From the desk of Crystal Andrus:
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
- Albert Einstein
In my book “Simply… EMPOWERED!,” I shared many secrets for creating and sustaining success in every area of your life.
One of the most important things an empowered person does in any troublesome situation is to always seek out solutions rather than focus on the problem.
You’ll notice that disempowered people panic first: recognizing the problems (and usually assuming the worst possible scenarios) and focusing on them. They can quickly rattle off all the potential pitfalls of starting a new business, relationship, or project. They lie awake at night worrying about things that haven’t yet happened; and when their worries do come true, they feel validated and smart: “I told you so!” They don’t realize that their emotions created that reality—not the other way around!
Empowered people, on the other hand, remain calm when there’s a “situation” and put others at ease with their demeanor as well. They initially assume the best scenario and work forward. Their trouble shooting starts by examining the simplest explanation, then logically moving through their own mental checklist, minimizing the potential trouble.
They see even the most stressful challenges through empowered lenses. They do immediate damage control and affirm that the past is the past (even the immediate past), so there’s no point in dwelling on it. Empowered people assess the circumstances and instantly begin weighing their options, focused on finding a solution. They don’t allow regret, shame, blame, guilt, or fear to overtake their mind-sets. Complaining is pointless. They keep their team/family intact (if there are others involved), knowing that if they can’t figure it out, someone, somewhere, can. They continually refocus their minds should a negative thought try to enter. They understand that the moment of absolute certainty may never arrive, so they make their decisions swiftly and confidently, knowing that almost anything can be reversed if necessary. Once a decision is made, they move on because wasting their energy second-guessing themselves is just that: a waste—pointless!
Then they assume that everything will work out; they continue as if it were working. Should another solution be needed, they address it then, and only then. Their energy—mentally, emotionally, and physically—is too sacred to squander on anything unnecessary. They stay focused on what they want to happen and resolve to find a way to make that happen. Once the situation has been rectified, they quickly look at the part they may have played in causing the problem and adjust their plan accordingly—even if that means making a difficult decision. If it’s in the best interest of the collective, they speak up-fire, hire, or reprimand those responsible-with dignity and respect. On the other hand, some times they let the mistake go if it’s not worth berating a “normally good” employee or child. If they’re personally liable, they admit responsibility immediately, resolve it, and move on. They don’t complain about it, rehash it, or give it another thought.
They do not gossip!
Disempowered people are often so afraid of making the wrong choice, they make none at all. Not aware that you can “argue” for both sides of almost any situation, sometimes you must simply make the best choice possible. Doing nothing is doing something and that something is disempowering you!
Is It a Solution or a Band-Aid?
Staying focused on solutions can be challenging from time to time; no one ever said that living an empowered life is always easy. How do you stay focused, for example, when your marriage is falling apart or when your teenage children are reckless and out of control? What if you’ve just been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness? How do you maintain your resolve when the recession is severely affecting your business and you’re losing assets?
Here are five points to keep in mind when coming up with solutions:
- Solutions should bring you closer to long-term relief. They’re meant to raise you to a higher place.
- There isn’t always a perfect solution for every problem, but you must follow your gut and do what feels right.
- The solution may not always be what you think you want or need. Be willing to surrender your notion of what success means in order to allow the unknown to unfold.
- Solutions never forsake your dignity, respect, needs, or values. You may think being a martyr or savior is commendable, but solutions that harm or devalue you (in any way) are not the answer. You can’t help someone at the sake of hurting yourself.
- Solutions resolve the problem, while bandages just stop the bleeding for a little while.