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  • Writer's pictureAscent Leadership Program

Stop, Challenge and Choose

In the wonderful book Play to Win, by Larry and Hersch Wilson, we are introduced to an effective way of retraining our brains through a process called Stop, Challenge and Choose.

ASCENT has used this wonderful book in our program for several years now. When we aren't getting the results we want it often means we need to unlearn something and retrain the brain. The essence of the process is this. Instead of just reacting to an event, we need to slow ourselves down and pause, even stop. In this pause, we examine how we are interpreting the event and then choose a response that is more effective, serves us better and will help achieve the outcome that really matters.

Stop is the first step. Too much of what we react to is on autopilot and just "the way we are". Stop the immediate response to the event and circumstance. Challenge is the space to ask questions. Challenge yourself to identify reality-based versions that are supportive of the outcomes you are creating, for you and others. Choose is the last step. Choosing an optimal response, intentionally selecting a choice, aligned to purpose and values, that will bring a different result. Different actions bring different results.

Challenge questions for reflection:

  1. What am I thinking about this situation?

  2. Is my thinking based in objective reality or is it solely my "story"?

  3. How do I feel about the situation?

  4. How do I feel about those involved?

  5. How intense is the feeling?

  6. How frequently do I think and feel this way? Is it a "map" I use?

  7. Is there more than one interpretation for this event?

  8. How many choices do I really have?

Often times, making real change means relying on a new process or tool until it becomes second nature. The good news is we can retrain the brain and unlearn a pattern of thought we think is just how we are and really can't change. Stop, Challenge and Choose helps you explore new possibilities for how you interact with the word around you!

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