Saturday, June 21, 2008

Focus on Solutions, Not Problems - article by Heather Sumlin

This article was featured on our April issue of the MentalCoach Monthly Email Newsletter. To sign up to receive future issues please click here.

Focus on Solutions, Not Problems

It is common for people to think about problems and quite tempting to dwell on them, discuss them with your spouse, share them with friends, etc. Many of us spend a lot of time thinking "poor me" or "why me". The question is - does this way of thinking prove to be productive and beneficial or does it prolong the problem's existence?

When I grew up my parents were ultra positive almost to the point of complete annoyance to me as a teenager. My parents ran 4 businesses at one time when I was young which makes me realize I must not be near as productive as an adult as they were. They owned a horse ranch, an International Shooting School, Mental Management Systems and a large networking business. There was no challenge too small for my folks and despite obvious challenges and hurdles they faced, they never gave me an impression that there was stress or worry in the home. They never talked about problems that I remember and I never felt like anything in life was impossible or unreachable because of it.

Another benefit to growing up in the home I did is I met some of the most amazing and successful people when I was young and their influence has helped me greatly. What I noticed the most from my childhood as well as from current teachings around the office is that problems are not the issue, focusing on problems is the issue. When we stop for a moment to think about how we can move the boulders in our path, solutions present themselves. If we dwell on the problem the boulder remains. Focusing on solutions creates a vision of hope and motivation to find an answer. Instead of stating "I can't do this" start asking yourself "How can I make this happen" and allow yourself to believe you will find the open window.

So the challenge this month is to focus on solutions and try your best to not dwell on problems but seek for answers to solving them.

- by Heather Sumlin, Director of Customer Relations & Mental Management Instructor for Pageant and Stage Performers for more information on mental training for sport & performance

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