The first thing that most of us do when faced with adversity appears is to focus on the negatives. “Why me?” is one of the most common question that we ask ourselves. Somewhere we miss the fact that the main outcome is to actually be able to overcome the adversity. In this post we will explore why it is a better idea to focus on solutions instead of just the problem and what steps can help us shift our focus towards solutions.
Recently I came across a message that was shared in some group, it said:
So what would you want to do about it?
Why Focus on Solutions?
I realised so many of us keep pondering about these situations in life and lose out on the strategies to bring about the desired change?
Not to say that one shouldn’t think about their problems but imagine how traumatic it would be if you were to wake up every morning and start worrying about problems and unpleasant situations in life and wonder why is it happening with you and end the day with distress.
In order to demonstrate what I mean with more clarity, I’ll share a case-study with you:
Why Focus on Solutions: Case Study
A friend was facing a marital problem in her life and was finding it difficult to be at peace even for a second. She often kept complaining about her husband being so was careless and would always keep abusing her.
She kept cribbing about him 24×7 and blaming god for giving her such miserable life and “why me?”
Days, months and years passed by but every time she met she had the same old grievance of why god did this to me.
After months, I again came across her expecting the same old story from her side but to my surprise she sounded happy and didn’t mention about her husband even for once.
On probing further of what changes has she brought about in her life and she mentioned that for long years she kept focusing upon the problem, forgetting that she too can take necessary steps to improve her life.
She continued that one day she got fed up of this miserable life and decided to focus on what can she do about it. Finally after nothing else worked she chose to have the courage to move out of the relationship and live a peaceful life.
Hence focusing on the problem simply kept her in the problem whereas focusing on the solution helped her reach the solution.
Focusing too much on Problems
It is often said that “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but takes you nowhere” so dwelling on “Whys” is similar to this quote, it keeps us updated on how big the problem is without giving us any insight of solution that can be brought about. When focusing on solution, some people grumble about how they lack resources to initiate or imbibe the change.
Taking the above example, the lady felt stuck in her problem even after knowing the solution initially because she felt she din’t have the required financial resources for her child’s upbringing. But once she started focusing of different ways of acquiring skills to become financially independent, over a period of time she was able to have the necessary resource and hence was able to move on.
Perhaps, approaching a difficult situation by focusing on the problem might be helpful when we attempt to avoid similar problems or mistakes in the future. In most other situations awareness of the problem with the focus on solutions is a more useful approach.
How to shift focus on solutions?
The simplest and the easiest way to focus on solutions is by asking yourself “How” and “What” questions like:
- How can I solve this task?
- How can I address this problem?
- What would be the first step to solve this problem?
- What kind of preparations will be necessary for this task?
Follow this approach in your day to day life for the next few weeks consistently and check the difference it brings in your life.