One of my most popular posts from last year was titled: There are no vertical cliffs or dead ends only pathways to new beginnings. One of the reasons that I believe that to be such a popular post is that it resonated with many of you…the core idea is that there always solutions and paths that you haven’t seen yet.
So why is it that we get so stuck? It’s one way or another and a 3rd way cannot be seen.
In short we are acting on basic human impulses. We don’t like feeling uncomfortable or out of comfort zone. So we look at our immediate options for a quick way out of the situation. Unfortunately these solutions are often short sighted and do not explore the broader options that a level of creativity can bring.
In order to have that level of creativity one must move beyond the immediate impulse of trying to solve the problem, allow to sit in the discomfort of the situation and broaden one’s perspective to see the bigger picture. By doing this one can see a greater horizon of opportunities and subsequently solutions.
These alternative solutions are often not quick fixes or fast exits to resolve the problem however they often bring more meaningful change and an outcome that in the long term be more favourable.
Here are a few steps to take to draw out these alternative solutions, rather continuously relying on the quick fixes to resolve situations.
- Allow yourself to believe that there are other alternatives to the current situation. You may not see the solution yet but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. By giving yourself permission you open the door to the possibility.
- Change of scenery. We are creatures of habit which can be a good thing however when it comes to encouraging creativity habit and routine are killers of creativity. You need to step out of the every day routine and start seeing things from a different perspective.
- Space. There is a lot of noise in our world that takes our attention. Meetings, email, social media…and much more. By allowing yourself some space from all the noise in your world, will bring a quietness of mind and the space to think about things. There has been a lot of research to say that the brain does not have endless capacity when it comes to absorbing information,. It gets tired and doesn’t function as well. By giving it space, it allows the brain to function at full capacity as it is not being distracted.
- Sleep. The irony with this is that in times of heightened stress and having problems weigh us down, often our sleep suffers. Yet sleep is something that becomes even more essential in the process of problem solving. Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive all came about because of incident where she blacked out in her home office, collapsed and her daughter found her unconscious lying in a pool of blood. The doctors identified that the cause of her collapse was sleep deprivation (she had spent the previous number of years building up Huffington Post). She delves into research about the direct correlation of quality of sleep and the quality of decisions being made. More sleep better solutions, less sleep, poor decisions being made.
- Talk it out. It’s about getting a different perspective. The more diverse people you speak with the more diverse the ideas and opinions…which may be challenging but this is what you want…you seek not an easy one dimensional solution but a multifaceted approach that is robust and meaningful.
I invite you to a free 45 minute discovery call, where together we can create meaningful strategies to find effective techniques to problem solve your challenges. Click here to book. This is a real coaching session, not a sales pitch.
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