During a recent session with a prospective client, the topic of uncertainty arose when they stated, "I don't know what I want to do."
This common dilemma often leaves many of my clients feeling stuck when attempting to identify their desires. In such situations, I prefer to approach the issue from a different angle. Instead of fixating on what they want, I suggest shifting our focus to "What is it that you don't want?"
Through this alternative perspective, which I refer to as The Contrary Tool, we can effectively eliminate undesirable options and leverage them to uncover what they truly desire.
Imagine visualizing this process as a funnel, where the narrow end represents laser focus.
Typically, we associate actionable laser-focusing with defining goals, branding, objectives, finding purpose and passion, etc., along with identifying a target audience. However, by flipping the funnel and identifying what we don't want, we open ourselves up to a wide range of solutions that align with our interests and strengths.
Interestingly, it often proves much easier for individuals to articulate what they don't want. When I work with clients who initially respond with a multitude of "I don't know" statements when asked about their desires, they often experience a profound paradigm shift. These moments are filled with "aha" realizations.
By turning the perspective upside down, clients begin to generate numerous actionable ideas by concentrating on the opposite of what they are throwing in the short end of the funnel. By the end of the session, they are amazed at the plethora of tangible steps sitting right in front of them, leading them closer to their desired outcomes.
I encourage you to give this approach a try and observe how it works for you. Prepare to be blown away by the wealth of actionable insights waiting to propel you towards your goals.