Often, when problems arise in our life, there is a temptation to focus the majority of our energy on the details of our troubles, rather than the solutions to them. Focusing too much time on what is wrong, by endlessly talking about the specifics of our difficulties; will only serve to keep us stuck in them. However, focusing on the solutions to our dilemmas will often help us sort out a course of action toward their removal.
Acknowledging and discussing the many aspects of our dilemmas is a valuable step toward their resolution, but repeatedly explaining, dissecting or rehashing them will not resolve or help them to miraculously vanish.
Therefore, the best way to handle our problem is to put our attention on discussing the possible solutions to our concerns rather than the problems themselves. This will be far more helpful to us and make it easier to find our way out of troubling times. When we focus on what we can do about our situation, instead of what we can’t, then we feel less helpless and more powerful as an active agent in our own life. This shift in focus empowers us, and helps us to feel better in order to take the necessary actions.
On the contrary, stressing and worrying over our dilemmas makes us ineffective at gathering the needed energy to move in the direction of our solutions. It makes it much more difficult to solve our problems if our minds are clouded by overwhelming negativity and a defeated mind set.
Everyone has problems but not everyone solves them the same way. If we are having difficulty in a specific area, it is extremely helpful to enlist the help of someone who has had our situation and see what they did to solve or move through it.
Gathering information and taking the necessary actions is a potent problem solver. However, in spite of this fact, many of us may be reluctant to take certain actions that would alleviate our pain due to fear of the unknown or facing ourselves and confronting our own vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
For example, I was listening to someone the other day who was very upset about a family situation she was having, and felt a lot of anger and upset internally as a result. It was suggested that she write down her situation, and the feelings surrounding it on paper to get clarity of what was underneath the pain and how to best handle it. This technique has proven to be very helpful for many people, as it often helps to see our problems before us in a written format and get it out of our heads.
In spite of this information, the woman resisted doing the exercise and unfortunately, remained in pain. It is true that writing does not suit everyone’s taste but what intrigued me was her outward refusal to try anything new that might help her to feel better and give her some perspective.
It made me recall many times in my own life, when I resisted trying something new because I was afraid to step outside my comfort zone or wanted to know how it would work instead of just trying it out.
Not to say that we should naively do whatever someone tells us to do without inquiring about it or exploring the possible consequences of a given suggestion. However, outright defiance will never solve our problems; whereas, having willingness and an open mind certainly will, at the very least, give us a chance toward a successful outcome.
Contemplate the following questions as you seek a solution to your problems:
- What is the outcome you want?
- What suggestions have you received thus far to achieve your desired outcome?
- What are your objections to the ideas you’ve received?
- What did you like about the ideas?
- What would you advise someone else to do in your situation?