How much time and attention do you spent on focusing on problems that really bother you? I am not saying don’t address problems. What I say is that it is important to distinguish between being aware that there is a problem that needs to be seen and solved and focusing on the problem rather than on solutions. It takes some kind of awareness, and meditation to gain clarity and notice, when you are stuck in the mind. That’s the beauty of the path of self-discovery: you are not your mind, you have a mind to use.
You may feel powerless, but you are not helpless
Most people believe they would be focusing on a solution, whereas in reality, they have the problem in mind. Solutions are a positive outcome, exiting, not sucking. Real solutions to reoccurring problems require an innovative approach. Band-aids are just quick-fixes. They don’t solve a problem at the root. It requires a more effective approach than thinking and ruminating old tactics from the past. Innovation is creative, brand-new, coming from nowhere.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.Albert Einstein
Focus on problems creates a rather energy-consuming state of mind and emotion. This is when it helps to change perspective, maybe even with professional support. The only real difficulty is that most people, including myself often are not aware that they are focusing on a problem and not on solutions. Again, regular meditation or walking meditation is very effective to gain clarity, stay alert and notice when you enter the vicious Monkey Mind chatter circle. Personal Development tools are only as good as long as they are applied.
Focusing on the problem only is like trying to cure a disease by focusing on the bacteria, focusing on the pain or focusing on the suffering the disease provokes. We all know that there is a significant difference between focusing on a disease or problem and having the intention, the clarity and the willpower to focus on solutions:
You might say, it is obvious, yet, being in the skin of someone who is stuck in a serious problem, it is still obvious but challenging to realize.
How can you stay focused on solutions, when you get negative feedback from doctors, new conflicts from partners, clients and colleagues?
Or see in your partner all the traits and things you don’t want for yourself?
What when you start doubting that you made a wrong choice in the past and feel stuck?
What if you give up any hope or vision to solve the current problem?
You are not alone
Human brains are wired to do what they are used to do. We react the same way we are used to react, we keep up our habitual pattern, which is either fight or flight or freeze. The mind seeks the habitual. That gives us the illusionary security of the known. Yet real solutions are innovative and come from the unknown.
The fight approach can be endless discussions about who is right, forcing your way, emotional fights or blackmail resulting in constant state of unease and resistance. You recreate such situations and often blame the world for being ignorant, unfair or stupid without realizing your own participation in the game.
The flight can be running away from a situation or the other person running away from a situation keeping you going in circles, manifesting similar situations in various areas of life over and over again, unless you change perspective and gain clarity about your active part in this game.
The freeze state can be hanging out, allowing a situation to keep happening without acting upon it. Negating what is. Hiding stuff under the carpet. Smiling when you don’t feel like. Laughing when you’d rather cry. Holding back your anger at all cost. That unconscious strategy also results in the same old circle: either the other party at some point gets tired, because they can’t really relate to someone who is not being him or herself and runs away or you lose your energy from suppressing emotions all the time and keeping the mask on.
It can also be a combination of such unconscious strategies. The result is the same: You give away your power without being aware of it and recreate similar situations.
Only when suffering badly from the dis-ease, discomfort or really threatening situation, people tend to look for professional help. Some look for psychologists. Some read self-help books. Some find a personal coach hoping for a more effective and less time-consuming approach.
The other day I had a coaching client, extremely successful in everything: work, finances, sports, fiancee. That was his order. He wanted to have more joy in everyday’s life, not only for himself, but also for his partner…. When I shared a tool, which I am going to share with you in a minute, he ran away. I let him run, because I trust in nature.
If you really want to change something in your life, it takes becoming responsible and grow up. There is no way around it, with or without a life-coach, a therapist or books. And hey, it is not hard at all, as soon as you change perspective and realize that you start being in your power!
Here is the resource:
You want to realign thoughts and feelings in order to get into your power. If you think one thing and feel another, you simulate to drive into two directions at the same time and go nowhere. Makes sense?
The clue is to allow all feelings that you feel and even go there, where it hurts, intentionally. Dare to feel. Focus. No more hiding under the carpet. This is where your energy is. This is where the power is. I am not saying it is easy to “allow”, because it is nothing we can work hard on and force to make it happen, just like sleep or relaxation. The solution is to train this capacity, like training a relaxation muscle or opening up your mind to dare to feel whatever you feel.
Anger, sadness and fear are just as important in terms of energy as joy. They have a purpose and you can use them in a positive way, once you know and once you change perspective. Don’t live on 25% of your capacity by blocking out 3 essential feelings.
So this is what it takes in order to activate resources I told this would-like-to-be-but-don’t-want-to-feel client during a walk in nature:
Start making friends with all feelings. Work on your willingness to accept what is. Become conscious about it. Take a moment every once in a while to focus on feelings. Dare to go there where it hurts. Just feel and observe. Meditate. Make it part of your life. You won’t die. Start loving all the feelings you have, they are your friend, they serve you, despite what you were told as a child: don’t be sad, don’t be angry, don’t be afraid. That’s stupid. And when you feel like you can’t cope, that’s where I can facilitate the process from the background, coaching online. Look at it together, gain perspective, expand the box, grow beyond former limitations. That’s very possibly the start of a break-through, the beginning of a new constructive pattern to be born…
He took a few days to tell me he did not like my type of coaching tools.
I was aware that I could have taken more time to deliver the message later on wrapped in silk paper after a few sessions of “coaching”. And I don’t work like that.
My intuition told me to not hold back, to not buy time, to tell the truth right away in this particular situation. He was ready to hear the message. He was not ready to get out of his comfort zone and change. This willingness is a requirement for change. You can’t buy this with money.
Sooner or later we all get it: change is in our hands even or especially when it is uncomfortable.
Make friend with discomfort. See the chance. Be more curious than fearful of the unknown.
You can’t control that process by thinking and applying ego mechanisms such as liking or disliking, wanting or not wanting, having resistance or craving. You can notice what is going on and observe without judging.
The process of self-discovery towards self-realization takes our willingness to get into the flow, let go and sometimes some personal development tools and regular practices.
Nature is amazing. We can enjoy the process, once we dare to get into the flow, allow to feel what is and trust in the process, that we are part of. And hey, there are always people like me to accompany you on the path. And believe it or not, despite the fear of the unknown, you can make change an enjoyable experience!
An Approach to changing the way you do the things you do
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