Intentionally and willfully changing your focus can lead to tremendous opportunity, renewed hope and new options.

Choosing your focus involves a very simple process:

  1. Acknowledge the worst-case scenario. (Expect the worst)
  2. Acknowledge what you would like to see happen. (Hope for the best)
  3. Assess what you know what know right now. (Stick to the facts)
  4. Consider next steps.
  5. Take the perceived best next step.

Telling on my son: My son totaled his vehicle. He had his Beamer for three months and then, in a rush of youthful adrenaline, did a quick acceleration from a complete stop on wet pavement and kissed the guardrail.

After dealing with the initial shock of impact, he immediately went to work figuring out how he might put humpty dumpty together again. He found a guy selling parts who had had a rear end collision. He had several guys over helping take things apart and assess.

All was looking good until…

After popping off the right fender he discovered a large gaping rust hole in the strut tower. Further investigation showed a similar issue on the other side. We both stared at the hole.

The car sat there for a time as we discussed and thought. Eventually, a trip to a body shop shared the worst news: “Lady, I’m not saying I don’t want your money, but I wouldn’t let my daughter drive a car with strut towers like that.” David and I drove home wondering what was next.

More conversations about options, worse case scenarios, safety and finances followed. Eventually, a deal was struck with a local body shop owner who will replace the rusted sections of the strut towers and literally put humpty dumpty back together again.

David should have his car in less than a week. Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter for the follow up pictures.

Reflecting on the saga:

Both Tom and I were astounded at how positive David remained throughout the entire process. He was not positive what would happen. He was a realist and knew that he might have to junk the car. But he was positive that he could think things through. He would always begin with the worse case scenario and emotionally work through that as he then began to explore other options.

This took pressure off and allowed creativity to set in. This also changed the way he would communicate with people – he could be calm, lucid and thoughtful in his dialogues so as to not get ‘taken for’ or make a costly decision – either financially or with respect to safety.

Coaching Challenge:

Often we only look at the worst-case scenario and become discouraged/demoralized or we consider only what we really want to happen and lose our connection to reality walking around in false hope. In the long run, neither serves us very well.

Next time you get ‘hit’ with something, consider trying the “Choose Your Focus” coaching challenge. I wonder what new opportunities with people around you and what options for resolving might show up that before the shift in focus, you wouldn’t have been able to engage in or to see.