Creative Problem Solving, Reduce Stress

Most people experience times when they feel stuck and undecided. This is especially true when trying to choose between two things. Selecting from one or the other creates “either-or” a dichotomy. What happens when you are given an either-or choice? Do you feel boxed into a corner? Many of us do. Going back and forth weighing out the pros and cons is like mental ping pong. At some point the mind usually goes blank spaces out, and procrastinates on deciding. Have you had this experience?

In NLP (short for Neuro-Linguistic Programming) there is a saying, “Two is not a choice”. When the desire to make a change is squelched by the pressure to decide, what do we do? The answer is to think of more options. Be more creative in your problem solving.  Having a third scenario (at the least) gives the mind room to ponder. Psychologically the “third position” refers to a perceptual place which allows one to step back and see the bigger picture outside of self and other. Adding another idea removes the onus of being caught in the middle pushed and pulled by two sides.

A year ago I decided to get my son a used car for his birthday. I was excited to have him as a second driver and knew a car would also help him be more independent. But the thought of negotiating with Used Cars dealers was anxiety producing. My friend said it would be a good learning experience! Who in their right mind has something to gain from long winded sales pitches and bartering battles? I was definitely feeling resistant. My intuitive senses were overshadowed by analytical left brain thinking, handling a concrete issue like buying a car, in a matter of fact manner.

I searched online found a few cars that looked like good deals and set off for the first car lot. The car listed on the computer site was not on the lot. I traveled to the second dealership and the same thing happened. By the time I reached the third dealership my patience was gone. To my surprise this dealership actually had one of the cars and it looked great. It was sporty and something I could see my son really liking; navy blue with two toned leather interior. I brought him back later that day and he loved the car although he told me he would prefer a four door model. We spoke to the car dealer and I offered a price pending the cars’ inspection by an impartial mechanic. The dealer assured me the car had been serviced and was ready to go.

But the inspection came back telling a different story. The car had not been serviced and needed an alignment and new tires. The estimated cost of this work was $500. I called the dealer and tried to negotiate the difference, but he flew off the handle and hung up on me! I was shocked. I called back and spoke to another sales man, left my phone number in case the Sales Manager changed his mind, and reluctantly started my car search again. We never heard back. I called a week later to see if the car was still on the lot. The car sold the day before for substantially less than what I offered. I concluded that for whatever the reasons, this car was not meant to be.

On Mother’s Day my family and the same friend who thought this experience would be a beneficial learning experience went to look at cars again. After four hours and all the rigmarole there were two cars I was considering. Truly neither felt right but I felt pressed to settle on something. And luckily rather than succumb I said, “I need to leave and forget about cars for today.”  “Well you have two choices and tomorrow you can choose which one feels right” my friend replied… But in the morning I still felt very unsettled. “When in doubt, don’t” my inner voice said. “Find another choice.”

I went online again with a new sense of determination. This round was headed by the right side of my brain. I imagined my son’s ideal car and his wish list. He wanted a four door Honda EX Coupe preferably navy blue, with two toned interior, and a sun roof.  I scrolled down the web pages and suddenly my eyes spotted a navy blue car. I clicked on the pictures and it had all of these features and only 35,000 miles!

Was this coincidence or power of thought? Had I manifested what I wanted? I called and spoke with a Fleet Manager and offered an out the door price over the phone. He was calm and respectful and easy to work with, and he agreed to my asking price! I made arrangements to meet him with my son the following evening. We were in and out of the dealership in an hour and a half. It was a smooth and straight forward business transaction propelled by instinct and intuition.

Was it a good learning experience? Yes indeed.  Remember to trust and act on your feelings, even when you are buying a car. And be creative in your problem solving. Generate at least three choices when deciding on something. Make the process creative and adventurous. The mind embraces changes that are intriguing and adventurous…If this means delaying, take the extra time you need. It and you are worth it.

If welcome you questions and comments.  You can post them directly or email me at: Stephanie@of2minds.com If you would like to learn more about me and the services I offer click on the Services tab in the upper right hand corner of this page: http://www.stephaniealt.com/ or visit my website: http://www.of2minds.com/

“Fine-tuning your intuition safeguards your future and opens doors to the extraordinary.”                     Stephanie Rachel Alt, MS

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One Comment

  1. Henery Schaffer on the Jul 19, 2010 remarked #

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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