As a coach I often talk to people on a one-to-one basis about their role in business or in their alliances or in their career. I always see a solution for the challenges my clients face. You might wonder if I am suffering slightly from a form of “professional deformity” or if it is simply a matter of having a positive mindset? I tend to opt for the latter! To me, the world is full of opportunities! 

It is not that I would say that a “Don’t worry, be happy” outlook – as we hear in Bobby McFerrin’s song – is the answer to everything, but seeing possibilities rather than difficulties makes life and business a lot easier. However, doubtless seeing possibilities is not always easy. When change is imminent, it is easier to worry about the possible risks that change might bring than it is to stay positive and to see opportunities. Yet, it’s better and healthier to turn it around and look at the bright side of life. 

What Can You Do? 

Work with a colleague or a coach as a sparring partner. Analyse your challenges together and assess and eliminate the risks one by one by asking questions like “What happens if …?” or “What is the worst thing that could happen if …?” followed by “What can I do if that worst thing happens?” 

With that last question, you will turn difficulties into possibilities. What often happens is that even the supposedly worst-case scenario is not really that bad at all, as it can bring new opportunities. The exercise is simple, and you can do it alone, yet it’s always much easier to do the exercise when you work together with someone who coaches, challenges and inspires you. 

Working With a Coach

Working with a coach as a sparring partner opens new insights and often accesses temporarily locked elements of knowledge that you already have. It helps you to remember what you already know. As a coach, I tend to ask many questions, challenging questions, clarifying questions, inspirational questions and sometimes I give my clients suggestions. Different viewpoints will suddenly open up to you through these exploratory questions and enable you to see how you can apply those viewpoints to your situation. As a result, new opportunities unfold. 

Creating Triggers

To keep reminding yourself of having a positive mindset you can create some triggers. For instance, draw a few smileys in your calendar, or on your notepad or put a small card in your pocket with a written sentence to remind you to be positive. You might want to use a sentence such as in this example, where a person  asks himself whenever he or she experiences a setback “What opportunity does this offer me?” Every time you see these triggers, they will help you to form a positive mindset. It’s simple and effective!