Golf can be a frustrating game. It’s been said, no matter how good you are, you can have great days and horrible days. When you start playing horribly, it seems to aggravate itself because the frustration increases and the level of play continues to degrade in a vicious cycle.
Sounds a lot like a bad day that starts with a missed train or traffic jam and just gets worse as the day progresses.
Both examples are part of a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you think you are playing horribly, you will continue to play horribly. If you are having a bad morning, you will continue to have a bad day.
People react to problems and unplanned mini-crises differently. Pessimistic thinkers see it as a problem while positive thinkers see it as a challenge.
Entrepreneurs and leaders encounter challenges on a daily basis, some larger than others.
Reframing the problem means you look at it from a different perspective to solve it.
Irwin Carasso, in an interview for Russell Bishop’s book Workarounds That Work: How to Conquer anything That Stands in Your Way At Work, said
“The very nature of labeling something as a problem automatically sets it up as a block to going forward… I always chose to look at problems more like puzzles and had fun finding a more creative way to deal with them.”
How to Reframe Problems for a Positive Outcome
It’s just like that bad golf game, or that bad morning when you got stuck in traffic. View it as an isolated incident, an obstacle which can be overcome with some creative problem-solving moving forward.
As an example, Carasso, the founder of an organic grocery store, discovered that his store was throwing away a lot of meat, poultry and produce, wasting thousands of dollars per week.
Rather than see this as a problem, he looked at is as a puzzle to solve. He decided to start a soup bar to use this meat and produce that was less than perfect and it was a huge hit, fulfilling a need of his customers, generating much more revenue, and reducing waste
Rebeca Hwang discusses reframing in her thought-provoking piece seeking happiness as an entrepreneur. Her advice to alter your outlook: Consider yourself inherently lucky.
A study was conducted between those who consider themselves lucky and those who don’t. It’s interesting to note that those who consider themselves lucky have the ability to focus on an issue without shutting down their peripheral vision and taking in other factors and concepts.
In other words, those who feel unlucky, or who have a more pessimistic outlook, tend to shut down and focus solely on the “problem” at hand. They miss out on opportunities to creatively piece the situation together to a positive outcome.
Leaders are leaders for a reason, climbers are climbers for a reason. Everyone chooses their own challenges and victories. Along the way, there may be self-doubt, second-guessing, and questioning but we do it for a reason; to succeed, and to achieve happiness.
Have you had the experience of reframing a problem?