Over the years, I’ve seen coaching clients face countless challenges. While the details have differed, every situation has had one thing in common:
- People’s perspective shaped both their experience of the challenge and the eventual outcome.
When we’re stressed, it’s easiest to focus on what’s not working. Unfortunately, this attention tends to reinforce and strengthen the very things that we don’t want. This is why so much of coaching involves helping clients to step back, gain a broader view, and consciously reframe their perspective. Coaches know that when clients shift to a more solution-oriented mindset, breakthroughs often occur.
But, you don’t need a coach to invite a breakthrough. You can shift to a more positive perspective simply by following a few steps:
- Identify a challenge that you’re currently facing.
- Jot down your thoughts about the challenge as they arise.
- Imagine that you can “wave a wand” and create exactly what you’d like to have happen in this situation. What would be ideal? Try to visualize it unfolding perfectly in your mind’s eye and jot down what you see.
- As you reflect on this ideal scenario, what feelings and thoughts arise? Jot down whatever comes to mind.
Shifting to a more positive perspective helps us to react more productively to any challenge. If your example involves another person, this exercise can set an improvement in motion simply by neutralizing your response to this individual’s challenging behavior. Many clients find conducting just Step 3—mentally waving a wand to create what they want—to be incredibly liberating. I encourage you to experiment with this exercise—your breakthrough could be closer than you think!