What do you do when you’re stuck trying to decide between 2 bad options?

W5 Horns of Dilemma Featured Image

John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

A dilemma is a situation requiring a choice between equally undesirable alternatives.

We’re often faced with choices like these. We see two options and they both have barnacles.

It’s easy to get stuck here – trying to choose the lesser of the two evils.

The way out of a dilemma is to “think outside of the box.”

The answer to the dilemma isn’t to make a choice.

It’s to think of other options.

Feeling stuck in a dilemma is a clue that you need to step back and invent new possibilities. It calls for creativity.

It’s also something that’s easy to say (“just find new options”) – and hard to do (“I see exactly TWO options and they’re both bad!”)

Here’s a tool that might help you.

You can use Positive Intelligence to get unstuck

You might not know this, but I’m certified in a program called Positive Intelligence.

I’ve shared this with a few clients and a handful of them have had life-changing insights.

The essence of Positive Intelligence is that we all have a unique combination of “saboteurs” – patterns we fall into that keep us stuck and limit our options.

The first step to using this tool is to figure out your own saboteurs.

You can do that for free here: https://www.positiveintelligence.com/saboteurs/

Once you identify your saboteurs, you can start to recognize them.

And when you recognize them, you can start to change them by developing “muscles of mental fitness” that allow you to intercept the sabotaging thoughts and tap into your higher-level sage abilities.

This allows you to get out of the limited box of thinking you created for yourself – and escape the horns of any dilemma.

Want some help getting out of a dilemma?

Sometimes we’re too close to our own problems to see alternate solutions.

In these situations, it can be helpful to get some outside perspective.

My clients often comment on my ability to “pull out just the right tool or resource” to help them with whatever situation they are facing.

If you’re struggling with a difficult business problem, I invite you to book a call and challenge me. Tell me what the problem is – and I’ll suggest a solution.

You could be 15 minutes away from solving your dilemma! Book your call here: time with John

The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Business Owner

become a better owner

If an owner wants a better business, first the business needs a better owner.

This post is part of my Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Business Owner. Visit the guide homepage to get my best advice and coaching exercises to help you with:

  • Mindset. Thinking like an owner and seeing the big picture of your business.
  • Planning. Deciding what you want, setting a goal, and making plans to get after it.
  • Habits. Changing your behaviours to help you get what you want.
  • Learning. Getting new information and developing new skills.
  • Growth. Facing your fears, stepping outside your comfort zone, and doing what it necessary to create the business of your dreams.