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3 Approaches to Turning Challenges into Opportunities

The holistic approach to business decisions allows you to expand your resources and engage in transactions that benefit all involved. The holistic way is rooted in using the following three principles to guide your decisions: 1) Purpose is to unfold potential, 2) All involved are of equal importance, 3) Everyone wins or no one wins.

Identify fear and choose power.

A powerful choice is one that is made from a position of confidence —confidence that you can attain your desired result and that you either have or can develop the resources needed to overcome the presented challenge. This approach is very similar to Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset. Take actions because you believe in them, and avoid actions that are rooted in fear. You can identify when fear is involved by paying attention to your thoughts and feelings. If you are feeling short on time, thinking about a lack of financial resources, or feeling irritated by the person/team that presented the challenge to you, then there is fear involved. For instance, hiring someone because you are afraid of running out of time, rushing a deadline because you are afraid of losing to a competitor, or saying something untrue because you are afraid of being wrong are all examples of decisions based in fear. And most of us can remember a time that we have taken these actions and did not achieve our desired result.

Take the action that comes from believing in something. For instance, you may be in the middle of a transaction that didn't work out the way you had hoped and the situation has become toxic. You want to walk away because you have confidence in your ability to try again and create a new and likely improved version of the project that now isn't working. Yet you want to stay because you will feel cheated if you walk away and "lose" what you created. If you choose to walk away in confidence and appreciation for the lesson learned, you will have gained valuable lessons about yourself and your dealings with others moving forward. If you choose to stay because you are afraid of losing, then you continue to lose energy, time, and resources to something that cannot produce your desired result.

The choice is yours, and any time you choose power over a fear, the outcome is more aligned with your goals and you don't deplete your resources in the process. This is how situations that are challenges turn into opportunities.

Choose confidence in your abilities.

Those who achieve high levels of success in mind, body, and soul share a common approach to life: don't try to solve problems you don't have. Many of us have been trained to "think ahead," to try to identify possible problems on the horizon, to worry about what might be. While of course it is important to consider various possibilities and exercise wisdom in your decision making, there is a big difference between altering your course because there is a foreseeable issue, and altering your course or procrastinating for something that exists only as a worst case scenario in your mind. Instead of trying to solve problems that may or may not arise, be confident in your ability to overcome a challenge if it arises.

Don't try to solve problems you don't have. Be confident in your ability to overcome any challenges when they arise.

When you believe in your strength and perseverance, you are able to focus on what you want rather than what you don't want (which may never happen anyway). Doing this allows your mind to find solutions and avoid missteps more efficiently than you would if you were anxious about making mistakes or overlooking a detail.

The focused mind that is in the present rather than the future is much more powerful.

Choose to NOT take action.

When you don't know what to do, do nothing. If you are feeling stuck or indecisive, this is indicating that you are experiencing a lack of clarity. Instead of pushing forward or forcing a decision that you are not completely on board with, take a moment to focus on appreciation. Writing out a list of 10 things that you are grateful for brings your mind back to a place of focusing on what you want (solutions) rather than what you don't want (challenges). This practice opens you up to creative approaches.

You may then have a sudden thought or idea on how to merge more than one of your options and create an outcome that works for everyone involved. The results you get from having enough confidence in yourself to sit still and practice gratitude, will yield better results than barreling through confusion or rushing something you don't fully believe in.

Often it is the simple, seemingly small actions that create magnificent results. By choosing to make empowered decisions, betting on your ability to overcome possible challenges instead of worrying, and doing nothing until you see clearly the best course of action to take, you gain control of your thoughts. You will focus on what you want and solutions will come to you naturally. You will then have the energy and resources to focus on creating more of what you want.

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