How to Get Better Results at the Things You Struggle With
Is there an area of your life where it’s a struggle to get the results you want?
Maybe you struggle with attention to detail, accepting feedback, or handling office politics. Perhaps it’s about influencing clients, overreacting to setbacks or holding people accountable.
When you work hard on something and still don’t get great results, it’s natural to feel frustrated, avoid the activity or even stop trying. But often, you can’t. And approaching these situations with frustration and dread just makes your results worse.
What I’ve discovered is there can be a simpler way to make the changes needed to get the results you want. And it doesn’t require making a 180-degree change in who you are.
A Simpler Way to Get Better Results
When you can’t get out of the activity or task, it’s time to get into it by taking the things you do well and applying the principles to the things you’re struggling with. It’s what I call “flipping the switch”.
When you walk into a room and flip the light switch up, the lights go on. It’s simple, instant and not much effort is involved. All you need is to make the connection between the electrical current and the light bulb.
The same kind of instant change can happen when you find the key that connects something you do well with something else that you’d like to do well.
It just takes three steps.
1. Identify your area of struggle
First, identify where you’re struggling and want to get better results. Some clues to look for are times when you get frustrated or feel blocked by people or things outside your control. You might even have written off these situations as something you’re not able to change.
For my husband, it’s the admin side of managing his basketball team, like making sure the schedule is set and the transportation lined up. For me, it was honoring my relationships with my family while I was at work.
2. Identify your area of excellence
Next, get in touch with a situation where you’re at your best. An area of excellence where you’re “in the zone”, getting results and things feel easeful. Chances are you’ll also be giving off positive energy and creating an environment where people around you feel good too.
Notice the level of focus, attention and care you’re applying in that situation. How do you feel and how do you make others feel? What’s the impact you’re having on the situation and the people around you?
For my husband, it’s when he’s working with his basketball players. That’s his “happy place” and he’s completely focused on them – their moods, their needs and what it will take to get a positive result from the interaction, game or practice session.
The same goes for me when I’m with my clients. Even with the toughest clients, we end up getting positive results and even having fun.
3. Form the connection
Having identified your areas of struggle and excellence, it’s then about creating a conscious connection or bridge between the two. How could you apply the principles that work for you in the area where you’re getting excellent results to the one where you need to improve?
For my husband, it was taking the same energy, attention and focus he uses with his players and applying it to the people who help on the administrative side. And indeed, once he put the administrators into the same mental category as his players, he was able to have much better conversations that led to better results without it feeling like hard work.
In my case, I never took personal calls at work unless it was an emergency. My clients came first in the office, so how dare I allow distractions from fulfilling my duty. Even my department head couldn’t persuade me to change my habits and “take those calls from your husband!”
Until one day, my husband got fed up with being a second-class citizen and asked for client status. That’s when the lightbulb finally went on for me. If husband = client, then it would be easy for me to take his calls at the office. In fact, I would have to take his calls.
That’s the day I “flipped the switch”, and I’ve taken my husband’s calls at the office ever since.
Start Getting Better Results
So when you’re struggling with some aspect of your work or life, take a moment to pause and think about your areas of excellence. Look for the parallels and connections to your area of struggle.
Then identify the bridge or connection that would allow you to simply “flip the switch” and get better results. This will turn your struggling into better outcomes for yourself and everyone around you.
What could you transport from one area of your life to get better results in another?
Leave a comment and let me know.