I have a simple strategy that will help you move forward and find some options or solutions. It’s called the Solid Star Problem Solver (adapted from Harley Storey)
Draw or print out the handout and write the problem inside the star. Some examples that I have on the handout are:
I have gained weight.
I’m having trouble finding time to work on my business or my project.
I’m busy all the time. I have no me-time anymore.
Whatever problem you want to work on, write it in the middle.
Now, do you see the little points around the star? This is where you dump the actions that you’ll take or the solutions that come up for you.
Here’s an example:
Problem: I have gained weight. Possible Actions/Solutions:
Have a food journal or a phone app to help me with portions and better food choices.
Start walking 20-30 minutes three times a week.
Eat clean (no junk, sweets or processed food).
Hire a trainer or health coach.
Use one day in the week to prep some meals.
After you’ve ‘dumped’ you actions and solutions, pick only 3 that resonate the most with you. Working in small chunks will help you move forward, feel less overwhlemed and create options that are attainable.
Like all organisms in the planet, the fittest one is the one that is going to adapt and adaptation requires curiosity ~ Richard Bandler.
There are two questions that you can start asking yourself anytime you’re faced with a challenge or difficulty or adversity.
Even resilient individuals go through thoughts such as “this is so difficult”, “I don’t know if this is going to work, “what if I fail”. However, my research has shown that they ask these two questions:
What’s the worst thing that could have happened, but didn’t? Look back in your life and think of a time that you faced a difficult situation, whether it was a challenge, emergency situation, or some kind of adversity. How did you cope through it?
How did that situation cause positive things later on in your life? Remember, the more you look for things that could go wrong the more you’ll find it and the more you look for things that could work the more you find these too.
Sometimes we forget how resilient we are or how something negative caused positive things later in life. Therefore, you always have to retrain your brain with these two questions so you can always bounce forward instead of staying stuck and worrying.
Do you find that sometimes you have a friend or a loved one that comes to you and says: “I’m so worried about this?”
How do you handle that conversation? Do you problem solve, do you worry with them or do you just listen and tell them something inspirational?
Here’s a simple process you can use to coach someone who’s worried or even coach yourself:
Ask: “Will worrying help the situation?” If they answer maybe or No (most people will answer this way), then ask: “Well, can you do anything about it?”
If they say, YES, you reply, “Then go do it!” If they say NO, ask: “Then why are you worrying about it?”
Whether they reply YES or NO, follow up with this question: “What’s the worst thing can happen and can you handle that?” Whatever they reply, just listen.
Finally, ask them: “Think of one positive thing that will come out of the situation” OR “Think of one positive thing that you can live with”. The reason you ask this final question is to help them reframe the way they’re thinking. When I found out that I had cancer in my right breast, I was very angry and upset, and all those negative emotions kept mounting. I was worrying. It was only after I asked my husband to help me reframe my thoughts that I felt better. Some of the things he said: “It’s good you’re healthy because you’ll heal faster” “You now have time to work on your online course” “You have a story to share that’s related to your expertise on RESILIENCE”
He immediately started making me feel better because I could see something positive in this situation.
Success requires action. Success also requires you to take the responsibility to follow through on your goals. So now the question becomes: “How do I hold myself accountable so I can follow through and keep the momentum going?”
Have an Accountability Buddy
A buddy that will be encouraging and yet challenge you. You can even join a Facebook group to make sure you are held accountable. Actually, it doesn’t have to be Facebook group, it can be any group that is positive and has the same interests as you. However, also make sure that when you join the group, you take action there by being conversational and sharing ideas.
Have a Plan
Without a plan, you’re just shooting randomly. If you have a goal to eat healthy just saying that I’m going to eat healthy isn’t going to do anything. But having a plan and saying okay, I am going to have a healthy breakfast of (blank), I’m going to have a nice salad for lunches, or I’m going to work out three times a week. It has to be specific. Therefore, plan ahead and be specific about what you want. It helps to do these in small chunks.
Visualize Your End Goal or Outcome
You want to think about your goal and how you feel. Whenever you feel like giving up and you feel like you’re not going to get to your goal. Then, you want to think about it and imagine your end goal and notice how it feels like it’s already done. When I found out I had breast cancer, I wanted to give up a lot of things including my speaking career, but I’d always be looking to the future and see how I’m going to feel if I continue or give up. However, that feeling of teaching and helping others makes me want to continue.
Have you seen the movie The King’s Speech? It’s about King George the VI who is almost forced to take the crown because his brother King Edward the VIII steps down. Now King George the VI stutters and this movie is all about how he overcome his fear of stuttering and even though he felt that no one would listen to him or he didn’t have a voice, he still went on to become King and make a transformation in his own life and in the people of England.
Why am I telling you this? Because the movie really resonated with me. You see I stuttered and sometimes it still creeps up and I learned how to deal with it. So today I’m going to share with you three steps that are going to help you embrace your fear.
My name is Zaheen Nanji and thank you for joining. I teach people how to make resilience their first reflex. There was a time even in my twenties where I couldn’t even answer the phone because I was scared that I would stutter and the person on the other line will get upset and irritated. I decided to take control of that. So yes, I went to speech therapy. Where they taught me how to speak fluently. I felt that just in three weeks it was enough, but yet I felt that all these 20 years of my life I had learned how to hide my stutter. Tough habit it break, but then I started to take some steps.
I just stuttered right now, but it doesn’t bother me anymore and I’m not going to stop it from sharing my knowledge and finding my voice. I want you to find your voice. So this is why I am telling you that do not hide behind your voice and let it come out. So the first thing that I did was I became aware of the images that we hold in our head when we create fear and anxiety. So what happens when you have all this fear and anxiety inside? You always make up images of things that haven’t even happened yet, right? So when I wanted to speak in front of a group or in front on an audience I would have this images that were scary of me, making a fool of myself and the audience laughing at me and just going uh she doesn’t know. I would make these images of things that haven’t even happened yet! If I’m thinking that what am I going to do? Of course, I’m going to do the very same thing. So the idea then was to flip the images. And make the images of what I wanted.
The question here is, what do I want to see? What do I want to happen so that I can lessen my fear and my anxiety? I would visualize myself going up to speak and making it very easy for me to be fluent so I would practice the things that I learned in speech therapy. I would take my time. I would practice, practice, practice and then I would go on. The first step is becoming aware and visualizing what you want to see and I want you to repeat these two words after me “FLIP IT”, so flip the images and every time you feel yourself building up with anxiety and fear here notice the images and then flip those images to what you want to see. The next thing I did is of course you can’t visualize and not take action. So what I did was, I practiced what I was going to do and say, and then I would take the action. So practice everything that I was doing, if it was speaking. If you are feeling anxiety then practice taking your focus away from there in to doing something that you enjoy - like singing, quilting, playing an instrument, and things like that.
The third thing is to ask myself, what if I did have a setback? What if I did stutter? What if it didn’t go the way I planned? Right, because you still have fear when you go up there. And it’s good to have something like fear, so you do your very best. I would look back and say, you know what at least that’s how far I came, in doing something that I always avoided. And the second thing was that if I had a setback, I would always ask how can I make it better the next time. So I’m just going to recap the 3 steps for you again, 3 steps to embrace your fear. You notice I’m not saying overcome or slay the dragon of fear because if you fight against fear it will still keep coming back. But if you embrace it and accept it and say I know you’re there, but let’s work together here.
The first step is to become aware of the images and the self-talk that is going on in your head and then flip the images. Remember the two words flip it, flip it, flip it. Flip the images and make them work for what you want and ask yourself, “what do I want to happen so this works for me”.
The second thing is that before you do something you want to practice. So if it’s speaking in public, you want to practice, practice, and then go take action. If it’s anxiety that is building up, you want to move your focus away and do something that you love doing like playing an instrument, doing some quilting and anything like that, or listen to a great song that inspires you.
The third thing that you want to do is you want to reflect back and notice that if you had any setbacks while you went and did the thing that you fear, ask yourself, “Okay that was a setback, that’s fine. Now what can I do better next time?” Then say to yourself, “Well look at how far I came. I would have avoided this before and I did it, I did it, so good on me!” Do it again and keep on doing it again and that’s how I went from being someone who’s stutters and would never do anything when it came to speaking even answer the phone. I wouldn’t even do that, to someone now who loves sharing her knowledge. I love doing that. And I’m making a difference.
Hello this is Zaheen, resilience expert and what I want do today is talk to you about three ways we sabotage ourselves.
The first way is that we complain about change. Now why do we complain about change? I think change can be scary especially when we don’t know what lies on the other side of change, so it’s the unknown. The second reason I think we complain about change is because we doubt our capability of handling that change. So if we doubt ourselves, then we don’t do anything about it. But you don’t realize that complaining is a negative vibe.
Do you know why we complain? We complain because we imagine that there’s something better out there somewhere waiting for us, so complaining makes us feel better. But it’s negative and you get the negative vibe going out there and when you put out a negative vibe and a negative thought about complaining about something, then you’ll get negative results.
Recently I was diagnosed with cancer in my right breast and I was told by the surgeon, “Well for the next four to six months you’ll be faced with disruption and that disruption is going to cause a lot of things.” Well true enough, I wasn’t happy with what she was saying. I didn’t like the disruption, I couldn’t take on anymore work for what I do, I had to turn down inquiries and I got really upset and started complaining. And then I realized, hold on, what am I doing and so I stopped complaining and I started to take control of what I had control over. I started to think about all the things that I’ve always wanted to do like create an online course, do some research, write a book and things like that. So, I took control. Whenever you find yourself complaining, stop and ask, “What do I have control over?” or ask “What can I control, at the moment, in my life that will make me feel better?”
The second way we sabotage ourselves is that we keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result and Einstein actually said, “That’s insanity to keep doing things over and over again expecting a different result.”
If you are saying that you go from paycheck to paycheck and you don’t have any cash flow coming, then could you stop going to the drive thru or coffee shop and having coffee every day and spending $2 which ends up about $60 a month. Could you stop drinking every weekend and buying alcohol so that you can save money and have some at the end of the month. You see if you keep doing the same things over and over again thinking it will work out, it never does. You have to take control over that.
If you want to lose weight, having a breakfast sandwich every morning, again isn’t’ going to help you lose weight, but what if you could get up maybe 15 minutes early and have a nice breakfast at home. So those are the kinds of things you need to do to start changing so you can have a different result.
The question to ask yourself is, “What can I do differently that will give me a positive outcome?”
The third way we sabotage ourselves is believing that there’s no way out. I was in that situation between 2009 and 2012 when we had a lot of debt and I felt there was no way out because where we going to get this money from. I remember speaking to my mentor and he said: “Zaheen, there’s always a way, what is the way?” I was driving and I remember saying this over and over again, “There’s always a way, what is the way? There’s always a way, what is the way?” Finally, I found the answer, and we worked with the bank and debt was paid off.
I’ve given you three ways that we self-sabotage but I’ve also gave you three ways to stop and rethink about it differently so you can find the solution.