Problems vs. Solutions: barking up the wrong treeI have a friend who chatters during the entirety of a relaxation massage, and then wonders afterward why she doesn’t really feel any more relaxed.

She’s barking up the wrong tree if she expects to find relaxation among noise.

A friend who has a personal trainer uses his sessions to gab about reality TV and funny YouTube videos rather than focusing on his workout, and then questions why he’s not progressing toward his fitness goals.

He’s barking up the wrong tree if he expects to achieve his goals without breaking a sweat.

I recently parted ways with a client who wanted to stay stuck by using our sessions to look in the rearview mirror despite saying she was ready to move forward with her next chapter.

She’s barking up the wrong tree if she expects to make forward progress while only looking backward.

No matter how hard you look for something, if you’re looking in the wrong place you’re not going to find it.

Barking up the wrong tree takes two forms: Looking for something in the wrong place or going about something in the wrong way.

One antidote is simply—and gently—asking yourself:

  • Is what I’m doing working?
  • If I keep heading down the path I’m on, will it take me where I want to go? 

Are you looking in the wrong place for what you’re really after? Are you barking up the wrong tree?