Help Your Clients Think Past Their Problems to Generate The Results They Desire in Business and In Life

Every one of your clients will have what they perceive to be “problems” in their lives, because problems are just a natural part of the human experience.

As humans we’re trained to believe that when we have a problem, we need to really think deeply about it. But when we do this, we begin to obsess about a problem until we become trapped in the “frequency” of that problem.

In order to actually solve a problem and move forward in life, we have to think past the problem, to the frequency of solutions, greater opportunities and growth. This is where the answers are.

Einstein said,

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the level of thinking that created them.”

So again, to support your client’s growth, you must help them think beyond the problems and challenges they’re currently facing.

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Here’s a story you can share with your clients to illustrate the transformational power of thinking past a problem, so that they can move toward their goals and dreams in life.

thinking past a problem barber shop

In the late 1970’s in the Midwest, there was a man who was a fourth-generation barber

He and his family deeply enjoyed running their business.

Their barber shop was really more of a community center. It was packed all of the time, and people would come in from the countryside on weekends to visit and get haircuts for themselves and their families.

The barber shop even had a coffee bar and a little donut shop! Everyone would spend time there and chat, socialize and discuss their crops and their lives. It was a truly special gathering place.

One day, the barber’s son came home from to visit after being away at college for a year. He noticed his father, the barber, was quiet and sullen. After a few days at home, the son knocked on his father’s door and found his father with his head in his hands.

“Dad, what’s wrong?” the son asked.

The father was very upset

The father was very upset and told his son, “Well, after four generations of owning this barbershop, we are going bankrupt.”

What had happened, the father explained, is that one of those low-cost hair cutting salons had moved into town and was advertising $6 haircuts. This new shop was taking a lot of the barber’s business.

He continued, “There’s no way I can give haircuts for $6! I have overhead and people to pay. We’ve gone through all of our cash, and I’ve tried everything I can think of, but I’ll now have to close the doors for good at the end of the month.”

The son could tell his father was distraught, but the son had studied transformational principles and knew a bit about masterminding to think past problems.

The father was skeptical but the son was gently persistent and suggested they write down any and all ideas that came to them for how to solve this problem.

So they tossed around all kinds of ideas, many of which the father had already thought of or tried… but they kept brainstorming.

thinking past a problem open sign

After a while, they came up with an idea that they both immediately felt had real potential.

So the son went back to college and called his father about a week later to see how things were going. The father was over the moon! The barber shop was doing better business than ever. In fact, sales had actually gone up 11%!

Want to know what the idea was?

The father and son had hung a great big sign outside the barber shop that said, “We Fix $6 Haircuts.”

Now, not every problem is solved exactly this way.

But by definition, if there’s a problem, then there’s a solution! There can be no other way.

3 techniques to reframe problems

Your clients can apply all three techniques in the order they’re presented here, or they can apply them individually.

1. Suspend upset for three days

If you have a client who is in the throes of grappling with a problem, and particularly if they’re very emotional about it, encourage them to suspend or delay their upset for three days.

They can even schedule a time in their phone or on their calendar to go ahead and be upset about it, as silly as that may sound.

It’s okay to have strong emotions surrounding a problem or setback, but often when we’re first confronted with it, our minds are clouded with emotions about it. We simply don’t have enough clarity think past it and rise the frequency of solutions.

And a lot can happen in three days!

Your client’s perception of the problem may naturally shift over a few days and, by the time the alarm goes off to actually sit down and worry about it, the problem will likely have already worked itself out… or at least become a lot less daunting.

If the problem persists after three days, your client will be in a much clearer and calmer headspace to address it.

thinking past a problem rainbow

2. Consider the possible good

Ask your client, “What good can come out of this problem?” or “Where is the gift here?” (Remember these questions from our evocative coaching methods?)

Because here’s the truth: 100% of the time, there is always good, there is always a gift, in any situation, however difficult or bleak it may feel at the time.

This is Universal Law.

If your client is upset, they may be inclined to say,

“What are you talking about? There’s nothing good happening here!”

But urge them to think past the problem to some of the beneficial results that may not be super apparent in the moment.

You can ask your client,

“What will you learn from this situation? In what ways might you grow?”

Perhaps your client will become more compassionate, self aware or grateful for what they have in life as a result of this problem.

If you keep reminding your client that there is always good in any circumstance, they’ll eventually start to see what that good may be.

thinking past a problem spark

3. Source solutions

Just like the father and son brainstormed ideas to save the barber shop, you can sit down with your client and help them compose a list of ideas for addressing the problem. Doing so will help them source potential solutions.

Encourage your client to write down anything and everything that pops into their head, however seemingly implausible or out there the idea may be.

When pumping water, the dirty-looking, brackish water always comes out first, before the clear, drinkable water.

Ideas work the same way! You often have to let a good deal of them flow out before the right one comes.

So have your clients write down at least 20 ideas, and a solution will eventually present itself!

thinking past a problem spiral staircase

The solution to any problem is already out there, and the key to helping a client find it is helping them shift their mindset about the problem

You can tell your client,

“It’s okay to have a problem! But don’t let the problem have you.”

When we fixate on a problem (and we all do this at times) we get stuck on the frequency of the problem.

But when we allow ourselves to think past the problem and be open to how it will get solved, even if the solution is currently unknown, we begin operating at a higher frequency. And then the answers we seek for how to move past the problem will eventually make themselves known to us!

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6 Responses to Reframing Problems and Finding Solutions

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