Falling on Tough Times Means You Need to Adjust Your Focus

We don’t have to go too far to get drawn in to negativity. You can go to any social media page and see someone ranting about the political climate or their frustrations with the economy and the impact on their lives.

Tough times don’t last forever. They don’t impact everyone at the same time. There are industries that are growing and thriving by choice. They have learned to think creatively and to be innovative with what they have. They recognize that they are the creator of their own outcomes and experiences. Personal accountability and determination are what make the best rise to the top.

Change means different things to different people but for the most part change means progress and moving forward. Change may provoke feelings of anxiety, fear, and nervousness. It is the uncertainty and the feeling of loss of control that can get a person worked up. When you are driven by your fears, you become caged in your belief that things cannot get better and your actions and behavior with match that belief. You may even start settling for less than you deserve because you’ve adopted a small picture thinking or “victim mentality”. You view the world as things happening “to you” rather than “for you” and because of this small minded thinking you could be missing out on a grand opportunity.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Small picture thinkers are reactive rather than responsive. They focus on the small things versus the impact on the bigger picture. They fail to see that all circumstances are temporary and anything that is temporary can change. They do not ask questions about how thinks can be different. Small picture thinkers focus on counting their losses versus the gains that they have. They focus on the negativity of a situation and get lost in the blur activities that take up their day and exhaust them.

Worrying and complaining changes nothing. If we want greatness and abundance, we must be looking at what already is going well and celebrate those successes and build upon them. In my training in Appreciative Inquiry, a positive approach to creating meaningful and sustainable change, we guide people through a process of discovery by asking questions and focusing on existing strengths.

“The world as we have created is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. – Albert Einstein

Appreciative Inquiry is not about getting short-term results although many people would like immediate change (perhaps you they think it will hurt less or be more satisfied due to immediate gratification). People and organizations are living things that learn, grow, and evolve over time. Change takes time and commitment by each individual. You can start with focusing on what’s working and ask ourselves, “What do we/I need to be doing to be our best?”

What lens are you looking through? Are you looking at the upside or the downside? What strengths do you have that you can contribute to make a difference? It will be the big picture thinkers will who will keep the economy going. They know that now is not the time to stop learning, building relationships, or marketing because when the market changes (and it eventually will), they will be top of mind.

Think a little bit differently about the world around you. Ask yourself the following appreciative questions:

  1. Let’s capture your best experience. Recall a time when you felt on top of your game and most alive in your business, organization, or life. Who was involved? What made it such an exciting experience? Write down details.
  2. What do you bring to the table? Without being humble, what do you value about yourself as a person and what you contribute to your business or organization?
  3. The Magic Lamp. What three wishes would you make that would make the biggest difference in your business or organization right now?

Can you feel the shift in focus and energy? When you focus on the best of what is, you can think of ways to enjoy more of the best. Use your best experience, your strengths, and your three wishes to build and grow your business or organization to where you want to be. The same practices can be used in your personal life. Focus on what’s working right now. Celebrate and rave about it – shift the venting and gossip on social media to a positive and meaningful experience. Change starts with YOU!

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”Dr. Wayne Dyer

What is the one thing you are willing to commit to in moving toward making a positive change?

DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. She is a contributing writer for Diversity Magazine and Fabulous at 50 Magazine. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. www.debrakasowski.com

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