It’s a good time to chill.

When have you let fear override clear thinking? Do you get so busy doing that you stop seeing what’s there? When have you assumed yourself into a corner and gotten stuck?

These are all situations when it behooves you to chill out, breathe, and do your best to approach things calmly. Friends of mine have recently made iffy situations worse by not slowing down and approaching them thoughtfully. I realize their struggles offer some good reminders to all entrepreneurs who are committed to making 2020 their best year yet.

Situation #1:

Jo fell victim to a “Microsoft tech support” scammer who convinced her to let him remote in to her computer to “fix” a security issue. Basically, he scared her into providing access by implying how much hassle she’d be facing if she didn’t. Of course, instead of fixing anything, he created a security issue by uploading malware and then holding Jo’s computer access hostage until she paid several hundred dollars to unlock it.

Lesson #1:

Refuse to let yourself – or anyone else – stampede you into doing anything before you take time to thoroughly consider all sides of the issue. Decide and act from a position of thoughtful consideration, not fear.

Situation #2:

Jean has convinced herself that she’s not tech savvy and that all things electronic are a mystery she’s not able to penetrate. That’s why she called me one day to figure out why her printer wasn’t working. My tech skills are nothing to write home about, but I’ve learned to check the most obvious possible problems first. That’s how I was able to discover within 30 seconds of surveying the situation that her printer was not connected to the computer. Thirty seconds after that, things were up and running again.

Lesson #2:

Never assume that a problem is too big or too complex for you to solve. Do your best to determine what the easiest possible fix would entail, and give that a try; you might be pleasantly surprised. If your first attempt doesn’t address the situation, then you can move on to more complex possible solutions.

Situation #3:

Elaine wanted to frame some art prints but was aggravated to realize that they were too thick to fit into the frames she had bought. She’d hoped to use the handy fasteners already attached to the frame to hold the prints in place; now she realized she’d “have to” buy those painfully sharp glazing points and hammer them into the frame in order to secure the prints. Fortunately, before the purchased the points, she just started playing around with the prints. She discovered that each had a layer of backing that could be safely and easily removed, thus making it easy to fit the print in the frame and use the existing fasteners.

Lesson #3:

Use “what if” to identify possible ways to get un-stuck. In this case, the key question was, What if some of the layers that came with the actual print can be removed? “What if” will frequently lead you to solutions that are cheaper and easier to apply than the ones you’d resort to without asking this power question.

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What are some situations you can think of where you’ve made fear-based decisions, or overlooked something staring you in the face, or made unwarranted assumptions? How did that work out for you?

What if ☺ these challenging (AKA irritating as hell) situations were caused in large part by some habitual thought patterns that sabotage your success? What would it be worth to you to start shifting those patterns to ones that served you better?

When you’re ready to find out, I have an easy-to-use cheat sheet that may be just what you’re looking for. To learn about these game-changing mental tools, just email me with “I’m ready to get out of my own way!” in the subject line, and I’ll send the PDF to you.

In the meantime: Slow down, anticipate success, kick problem butt.

(BTW, thanks to Kaarina Dillabough for posting the icicle image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

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