This week I watched a person struggle with a business challenge. The outcome she needed was challenging, but not so challenging that it was impossible. In fact, some people wouldn’t have been challenged to do what she needed to do at all.
The real challenge she was having wasn’t the outcome she needed. It was her focus. Here is the pattern she used to work herself into an un-resourceful state, a state in which she was frustrated, upset, and unable to move forward.
First, she described the outcome she needed. Second, she made a list of all of the reasons she was unable to achieve the outcome. It was too much work. She didn’t have the people she needed. The client’s expectations were too high. There wasn’t enough time. There was nowhere to get additional help.
At this point in the list, I said: “Well, what about these people on your team? Could they help?” She admitted they could help, but their help wouldn’t be good enough. She continued with her list.
This person’s entire focus was on deficiencies. She spent all of her time and energy focusing on what she lacked. Her world became a world of deficiency.
Have you ever done this? Have you ever approached a challenge by identifying all of the obstacles, all of the deficiencies, all of the things that you were missing? I know I have. It’s easy to let your mind go there. But this isn’t the right place to look for the answer to hard questions.
- Instead of identifying what’s missing, take an inventory of what you do have available to you.
- Who can help you get the outcome you need?
- Answer this question, “Who do you know who isn’t so attached to the problem that they can help you make a list of the resources that see as being available to you?”
- What could you do differently to achieve the outcome in some new way, maybe one no one has ever considered?
- What resources do you have available to you right now that, if applied to this challenge, could help you achieve the outcome you need?
The challenges you face are difficult, no doubt. That is why you are challenged. But the answers you need aren’t going to be found by identifying your deficiencies. They’re going to be found through your resourcefulness.
What challenges are you faced with right now? What resources could you apply to those challenges, if you really, really wanted to achieve the outcome you need?
Do good work this week, and make a difference. Bring your resourcefulness to bear on your challenges. I’ll see you back here next Sunday.