So, let’s get started. First, identify an issue, problem, concern, or difficulty you have. What’s on your mind? What’s weighing you down? What has you confused? Where do you feel stuck? Take a minute or two and jot it down on a piece of paper.
Here are the stepping stones to creatively generate good advice about your problem.
ONE: Imagine that it is not you who has the issue-problem. What if it is a family member or good friend? What is the single best piece of advice you would give to someone else on that very thing? Go ahead, jot it down.
TWO: Now, think about what one of your very best friends (someone who loves you, who has your back, and has nothing but your best interest in mind) would say to you. What do you think is the single best piece of advice ________ would give you? Jot it down.
THREE: What about me? If you were talking to me, what do you think would be my best insight I could share with you? Go ahead, put yourself in my shoes. Or, if you want to use another pastor or staff member, that’s fine. Look at yourself from their perspective. Add that piece of advice to your growing list.
FOUR: If you asked a few people, what is a really good Bible passage that would advise me on my issue-problem? What passage would jump out? Go take a look at that passage. What advice/guidance/wisdom is that part of scripture giving to you? I hope you are seeing some different perspective slowly growing as you note these ideas.
FIVE: Now, think about someone who will be MOST affected by this issue-problem and the choice you make about it. What would they say to you from their vantage point? Put this person in the role of giving caution, warning, playing devil’s advocate – not in a bad way – but just looking at advice from different angles.
SIX: Okay, one more. Look ahead to you 20 years older. You are not only older, you are wiser. You have weathered a lot more life. You’ve grown. You are more mature. You are spiritually strong and you are emotionally healthy. You are a really improved version of you. What advice do you think your future self would give to you right now?
You’ve just taken a few minutes and done some very creative envisioning, brainstorming, problem solving, and just plain good thinking. Look at the advice you jotted down. What do you see? Are there any themes that weave together? Is there a big idea emerging? Is there a good next step?
You have moved and are moving to greater self-awareness. Now, what will keep you from taking that good advice? Work on that. Come up with a plan and put it into action.
Feel free to charge yourself a nice coaching fee for all the advice you have given yourself!
P.S. Oh yes, the disclaimer. Distortion bias is powerful and present in all of us. The exercise I gave you in this post is one way to work around and past distortion bias. But remember, it is always good to get a second opinion.
Having the ability to empower and resource leaders to bear much fruit that lasts. Being a part of a team of friends and missional servants committed to changing the world.