Flip It

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Our brains are so tricky some times. They play games and place limitations on so many things. Recently, I have experienced some brain games myself.

Last month I had an idea pop up that I could maybe offer workshops to guide others through a year-end review. The idea had promise even though it was totally out of my comfort zone, so of course my brain stepped in and immediately listed the reasons why I couldn’t do it. And I listened to those I CAN’Ts!

The thought of trying something new can be super scary. It seems much easier to list all the reasons why we should just do what is safe, but stepping outside of our comfort zone helps us to thrive and learn from the experiences.

Luckily, I knew the brain game well so as the idea kept coming back to me I decided to Flip It. Instead of focusing on all those I CAN’Ts, I found a reason to counter it and said I CAN!

For example:

I CAN’T because…I never did anything like this before –> I CAN because I know the content and just need to tweak the delivery

I CAN’T because…No one will sign up –> I CAN because I will promote the benefits to the right audience so they understand the value

I CAN’T because….It might suck –> I CAN because it just might succeed and I will put all my efforts into it so it can’t possibly suck

Sure I still feel some fear, but I keep going because with every new participant that signs up I feel more excitement and confidence that I CAN do this!

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What CAN’Ts are blocking you from moving forward?

How can you flip it to I CAN?

Try out this free template to help you. 

Check out my new workshops too!

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Expanding Perspectives

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Recently, I had a discussion with my daughter about additive and subtractive art techniques. Additive art, meaning to begin with a type of blank canvas then add materials, such as paint, to create. Subtractive art is created in reverse by starting with a material, such as a wood block, and removing parts. She commented on the difficulty level and amount of time needed to break down the steps for a subtractive art project. It was a different way of drawing than she was accustomed to, but it expanded her perspective on how she could create art.

Those same principles can be applied in life, not just in art. When faced with challenges, we may be accustomed to adding “more” as a solution, but it is quite possible the best answer might require subtracting something. Other times, we might need to look at what is missing and add to it.

We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. – Albert Einstein

Even on a simple day-to-day level, we can practice expanding our perspectives by stopping to think first before passing judgment and acting. For example, a few days ago a person driving behind me was repeatedly beeping his horn for me to turn at a red light while I was waiting for traffic to clear. I first thought he was a super impatient road-raging maniac, but then I thought maybe he could be late to a very important meeting like a job interview that he desperately needed or he could have even been testing out his new horn (not likely, but possible). Although, I was very annoyed at first, I tried to think of what he was seeing or experiencing and let the annoyance pass as I continued driving to my destination. We never know the whole story, and it is possible that from his angle he could not see the line of cars coming down from the adjacent hill. Maybe he could have thought that first, before (over)reacting.

I hear the idea of expanding perspectives in corporate speak often. It is in phrases like – looking at the big picture, taking a high level view, conducting 360 reviews and taking a systems thinking approach. However it is described, businesses recognize that looking at all the information in a different way, finding patterns and determining how things are impacted is key to thinking strategically and making better decisions.

Just as we grow with new experiences, our perspectives should widen to understand people or concepts just a little more each day too.

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Is there a certain topic you are very passionate about?

You don’t necessarily need to agree with it, but try to understand an opposing view.

Have you run across a problem you can’t solve? Maybe try a different approach than you are used to.

Check out some additive art here and here.
And subtractive art here, here, and here.


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