So you have a big thing going on right now. It’s not the best thing to have but it’s there. In fact it isn’t even close to being a good thing. You keep swatting it away but somehow it just keeps coming back like craft paper to glue.

Just the other day it really got in your way. Not only that, it made you second-guess your own ideals. It had you shaking your head. Then you stopped cold and asked yourself, “Did that just really happen?” You even woke at 3 am last night in a cold sweat.

Now it’s getting out of hand.

It’s getting to be one of those times where you find yourself in the middle of the forest and you can’t even see the pine cones at your feet (let alone which way to turn).

Time to start playing Nancy Drew (or Frank Hardy). That’s right, asking questions and looking for clues. The difference is, you know what the culprit is – your job’s to find a way to solve the problem once and for all. (Hint: no shame in having a George by your side)

So let’s start with the basics – clarifying the thing:

  • Is it an irritant or something way, way bigger and getting out of hand?
  • Do others see this as a problem? Or what??
  • What is it about this thing that’s so bad?
  • When did it start to be a negative? What was going on at that point?
  • Who’s involved in this thing?
  • Whose responsibility is this thing anyway – yours?
  • How’s it affecting you?
  • How’s it affecting those around you?
  • Where’ll you lose power and influence in your life if the thing doesn’t change or, god forbid gets worse? And what about control?

Now it’s time to get creative (and go a little deeper):

  • What’ll be different when this thing’s gone?
  • What’s your bottom line? Or, what’ll it take to push you to do something more than swatting it away?
  • Is this really something that needs to end or just morph or shift?
  • What are your options?
  • If you have the power to change or get rid of this thing, what’ll you do to make it happen?
  • What’s the first thing?
  • Do you need help? If so, who?

Okay, so how about you catalyze around all the info you’ve uncovered? If you don’t have enough to go on, ask a few trusted others to brainstorm ideas with you.

Time to take the plan of action! Pull out your courage and “I’ve got this” attitude and slay that dragon.

Next, a little post-mortem never hurt anyone, so now’s time to reflect on:

  • Did it work?
  • What might you have done differently?
  • What’s different now?
  • What changed?

Finally, whatever the outcome – obliterating, shifting or morphing the pesky thing – your final questions is, how can you avoid having this thing get in your way?

And finally, take note, you have to commit to keeping that thing at bay, so practice getting comfortable with detective work! Print off the Essential C – your visual reminder on change!