Recently, I helped a business acquaintance to solve an issue that was causing them some grief and problems. They were very upset, and I had to spend a fair amount of time just helping them shift in a neutral emotional position to even begin to consider some helpful options. After several conversations, we finally found a solution, and the problem was resolved.
But then, there was another situation about which they were also very upset. So, we worked on using similar tools to resolve that one, only to find—you guessed it!—something else to be upset about, complain about, and lose sleep over.
In my work and in my life, I’ve found that many people have made a habit of finding problems, seeing the worst, and generally feeling crappy for one reason or another. It’s like their very identity is tied to being wronged, having less than someone else, or being the victim of someone or something. Even if you help them solve their issue and teach them tools to solve problems creatively and positively, they still find something else to worry, fret, or complain about.
Who are they if they’re not upset or worried? Who would they be if they didn’t have something to complain about or rail against? How would they attract attention and concern from their friends and family? They say they want to solve problems and feel better, but do they really?
I’ve found that asking people that question directly is one of the best coaching questions I can ask. Do you want to feel better? Really, do you want to? Do you want things to be different? Are you ready to move toward a life that doesn’t revolve around angst, worry, or negativity? They simply must choose. Any one of us can learn the skills, gain the insights, and bolster our ability to find the good, create solutions, and feel positive, but we have to want to feel better, first and foremost.
This week, if you find yourself complaining, feeling negative, or frustrated, then ask yourself, “Do I really want to feel better? Who would I need to work with to gain the skills to get these issues resolved and to gain a brighter, more positive outlook?”
If you want to be happier, healthier, and live a more beautiful life, then decide, and make it happen.
“Being happy is something each of us determines, it is not something that we find outside of ourselves. It is within us and our choice.”
~ Catherine Pulsifer