I have a lot of conversations with a lot of people who are stuck.
Stuck in their careers, stuck in business relationships that don’t work and in situations that don’t change.
I’ve noticed that when people get profoundly mired in the muck at work, they do one of two things.
Thing #1 – They lament.
Thing #2 – They fling.
Lamenters live and breathe the problem. Every day. All day. They dream about it. Carry it around with them. They think about it, talk about it, wrap it around them like a lead vest. The problem consumes them.
Flingers live and breathe the solution. Every solution. Any solution. All solutions. With ferocious energy, they keep on flinging stuff at the problem in the hope that something will stick. They try anything and everything that looks like it just could work. All at once. The solutions consume them.
So, ‘fess up. Are you a Lamenter or a Flinger when you feel really stuck?
When you find yourself hopelessly caught in a downward spiral of lamenting or flinging and it has been going on for a while. Try this:
Make some time to take a healthy step back from the situation and just stop. Even if it’s only for an hour or a day. Think. Reflect. What do you value? What do you want? What do you need? How do you want your future to look? How do you want to show up in this situation? What commitments have you made? How can you remain faithful to those promises? Who is relying on you? What do they need? You already know what’s not working, but what is working? What do you need more of? What do you need less of? What needs to happen now? What needs to happen next?
Imagine. Dream. Write it down.
Then and only then, focus. What can you do right away that will move you closer to what you want? One thing. One small baby step. Do that.
Oh, and the lamenting and flinging? Stop doing that.
Author: Cathy Shaughnessy
Cathy Shaughnessy is a PRISM award winning ICF Master Certified Coach and author of the book series The Really Competent Coach. Cathy coaches senior leaders, mentors credentialed coaches, trains fledgling coaches and helps organizations build strong coaching cultures.
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