Wednesday, January 5, 2011 · 7:53am ET

ACKNOWLEDGE THE PAIN

Posted by: Harold Byne

 I was watching a news clip recently about 12 year old Ashlyn Blocker of Gainesville Florida. Ashlyn is one of 35 people on this planet who suffers from the condition CIPA, known as Congenital De-sensitivity. Hearing stories of undetected illnesses and ignored injuries of those like Ashlyn was moving indeed.

Later, reflecting on this news story, I thought of how much time, energy we expend, and money we spend, trying to avoid pain, treat pain and get rid of it all together. I thought of how we are bombarded with commercial messages promising that the purchase of a particular product will ease the pain and make us feel better. We just don’t like to experience pain and distress and will do anything to avoid it.

Reflecting further, I thought of how often in my coaching experiences, the initial challenge is to get a person to acknowledge that something is critical and needs to be addressed. We often opt for the illusion that everything is OK, rather than recognize the issue and its implication. Our avoidance of the problem can become a serious condition that de-sensitizes us to the need to change.

People who have the condition known as CIPA rarely make it to their 25th birthday, because their brain will not warn them of the impending danger of what the illness or injury is doing to their bodies. In life and business, we need to acknowledge that something is wrong, or we cannot / will not deal with it. In fact, if you think about it, it is only at the point of struggle and the feeling of discomfort, that we are ever motivated to take action and change.

What I am talking about is not sitting around immobilized by doom and gloom thinking. Nor am I suggesting we dwell and fixate on our problems. I am however suggesting that we must acknowledge our problems and commit to addressing them.

Below are three related thoughts submitted for your reflection.

1)   The problem is never the problem. I love the words of Theodore Rubin, “The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem”. No problem will defeat us, if we have a healthy cognizance of it. The real problem is in not knowing, or not acknowledging what the problem or issue will do to us. The first step then is to stop being afraid of problems, but rather embrace them, for they can be the springboard to something better.

2)  There is no such thing as failure, there is only failing at failure. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” The struggles, challenges and issues we face both personally and in our business experiences are the very things that will get us to our destination, but only if we acknowledge them and commit to keep going.

3)   Think solutions. I am often exposed to situations in the context of my work, where leaders call a meeting, everyone talks about a particular problem for a couple of hours, and then they go back to their roles, without having addressed any solutions. All this does is create an illusion that we are doing something, when in reality we are not. Developing a culture of solutions thinking is a most critical success foundation.

Often it takes but a minor stimulus to turn issues into an opportunities. The INTEG Team Continuum process has been developed to help business leaders assess the present reality of their team and to support a “solutions-think” strategy. This process may be just the stimulus you have been looking for. Call today for a no obligation consultation to see if this process has value for you.

H Byne

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