3 Next steps
Focusing on strengths supports positive thinking and helps change thinking about negative situations and difficult events. In Week 6 you looked at self-belief, reframing and recovering from setbacks. Positive thinking reminds us that our actions can change (and have changed) our reality and that we can take control.
But what about the difficulties? One tactic, as you learned in the GROW coaching model, is about distinguishing between elements for action now, and those that you identify as issues but which you decide aren’t for immediate action. In Week 1 you looked at multiple stress factors. There are times when just plodding on is all that is possible, but you can actively note the other aspects you want to work on and decide to look at them again in two or six months.
This type of positive thinking does not mean ignoring difficulties or the negative aspects of a situation, but you can review them objectively and use your problem-solving skills and strengths to generate solutions.
A second tactic is to take courage and ask for objective feedback from others, as the international hockey player who was deselected did in the video in Activity 3 of Week 6 . For example, after an unsuccessful job interview it can be easy to persuade yourself it was all a disaster. Having the courage to ask for feedback (a strength) can help you get specific comments from an objective observer, even on weaker areas. ‘X and Y were great, but you gave weaker examples for Z’. Or, ‘You did well but it was a very competitive field, and other candidates had several years more experience than you.’ Feedback is almost never as dire as our darkest imaginings, and fuels positive action.
Activity 3 The TV interview
Through the course you’ve watched several interviews with resilient individuals, just like you. In this activity you will be imagining that you are the interviewee. What could you say?
First recall three major events in your adult life. How did you change your behaviour as a result of them? This could be moving to a new area, taking on a major challenge, becoming a parent, responding to a health scare, and so on. Take some notes.
How might you finish these sentences?
- My tips to my younger self would be …
- I think I’m proudest of …
- The turning point came when …
You could even video your responses, if you wanted.
How does it feel to stand back from the events you have lived through, and major changes you have adapted to? How far does it help you see yourself differently?
As your answer to this question will be personal/only applicable to your own circumstances, there is no discussion for this activity.