How often do you get stuck in that place in your mind that takes you deeper and deeper into chaos, confusion, gridlock, deep anxiety and panic? It feels like there is no way out. And if you manage to get out, you feel lost, stupid, therefore not worthy, and very frustrated. I think we’ve all been there. Let me give you some ideas for getting out of the mind swamp; a new way to look at situations from a different point of view. When you feel yourself sliding down into that swamp: take a beat, take a real breath, and bring yourself back to being in charge and responsible for your thoughts.

  1. Start with this: Get curious instead of assuming! When assuming, you do not ask questions, because you think you know the answers already. Curiosity allows you to remain open to choice and possibilities. The more you assume about a problem initially, the more you limit the range of solutions. So, ask yourself and all the other internal voices in your head “What are we all excited about and afraid of?”  Now is the time to have everyone in there, calm down first and then help you find what set you off, so you can deal with that one issue by asking these questions:
    1. What are you assuming about the problem/issue?
    2. What are you assuming about the people involved?
    3. What has to be true for this to be a problem?
  2. To fully understand a problem, issue, chaos, you need to see how it is being perpetuated and maintained in the present moment. That means again, taking a beat, taking a deep breath and being curious. What hasn’t been simply resolved/ dissolved? How does it keep rearing its ugly head?  “HOW & WHAT” questions are generally more useful than “WHY” questions in problem solving, because they uncover the structure of the problem.
    1. How has this problem/issue been maintained?
    2. How has the way the situation has been set up, contributed to this problem/issue?
    3. How can I solve this problem/issue?
  3. Always set your outcome by what you can do to resolve a situation, rather than what you can’t do or have to do. Look for the possibilities rather than what you feel you have to do, what you call necessities.
    1. What is possible?
    2. What would have to happen for this desired outcome to be possible?
    3. How could I make this possible?
  4. Feedback that lets you know you are off track is just as useful for navigating as feedback that lets you know you are on track. When you are focused on what you want, all results are helpful to direct your effort. Failures give us the opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t as we move forward. So the quality of your feedback depends on: what you measure, how you measure, and how accurately and precisely you measure.
    1. What are my results so far?
    2. What have I learned from them – the good the bad the ugly?
    3. What am I going to do differently as a result of that feedback?
    4. What feedback will let me now that I have succeeded?

Nothing has meaning in itself. Information does not exist on its own; it has to be understood in context. The meaning we derive from any experience depends on how we frame it, just like you would chose a different frame for a photo of each family member. The frame you put in place governs the questions you ask about what happens, how you feel about it, how you react to it and how you deal with it. When you go through these above mentioned steps, they will help bring you closer to what you want. So…what is your intention? When you actions are purposeful, this allows you to separate behavior from the intention behind it. Look forward to knowing how this works for you.

Avanti and ciao, Carol


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