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Are You Missing the Obvious?

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A few weeks ago, I asked my doctor to give my right foot a check.

It’s been hurting for a couple of months, but without anything noticeable happening to it. 

I didn’t hit it, bump it or drop anything on it.

She ordered an x-ray, but nothing conclusive came back.

A week later, I mentioned the same issue to my massage therapist. 

He took a look, had me bend it in different directions, and asked me exactly where it hurt and when.

Then he sat back and asked, “How often do you sit like that?”

I was sitting directly on top of my right foot while my left leg hung off the examination table.

We’d found the culprit right in front of our faces.

I always sit like this.

All of my weight is on top of my right foot. 

Never my left. Always my right.

A month later, my foot pain was gone.

I hadn’t (worst-case scenario) fractured it after all.

I laugh thinking about it now – how easy of a solution it was and how the cause of my pain was buried beneath habit, unnoticeable to me in something as simple as my posture.

It felt like a metaphor for work life.

Something at the office repeats – an irritant, an event, a dynamic – and we often assume it has a deep-seated root cause that blows it out of proportion and instantly stresses us out.

  • We run into consistent friction with a co-worker and think they’re impossible to work with.
  • We try using a computer file or model that keeps crashing and we think it’s corrupt so we have to start from scratch.


Often, the solution is in plain sight.

Right in front of our faces.

  • We think a conflict-ridden stand-off has to be had to resolve the co-worker issue when someone on their team needs to address it instead.
  • We need to take ten quick minutes to clear out some storage and space so our perfectly-fine technology can work properly and optimally.


The more dramatic or complicated conclusion might not be the right one.

Next time, clearly identify the problem and before you jump to a conclusion or go fixing what you think it is, brainstorm the full range of solutions, from most complicated to the simplest.

Maybe something you never thought of is on your piece of paper. 

Maybe you were right all along, but the exercise helped you think more expansively.

Maybe this will save you the time and energy you were wasting avoiding the problem by assuming it was bigger than it was.

Just maybe.


Want to grow into a stronger, more impactful leader? Want customized strategic advice on how to navigate your daily challenges?

By booking a FREE 30-minute coaching consultation with me, you’re one step closer!

Pooja Dang is a Women’s Executive Leadership Coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving clients globally at companies such as Google, GoPro, Dropbox, and more. With over 15 years of experience in coaching, advising, and propelling women towards rapid career advancement and promotion, she specializes in high-impact workshops and dynamic 1:1 coaching, delivering breakthrough outcomes and accelerated change. Pooja has a proven track record of coaching women into the C-suite and is a trusted expert in growing executive presence, expanding influence, high-stakes negotiations, and leadership development. Using proven scientific strategies, transformative behavior tools, and a no-BS approach, Pooja is on a mission to empower more women to live confidently at the top of their game. Book your free consultation today. #ExecutiveCoach #LeadershipDevelopment #WomenInLeadership #BehaviorChange #CsuiteCoaching


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