Sometimes we find ourselves caught in repeating a bad habit or ending up in a situation that we have experienced before which has not served us well. How do we avoid those situations or break the habit?
When we think, déjà vu, or here we go again, we need to stop and figure out ways to move forward in a different way. We need to find alternatives to those past negative behaviours which resulted in less than desirable actions and outcomes.
How do we shift our thinking? How do we come out with different, more positive results? This is where a coaching mindset comes into play. We need to ask ourselves questions that shift our thinking. Questions that allow us to explore alternative ways of responding or acting. Here are some examples of questions you might ask.
What have I done before in this situation? How effective was it for me? Although you may have recently experienced some negative results in similar situations, have there been times when you were actually successful? What was different in those situations? Reflecting on past circumstances and looking for ways to reach more positive outcomes can help you to reach your goals.
What would a mentor, boss, or coach do in this situation? Often if we think of someone who we respect and admire for doing the right thing in adverse situations, we may come up with an idea that is not a repetition of our past actions. How would they respond? What would they advise? What actions would they take?
“To change habits, we must study the habits of successful role models.” Jack Canfield, Author
What else? This is another question that is often used in coaching situations. As we look at alternatives, it is helpful to ask this question over and over in order to dig deeper for more and better responses. If we simply stop when we’ve asked it only once, we are not necessarily led to a best approach. “What else?” can be a powerful question which leads to a better outcome when asked numerous times. What else can we think of? What else can we do? What else is there?
Asking ourselves questions, leads to changes of behaviours or alternate responses to situations.
“You cannot change your future; but, you can change your habits, and surely your habits…will change your future.” – Dr. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India.
Paul Abra, Certified Executive Coach, Motivated Coaching