Fear, overwhelm, anxiety. Frustration, anger, depression. Do you recognise any of these? They’re just some of the feelings you may get when you’re faced with a problem.
Trouble is, problems are a normal part of life – especially in the workplace. Depending on your role it may be one thing after another, or you may only have an occasional issue (lucky you). But one thing’s certain – you won’t escape completely.
But there’s good news. You can overcome your problems with out turning into a wobbly jelly on the floor. Here’s how…
1. Accept you’ll always have problems
So you’ve recognised problems are part of life. That’s great because it’ll help you normalise what’s happening. But do you accept them too?
The phrase ‘resistance is futile’ is certainly true with problems. Resist them and you’re far more likely to feel the world’s against you. That you’re rubbish and can’t deal with life even though everyone else can.
Accept problems, roll with it, and negative thoughts won’t be able to control your life.
2. Identify whether the problem is something you can change
If you can’t change something, why try? It’s better to look carefully at the problem before you waste time and energy attempting to solve it.
When I was not getting enough clients for my business there were two problems:
- I could only work a few hours each week because of my circumstances
- My marketing strategy was naff!
I couldn’t do anything about my circumstances, but marketing? Yes. So that’s what I’m focusing on for now.
And that’s what you need to do – focus on what you can change. You’ll have more energy (physical, mental and emotional) for problem-solving.
3. Face the problem
Unless you face a problem, you can’t do anything about it.
For a while I ignored the lack of clients in my business. I told myself, ‘Of course it’s going to take me longer because of my circumstances.’ And put up with it.
But I was deluded.
If you try to escape from, forget, or fight a problem, it will tend to get worse. It’s far better to face your fear, look realistically at the issue and find a strategy to deal with it. In my case it was a new marketing strategy, but it could be anything.
By facing your problem you’ll feel better simply because you’re trying to do something about it.
4. Evaluate the problem carefully
You may want to solve your problem quickly. But if you act impulsively without getting all the facts you may find yourself in deeper water than before. Taking time to diagnose the problem correctly will save you time and energy in the long run.
When I’m feeling feel overwhelmed, I can become the proverbial bull in a china shop. So I’ve learned to take a deep breath, get away from the situation (a brisk walk outside helps) and come back to it later. On my return I’ll normally be much more focused and efficient.
Try not to expect problems to be settled instantly and you’ll feel much better.
5. Look for opportunities in the problem
Every problem you encounter has the potential to lead you towards something great.
When I wasn’t getting enough clients, rather than get depressed about it, I took time to evaluate the problem. Which gave me time to decide what I wanted to do. I saw an opportunity to help people in an area I’m deeply passionate about and where there’s a huge need – mental health and wellbeing.
Would I have discovered this if I’d had an easy ride? I doubt it.
And adversity could be your route to success too.
Remember, if you face and embrace your problems, you can resolve them
Your personal mountain will shift. And you’ll thrive as a result.
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