How to stay positive despite of challenges

It’s 10:00 AM, you already got 3 no’s from prospects. Your website was down. An issue with the financial office is still not settled. And now the coffee machine gave up. Feeling frustrated? Hell yeah! So how can you stay positive despite of challenges like this?

Being in business means that you need to constantly solve problems. And the more problems you solve and the bigger the problems you solve, the more successful you will be.

But being constantly faced with problem can be extremely frustrating at times. We all have our limits. So how to stay positive despite of challenges?


Take breaks

In times of extreme frustrations, it can be best to just do nothing for a moment. Take a deep breathe, get a coffee, get some fresh air, take a walk. Make room in your head for getting back to work. Listen to some music, call a friend, go shopping. Whatever gets some distance between you and the problem.

Some of you may be thinking: But what if the problem is time-critical? I may need to take every minute I have to solve the issue! The funny thin about our brain is that it never shuts off. Did you ever come up with a great idea while showering? Or that last time when you exercised and all of the sudden you had THE solution for your problem? And what about these times when you are very close to falling asleep and here comes the solution that you were trying to find all day long! You know these moments, right?

Our brain continues to work on solutions even when you don’t actively think about it. Taking a break can be the best thing you can do if you are frustrated.


Change of perspective

Sometimes we are too close to a problem and we don’t consider certain elements. Therefore, it is a good idea to change perspectives once in a while.

What does this mean? Try to take the view of another person. What would a customer think about your problem? Or a supplier? Try to look at it from various angles and roles.

Then try to look at the problem from various altitudes. Zoom out and look at it from a 30k view. What strategic impact does the problem have? Does it even matter in the long run? Then zoom in step by step. Does the problem link into any other areas that you did not yet consider? Are there any connections that you ignored so far?

Such a change of perspective can result in surprising findings and new starting points for solutions.


Think beyond your own horizon

Many problems that we are faced with every day in fact are not that new at all. Other industries may had to go through your challenge already some time ago. How did they solve it?

Look at other industries and competitors. How do they solve a similar problem? What was their thought process? Can their solution be modified to match your requirements?

This is one of the most common solution approaches. How many large companies shop competitor products just to take them apart and see how they work on the inside? It has a reason why this is done. This is called “reverse engineering”. You take a finished product and try to find out how it was built.

Such an approach is also possible with services, not only with products. You can also reverse engineer services. For example, if you look at training programs, they follow a certain flow. Which modules come first? In which order? What is the learning objective? Which material is used?

Look beyond your horizon if you are stuck. Get inspiration from the outside. Do some research, Google, call some people.


Have faith in yourself

Last but not least, have some faith in yourself. Even if you don’t see the solution yet, it does not mean there is none. Therefore, have belief in yourself and be assured that you will end up with a good outcome.

Staying positive despite of challenges comes down to the right techniques and a careful observation of your mindset. The first step in finding a solution to a difficult problem is always believing that you can solve it.

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