Chances are, your problem isn’t what you think it is. What if your problems could be eliminated by a slight shift in your perspective?
A friend of mine always asks me, “Are you looking at this from 5,000 ft or 50,000 ft?”
My answer is
sadly normally 5,000 ft. I find that when I am really frustrated at someone/something, the problem I can identify is rarely what is actually bothering me.
I find the same thing with my clients. What they think the problem is with their business is rarely the problem, but a symptom of a different issue.
Looking at the big picture requires us to look past what we think we want/need so we can find what we actually want/need. It requires us to listen past what we are asking for or complaining about.
Before you can change your thinking, you need to know where you are getting stuck.
So how do you figure out what is really plaguing you? Look deeper. Learn to fall in love with the problem and focus on the process.
We are all guilty of doing the opposite. Searching for the right answer, the right partner, the perfect dress, the right strategy to “fix” our problems.
Haven’t we all worked really hard for something we thought would solve all our problems, only to be disappointed when it didn’t. ”I’ll be happy when…” ”Things would be better if … “
It isn’t about what we are chasing after. It is about what we are running from.
You are looking for love? Maybe the answer is learning to love yourself. You are striving for more (money, clients, etc)? Maybe the answer is learning to be grateful for what you have.
If we are always looking for more without appreciating what we already have, we will just end up in the same place. Wanting more.
Push on the bruise, look for the root cause, ask the hard questions, sit in the uncomfortable.
Creating a solution that lasts requires us to look past the symptoms and find for the cause of our problems. The problem is that is really hard to do and takes more time and effort than just finding a solution to the immediate concern.
So how do you shift your perspective?
- Look at the big picture. Step back. Ask yourself “Am I looking at this from 5,000 ft or 50,000 ft?“
- Be specific. Get clear on what is actually getting in the getting in your way. Chances are your problem isn’t really your problem.
- Take risks. Put yourself out there, be generous with your heart and compassionate with yourself. No one said this was going to be easy.
- Release control. It is really all just an illusion anyway.
- Let go of the fear of the unknown. This isn’t a guarantee of success, but chances are what you are doing now isn’t either.
Start asking yourself the hard questions:
- Are you being honest with yourself? Would your friends have the same answer?
- Is this still serving you? How is it making you better?
- Are you being defensive? Are you being passive? Are you turning a blind eye?
- Who in your life is pushing you (in a good way)? Are you listening?
- What can you let go of that is holding you back? Fear? Control? Defensiveness? The need to be right? Insecurity?
Let’s look at an example: No one is connecting with your business through social media
- Instead of creating a killer social media strategy, sit in the uncomfortable.
- Instead of focusing on the problem, look at the question at 50,000 ft: are you connecting with anyone at all?
- Cause & Effect: Your internal culture will absolutely affect your client experience which in turn affects everything else.
- If you connect with your internal team they will in turn connect with your clients who will intern connect with you online as well as offline.
- Instead of focusing a solution, ask the hard questions. Your employees and customers want to see your business succeed (or they would go to another company).
- Ask them what they like/dislike.
- Ask them what they want to see change.
- Ask them what is and isn’t working.
- Take risks and don’t be afraid to let go of what isn’t serving you. Are your current clients the right clients? Maybe the problem isn’t your culture or your social media, maybe it is your current audience.
- Ask yourself why? Why do your clients need to connect with you on social media. Social media isn’t a magic fix and it isn’t right for everyone.
- Maybe you want your clients to connect via social media to create community … or you want to create more repeat business … or to increase brand visibility.
- All of those outcomes require different strategies and approaches.
- All of those outcomes can also be accomplished outside of social media. Get specific about what you really want.
- Your social media problem just became a culture problem. Your social media strategy solution just became a branding solution.
The answers we are looking for are out there.
Be prepared, they may not be the answers we want to hear.
They will involve more work than we want to do, they will take more time than we want to give them, but it is worth it.