistance, use these four questions to focus on responding instead.
- What specifically isn’t working in the situation-at-hand?
- What do you want instead?
- What do you need to start or stop doing to make that happen?
- What do you need other people to start or stop doing?
If you need to make a change in your behavior, get clear about what needs to change and get to it. No excuses. I know it’s hard. I also know how strong you are. If you knew how powerful you were you wouldn’t even think twice about it. Do it. You can.
Things get more complicated when you need change from someone else. You’re going to have to open up your mouth and speak on your own behalf. It’s going to be really uncomfortable, and it’s critical that you do it anyway. How to say no like you mean it can help.
Where do you need to make a request or set a boundary?
Say it. Set it.
I know you were taught not to rock the boat, but if the boat is making you sick, you MUST rock it. #GetYourGrooveBack
Use your voice. And once you have…
Step 3: Stick your landing.
When a gymnast launches herself into the air, she’s already thinking about her landing. Her focus is on getting her two feet firmly on the floor. She may wobble or take an extra step, but she remains laser-focused on her stick.
You’re going to have to stay laser-focused on your stick.
There’s a good chance that the people you’re setting boundaries with aren’t going to be thrilled about your newfound empowerment. They may not take it seriously, and if you’ve been going along with the program like everything was hunky-dory, they may be surprised or hurt. They could be angry. They are sure to be disappointed.
That disappointment usually gives way to what I refer to as the test and the tantrum. If you’ve ever been around a young child, you know that when you set a new rule the first thing they do is test, and they’ll look straight at you with a cute little smile while they do it. “Were you serious?” they’re asking.
When their test is met with reinforcement, their disappointment frequently erupts into a tantrum. Adults play the test and tantrum game too. If you want to solve a problem for real, you need to be ready for it.
Breath. Then reinforce your boundary, and ride that back-handspring of emotion. You’ll be so glad you did once you realize that sticking this particular landing solved your problem once and for all.
Thanks for stopping by this week. Please give our coaching tools a test drive, and let me know how it goes! Comment in the comments section below. I love connecting with you!
If you aren’t already part of my community, please join at kimfulcher.com, and I’ll send your weekly coaching to your email every Wednesday. Finally, if you know someone who could use a lift, please share this blog. We all need a little support every once in awhile.
You Got This!