Solving life’s difficult problems
Shocking truth: Life consists of a series of problems.
Some problems may seem easy to solve and other problems are more difficult to solve, more difficult because the solution may not be all that clear to us. Whether we like it or not though, we have to start working on these problems if we are ever going to hope for a better and happier life.
The types of problems we are faced with.
Shocking little truth number 2; odds are that you are not the only one experiencing problems right now.
Yes, everybody is faced with problems, on a daily basis. The only thing that sets some people apart from others is how they deal with these problems. Some problems may be easier for us to solve and some problems may seem like an impossible nightmare.
Let’s take some time to discuss the types of problems we are faced with.
After doing a bit of research and from my own personal experience, I found that the below problems seem to be the more common issues and they include; family problems, feeling that there is not enough time left at the end of the day, problems with finance, physical and mental health could do with some serious improvements and a big one, not being happy where they work.
These are the more obvious “everyday problems” though and are very generalized. As my previous posts may suggest, I like digging a bit deeper. What about those problems that people struggle to talk about.
Perhaps someone was sexually molested, they may blame themselves or they may feel deep resentment, either way, they have not dealt with it, because they don’t know how. They may have feelings of shame, guilt, anger etc. They may feel that by dealing with this issue, it would open them up to more pain and hurt.
Let’s take a moment to discuss why we don’t like dealing with our problems;
Why we don’t like dealing with our problems
I think it’s pretty obvious that, until we start dealing with our problems, they will never go away. We hear this from therapists, our close friends and family, hell even Google tells us this. So the solution seems clear: deal with our problems and they will no longer come back to haunt us right? Well, if it’s all that clear then why do we not deal with our problems?
We don’t like dealing with our problems for a number of reasons.
It may be too difficult to deal with, either emotionally or physically.
Let’s put this into perspective:
Why do most employers insist on hiring someone with experience? That’s because the more experienced employee would probably be best equipped and know how to deal best with the tasks required, because they have done this over and over again and have learned to master the art. The same applies to dealing with problems. The more experience we have with something, the easier it is to solve. Fearing something because you don’t know how to deal with it is completely normal. So of course we will feel like dealing with the problem is difficult. How are we supposed to get better at it if we don’t practice?
We may not understand the problem we are faced with
Ever have that weird feeling, that feeling that you know that something is wrong, but can’t quite place your finger on it? Something needs to be fixed, just don’t know what? Maybe, just maybe there aren’t actually any problems. This may not always be the case, but sometimes we may find that we “look” for problems that don’t even exist! Yeah, sometimes we insist on fixing something that is not even broken.
We may not be ready to let go and feel that we would be forced to forgive someone that has wronged us.
A lot of the times, we may actually want to hold onto our problems, because it seems easier. There may be times when we would need to forgive someone in order for us to deal with our problems. And we may not be ready to “forgive and forget” just yet. This problem needs to be dealt with though and if you think you may fall into this category, be sure to check out my post on FORGIVENESS.
A big one, by dealing with this problem, it could open up the door to even more problems.
You can easily identify these types of problems by simply identifying what you may have been suppressing. These are the problems we try and bury and hope it goes away. We might even pretend that it’s not there.
Well, here’s another little shocking truth: Those problems aren’t going anywhere; in fact, it only gets worse with time.
There are a lot of reasons why we would not want to deal with those types of problems. Usually they link to a lot of emotions, like shame, fear, guilt, remorse or anger and we feel that by us dealing with these issues, we would open a wounded scar we do not know how to heal.
Why we should start facing our problems:
With the lights turned off, Nadia sits in her bed, her knees curled up to her forehead, shaking violently. She starts to sob, but know that she has to do it quietly, or else someone may hear her and ask that horrible question; “WHAT’S WRONG?” She doesn’t know how she will ever forgive herself
It’s 23:12 and the house is calm. Tosses and turns as she tries sleeping. No success, she cannot take this anymore. Quietly, she gets dressed and sneaks out of the house, hoping no one would see her. Driving to the nearest bar she finds, she order two tequilas and downs them, one after the other….. The calm arrives. She feels amazing, has a few more shots and at 02:32 she leaves the bar, forgetting that she even had any major problems in the first place.
09:37 Running late, she eventually arrives at work. She had an important meeting with a client that day. After smelling the alcohol that oozed from her breath, her boss asked her to go home and she does just that.
With the lights turned off, Nadia sits in her bed, her knees curled up to her forehead, shaking violently.
Refusing and not being willing to deal with a problem, does not make that problem go away, in fact, it makes the problem bigger and because our behaviors are fear based, we can often add additional problems to our already existing ones.
I bet that one of your goals right now is to live a happy and serene life? By us not solving or being willing to solve some of our major problems, we will never be able to truly get to that state of bliss. Leaving problems unresolved can lead to a lot of physical and mental health issues; it’s these very problems that are the cause of our anxiety, stress and eventually lead up to much worse.
We feel shitty about ourselves and this starts having an impact on our relationships, on those that are closest to us. We start losing sight of what’s important to us. Our problems start defining us. We need to start dealing with our problems to discover what we can learn from it and use that to grow.
How to deal with problems
So here’s the final shocking truth: There is no magic formula to dealing with problems.
There are however certain steps that can be taken to try and deal with these problems though, but there is one key ingredient required and that is WILLINGNESS. We need to be willing to change our mindset. Once we learn to stop looking at all of this as PROBLEMS, but rather LEARNING CURVES, we become a lot of comfortable when it comes to dealing with our problems and we start seeing it as an opportunity for us grow and develop.
What I found works best for me is to write everything down before I start working on “fixing” anything.
- Is there really a problem? If there is one, what is the problem – Do I truly understand the problem at hand? This must be very specific.
- How does this make me feel? – Yeah it may sound a little cliché, but understanding how a problem makes you feel is incredibly important when trying to solve a problem. Here you can identify what emotions the problem brings up for you and you can start seeing how it impacts on your life, i.e. anger, jealous, sadness etc.
- Challenges around the problem – write down what makes the problem so difficult. The key here is to be realistic. Understand that there are some things that you can change, some things that may be harder to change ad some things cannot be changed.
- What are your goals for solving this problem? – Why are you trying to solve this problem? What are you hoping to achieve by solving this problem, check these and make sure they are in line with your expectations listed in point 3.
- Think up solutions – Have a variety of solutions, not just the obvious and best solution. Think of numerous ways to solve this problem. This was when your preferred solution does not work out; you find comfort knowing that there are other solutions.
Having the list above is all good and well, but we want to ensure that you are set for the best chances of success right? Focus on the below and solving your problems becomes so much easier.
It’s very important for you to understand what you problems are and what are not your problems. Perhaps you are taking on somebody else’s problem and this has left you feeling overwhelmed? Start by understanding what YOUR problems are and what is NOT YOUR PROBLEM. If you struggle in this area and feel that you so badly always want to help someone out, think of it this way: now I have mentioned that problems are learning curves and experiences we can grow and learn from. By you taking on someone else’s problem, you are actually depriving that person of growth. Very often, when we take on other people’s issues, we actually end up doing more harm than good.
Check you own expectations. I found myself constantly disappointed with who I am and where I am today, because I had super high expectations for myself. Bad. What’s even worse though, was that I did not even know what these expectations were.
The problem may still be there, because we kept repeating the same mistakes, expecting different results. That is the very definition of insanity, start by changing your thinking. This is also why step 5 is so important.
Start focusing on our selves. This could be applied in two ways. We may think that someone else is a problem, but find that we have been so focused on someone else, that we fail to see our own shortcomings. Always reassess the situation and determine where you have been falling short and if there is anything that you need to do from your side to help make the situation better. Secondly, we cannot compare ourselves to others. Stop comparing your life experiences or your accomplishments to that of others. You are setting yourself up for failure. Unfortunately, there will always be someone better than you, something stronger than and something that knows how to deal with difficult stuff better than you.
Finally, the last thing to focus on is gratitude. The gift of gratitude has tremendous advantages. Making a conscious decision to be grateful on a daily basis can help improve our mental health. We start becoming happier people; it starts developing our personality in a positive manner. We become more optimistic, it even increases our self-esteem. Try focusing on everything you have to be grateful for and dealing with our problems becomes that much easier.