So, what's the difference between a challenge and a problem? A problem becomes a problem because of how we handle it. We create problems when we:
- Give it a name - we identify it with specific words and/or feelings
- We compare it - we measure this issue to other issues we've had in the past and give it a value higher or lower than those on a 'solvability' scale
- We dwell upon it - thinking about how big a problem it is and how difficult it might be to overcome
- We deny it - because it seems so difficult we shove it away in our minds or in the physical world to be dealt with later
And once we've done all that, our challenge has become a problem, "a thing" to be grappled with, rather than a challenge to be overcome.
And the thing about problems is that they cannot be solved with the thinking that created them. So we need to think differently - to step outside the problem and look it with a fresh pair of eyes to find a solution.
So here are a few ways to do that:
1. Think of it as a challenge to be overcome
2. Step outside of the problem by asking better questions:
- What about this isn't a problem?
- What can I learn from this?
- What's the opportunity hiding behind the problem?
- What would happen if this wasn't a problem
problem has passed
4. Accept the problem. It is in your life (for now) and resisting the
problem feeds it with energy and gives it power over you. Now
accepting it does not mean that having the problem is OK or that you
resign yourself to having the problem forever. No, accepting just
means that you're not hiding from the problem and you're not
struggling with it and you're willing to step outside of the thinking that
created the problem to generate a change.
And if your problems become overwhelming, find a friend or a coach or a counsellor who can help you.
Or have a relaxing and restoring Reflexology session.