Think of a problem that seemed terrible at the time, that you now look back on and think, ‘I learned a lot from that?’ Perhaps you surprised yourself, and now thanks to this, you feel more confident. Perhaps you now realise that opportunities often come disguised as problems and all it takes is a change in thinking to make the most of them.
Eight ways to handle a problem
1. Write it down.
Problems often seem less overwhelming when put down on paper in a clear and organised fashion.
2. Focus on finding a solution.
Spend no more than 20% of your time and mental energy analysing the problem, and 80% on thinking about the solution.
3. Stop pitying self-talk and negative questions.
Ask yourself, ‘What can I do to solve this problem?’ ‘How can I turn it to my advantage?’ ‘What more do I need to know?’ and so on. These questions get your unconscious working for rather than against you.
4. Don’t exaggerate the problem.
Problems are soon blown up out of all proportion by anxious thoughts, anger, guilt, and looking for someone or something to blame.
5. Don’t underestimate the problem.
Don’t underestimate the problem nor your capacity to deal with it. Many problems are handled badly because they aren’t taken seriously enough. See reality as it is.
6. Take action.
Take action. NOW. You solve problems only by doing something about them. Sometimes you need to take time to think things through, but once you’ve worked it out get started. Procrastination can be risky.
7. Ask for help if you need it.
Don’t be too proud to ask for help if you need it. Most people like to lend a hand, like to feel useful. It boosts their self-esteem.
8. Ask your intuition.
If all else fails, ask your intuitive mind for guidance (see my other blogs).
Stay committed to your plans, but don’t be too rigid. Be open to new ideas and don’t dismiss options you haven’t yet thought of. Flexibility does not mean weakness. Trees that sway with the wind best weather the storm!
Sometimes things happen you just can’t help and what matters is how you respond. You have choices. If one path becomes blocked, look for a workable alternative and try again.
Learn from your failures
Life presents each of us with a series of learning curves, each building on the other. Failure is a natural part of success. Failing doesn’t make you a failure as a person. The only real failure is giving up or not trying at all.
There are opportunities in every challenge. Every setback contains within it the seeds of success, providing you can spot them. Deal with problems as they arise and turn difficulties to your advantage. Hardly anyone gets everything right first time.
The big questions
If you’re sure you have the right goals, have tried your hardest and still don’t seem to be getting every far, ask yourself the big questions. Be honest with yourself. You may not like the answers that come:
WHAT AM I NOT FACING UP TO?
WHAT AM i UNWILLING TO DO?
Lack of success is often the result of being unwilling to do everything that is required. For example, many well qualified and competent professionals struggle to establish their practices. In nearly every case, their failure is due to their unwillingness to get involved in the business side of things, especially sales promotion.
If you’re aware of something you’re unwilling to do that is holding you back, make a plan, apply the I-T-I-A Formula (http://blog.davidlawrencepreston.co.uk/2016/03/i-t-i-a-formula/) and Eight Steps above and start putting it right.
If you are stuck in a rut and nothing seems to be working you could try consciously breaking your habits and routines. This could give you a fresh outlook. For example:
- Travel to work by a different route or different mode of transport.
- Read a different newspaper and tune in to different media channels.
- Wear something different.
- Eat at different times.
- Mix with different people.
Moving out of your comfort zone encourages new thinking and stimulates the creative juices!
And finally – be grateful for your problems! They help you to grow as a person, and that’s what life is all about.
©David Lawrence Preston, 1.6.2016
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How To Books, 2004