A friend once told me, “You are so frustrated with the things you can’t change in your life that you are willing to change anything and everything you can just so you can feel as if you are moving forward.”  I realized she was right.  I was continuously trying to improve anything and everything I could to counteract all my frustration with the things I could not change. I knew I could not stay here and so I was going to fight tooth and nail to make whatever changes I could to get the life I wanted.    

And, you know what?  It worked pretty well.

While at the time I think my friend was concerned about me, I now look back at this quality and realize it was actually one of my greatest strengths. Because, so often we want the one big trick, the one tip, the one pill, the one doctor, the one thing that can help us get where we need to go.  However, in life, it is so often a compilation of the little things we do that make the biggest differences!  Luckily on my Bounce Back journey, I discovered Design Thinking.  Design Thinking is the process engineers in Silicon Valley use to create the technology of our future.  

To invent new technology engineers face the following:

  • Tremendous challenges
  • Meeting human needs in ways that are not apparent
  • Pressure to move forward
  • Limited information regarding the future

To Bounce Back in your own life you will face the following:

  • Tremendous challenges
  • Meeting human needs in ways that are not apparent
  • Pressure to move forward
  • Limited information regarding the future

Clinical Definition: Design Thinking is a design methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It’s extremely useful in tackling complex problems that are ill-defined or unknown, by understanding the human needs, involved by re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, by creating many ideas in brainstorming sessions, and by adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing.

Practical Definition: Design Thinking is about figuring out what isn’t working in your life and taking action in an effort to create solutions as you move toward an unknown future.  

When I was trying to figure out how to Bounce Back Better I didn’t know what was going to work.  I just knew my current life wasn’t working so I needed to make changes until I could find solutions that did work.  Basically, the theme of my life became “If it isn’t working try something else.”  

Did I have challenges?  Yes.  

Was I balancing human needs (mine, family, friends, co-workers)? Yes.

Was it always apparent what I needed to do?  Ummmm…no.

Did I feel a pressure to move forward?  Of course!  Life is short!

Did I have limited information regarding my future? Yes, yes and triple yes.  

So I decided to apply the principles of Design Thinking to my own life.  For Design Thinking to work I had to take action, think creatively and be willing to try out new things to see what will work.  Trying something new can seem really scary.  As humans, we desire to control because we so badly crave certainty and security.  We tell ourselves that if we know our futures then we can plan for all the variables and somehow keep ourselves from vulnerability and pain. However, I haven’t met a person yet who has been able to outrun pain for a lifetime.  Our only option for moving toward our next best life is trying things out in our own lives, failing, readjusting and trying something again the next time.  Our happiness comes from strengthening our ability to try new creative solutions to recurrent problems.  And, as you keep trying and readjusting and trying and readjusting, and trying and readjusting eventually it all seems to click and you’ll begin to feel as if you are working with your life rather than against it.

Bounce Back Lesson:

If it isn’t working try something else.  

If it isn’t working try something else.  

If it isn’t working try something else.

Contact Sarah here for a free 30-minute session. 

Sarah K Ramsey