Overwhelmed. Confused. Doubtful. Fearful. Stuck.
These are the most common excuses I hear when my clients tell me they aren’t happy with their life. And it isn’t “just my clients” who are experiencing these debilitating behaviors. It happens to most of us, most of the time. And it can be scary!
Not knowing what to do next or feeling that your decision-making skills aren’t up to par will either leave you treading water for a long time, or have you running around frantically trying to save a sinking ship! Neither of these decisions are worthy of keeping. So let’s talk about how you can begin to build confidence in your problem-solving skills and start reaping the rewards today; not a year from today.
3 Steps To Build Confidence In Your Problem-Solving Skills
When followed, the three steps below will quickly change your behaviors and thinking around facing challenges, and will provide you with an easy-to-use formula to improve your results in any area of life.
Step 1. Discovery
The first step is discovering what you don’t know or don’t understand to solve your problem. This insight will provide you with a direction for your progress. Essentially, you need to discover what you don’t know that you don’t know. And in turn that new knowledge will lead you to uncover new information, new resources, and new strategies that you didn’t know, that you didn’t know until now (in other words, that you were ignorant of not knowing). Makes sense?
Let me give you an example: Let’s say that before you read my article today, you had never heard of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). But through reading my article and by doing enough research on the internet, you learn what NLP is and how it is used to help individuals and companies to overcome difficult challenges and produce better results. Now you know what NLP is and how it is used. You have just gained new knowledge that you didn’t have before. In addition to learning what NLP is used for, you realize that you could use these skills to offer greater benefits with the services you currently offer through your business. Now, you have discovered something that you didn’t know – that you didn’t know – that you didn’t know! You have expanded your thinking. I call this Thinking Laterally. Instead of being trapped in the box and coming up with the same ideas and solutions, you are exploring the vast possibilities of innovation.
The graphic below is a visual example of how new knowledge and innovation are found through uncovering “What you don’t know that you don’t know!”
The good news is that as you continue to learn new ideas and strategies, there are always more powerful and effective ideas just waiting to be discovered!
Step 2. Resources
Now that you have identified the problem, it’s time to learn how to solve it. This can be done in several ways. I prefer to use one of the 3 following ways to gain new information or to learn a new skill.
- Work with a coach or mentor
This method is the most effective and efficient to build new resources and gain new knowledge. Working with someone who has experience overcoming the problems you are facing will not only provide you with a successful outcome, but will also help you benefit from his instructions and guidance. The responsibility of a life coach or mentor is to help you produce extraordinary results while teaching you how to do the same.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Chinese Proverb
- Read a book or enroll in a class
Twenty years ago, it was a different ball of wax, but today you can find anything you want on the internet. You can find articles, blogs, e-books, YouTube videos, channels, and tutorials everywhere that will offer you tools and tips to get started. Be curious and disciplined and you will find what you are looking to find. For many years now, I have used YouTube as my main resource for learning how to improve my website building skills, marketing skills, blogging skills – you name it! There is also a plethora of online courses and DIY programs that make it easy for you to gain confidence and the tools to succeed. You will also find that most of these options are flexible and affordable.
- Hire an expert
If you find that you are crunched for time or faced with a challenge that lies in an area you don’t particularly care to learn about, then hiring an expert is your best bet. Sometimes we run into issues that are outside our skill-set and the problem happens so rarely that it won’t benefit you in the long run to invest time and money here. Over the years, I have hired experts to help me fix or improve technical challenges that were slowing my business down or causing us to lose customers. At that time, it made no sense for me to learn how to write HTML code, and I was so busy working with clients that it was a no-brainer to hire someone.
Note: The downside to hiring an expert is the fact that you won’t be taught how to solve the same problem in the future. So be cautious when you seek outside help to make sure you aren’t cheating yourself out of the rewards of personal growth.
Step 3. Integration
After you have found the steps to overcome your problem, you have to integrate them into your life. Integration is a process of refinement. This means you need to take your new knowledge or behavior and use it as much as possible until you have tested and refined your process to create a formula – a proven method that consistently achieves a successful outcome.
Too often we get caught up in the rat race mentality and we rush our learning curve. In order to confidently say that you have mastered a process, you must be able to duplicate the results over and over and over again! And the way to achieve mastery is through consistent practice, testing, and analysis of your results. Define what is working and why it’s working; define what isn’t working or what it is that you don’t understand and give that area attention. Stay the course and focus on the outcome you desire. When you follow these steps, you will get there faster than you might imagine.