Inspired Purpose Coaching, workplace motivation

The Power of Sitting with Problems

“The art of solving problems lies in finding a balance between the opposing forces of intuition and logic.” – Sylvia Boorstein

When we have a problem, our natural desire is to solve it as soon as possible. But, while some leaders will jump right in to fix a problem, wise leaders will do something completely counterintuitive.

They will see if they can sit with the problem a little longer.

How many times have you had a problem, made a quick adjustment, and then it snowballed into a big mess because you underestimated the problem, and now you have a bigger problem? Or you fixed the wrong problem and now have a bigger problem. Or you moved too fast and created other problems.

When the stakes are high, impulsively trying to solve a problem can be detrimental. However, when you slow things down and sit with the discomfort of the problem, it naturally generates a flow of ideas.

As the Greek philosopher Plato said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In this context, what I see is that the discomfort of the necessity itself becomes the idea generator, just as putting a turbine into a raging waterfall becomes an energy generator.

In fact, there are leaders who are incredibly successful because they regularly turn breakdowns into breakthroughs.

When you give yourself the space to really sit with the problem, that’s when you start to get insights into solutions as you walk, stand in the shower, or meditate.

This is not about procrastination; it is about “pro-activation.” I literally just made that word up, but I am “coining” it right here. When you find yourself faced with a problem, go into pro-activation. This means sitting with the problem and letting your internal system become activated as it explores solutions. If you remain “the calm in the chaos,” the solution will find its way back to you. And, of course, asking for help and exploring resources can be an important part of that.

This is what grounded leadership looks like.

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