It's human nature to want to fix things. This is ESPECIALLY prominent in men. Men are fixers by nature. We see a problem, and we immediately want to figure out why it isn't working. What's wrong with it? Why did it break? Who broke it?
None of these approaches help you advance what you need to get done. Instead of focusing solely on problems, learning to embrace a solutions based approach can give you a new perspective on your life. How do a problems based approach and solutions based approach differ? It's simple when you write it out. It's also one of the cornerstones of Positive Psychology - instead of worrying about what's wrong and how to fix it, focus on what's right and how to embrace it and USE it.
Here's the difference:
Problem based approach:
The Goal is to just solve the problem.
Focus on what's broken, and why
Diagnose and explore the nature of the problem.
Investigate root causes and address barriers to solutions.
Whereas with a SOLUTIONS based approach:
The Goal is building SOLUTIONS.
Focus on what works.
Explore your desired future in full rich details.
Investigate and build on capabilities and progress.
Problems can be pervasive and overwhelm us, but the thing about problems is that they are not constant. They do not exist ALL THE TIME. Problems come and go. In your problem focused approach of life, information for solving a problem are found in INSTANCES of the problem. Information for creating solutions are often found in exceptions to the problems. Basically - when the problem isn't existing, what are we doing to better ourselves?
The solution doesn't care why the problem occurred - it just wants to keep you moving forward. If something isn't working, a problem focused approach will compel us to wonder WHY it isn't working - whereas we could use a solutions based approach and try something else. It doesn't matter why it isn't working, its just not working. You can't fit a square peg in a round hole - so do something different.
Problem focused mindset will also tell you that when something IS working, just leave it alone. If it's not broke, don't fix it though, right? With a solutions based mindset - if something is working - take a note of it, and find more ways to do more of what is working. Build on what is working. Don't become complacent.
If after reading this you feel like you may be taking a problem focused approach to your life, and want to embrace working on solutions - we can help. As certified positive psychology coaches, we help you to focus on solutions and magnify the good that you already have in your life. It's there, you just may not be aware. We can help. Focus on the positive emotions and expand your thinking.
Be kind to your mind, my friend.