I receive hundreds of emails each week and there is one theme I see more than any other. Every time I see it I know exactly why the sender is struggling.
If you’d rather listen to this blog than read it, please click play. Otherwise, keep reading below.
Before I tell you what the problem is, I’m going to show you. Here’s an email I got just the other day.
Why am I so comfortable failing and so uncomfortable winning the day?? It’s almost as if I fight for failure. For me there is a 4 hour window that I need to be okay being uncomfortable with (boredom). 4-8 pm is my 4 hours of winning or losing the day. Strangely enough choosing bad choices is easier. Not easier tomorrow but so easy and comfortable at the moment even at the expense of tomorrow. Sounds ridiculous but a destructive habit I have subscribed to.
What do you notice about this email?
It is 100% focused on the problem.
It is 0% focused on the solution.
This email is explaining, justifying, arguing for and attaching to the problem. When you’re so deeply engaged in the problem, you’re not engaged in the solution! You can’t be! You aren’t even trying! You’re just making yourself a victim of the problem. That’s not how change happens. In fact, that’s how to ensure you keep change from happening.
I asked some questions in my response and encouraged her to focus on the solution. Here’s part of the reply:
I am noticing that I struggle on the days that I am home alone and bored. The hours from about 4 pm until I go to bed are extremely uncomfortable for me unless I am sipping on wine. It’s worse with wine than any other food because after a few glasses I don’t care about what I eat and it leads into a binge. I do realize that once this clicks and I conquer this I am going to be so much happier. Boredom is definitely what I am uncomfortable with plus the habit of using wine to not be bored and fill those hours before bedtime.
How much of that is about the solution?
Guys, you are either participating in the problem or you’re participating in the solution.
We give so much energy, attention and time to the problem – to explaining it, rationalizing it, complaining about it, justifying it and making ourselves a victim of it. When you do that, you’re not trying to fix it. Even if you want to fix it, you can’t simultaneously be part of the problem and part of the solution.
Refuse to give your attention and energy to the problem.
Participate exclusively in solutions.
I shared on the podcast a few months ago that when my new tiny house was delivered, I was inundated with problems. Day after day, minute after minute, a new problem emerged.
It would have been so easy to dive into the problems. To kick, scream, complain, argue, blame and vent about the problems. But, where would that get me? Officially: no where.
I decided to exclusively participate in the solution. I wouldn’t indulge any conversations about blame or explanation. I just wanted to talk about solutions. How would we make it right? What were our options? What could we do?
That changed the game. Not only did fixes begin to happen, but I was happier and more peaceful. Contractors and manufacturers were less defensive. It made a massive difference.
When I work with clients, this is something I coach on every single day. I get it. There’s a problem. I get it, you’re irritated by it. Maybe you’re frustrated or confused. I understand.
But how about we work together to focus on potential solutions and what you can do to today to create a resolution?
That will change your whole life.