When you look at your life I'm sure you'll can identify challenges that you've overcome and problems that are still with you. And when you look around it's easy to find examples of other people who have overcome challenges : Dame Evelyn Glennie has been profoundly deaf since the age of 12 and yet still managed to become a world class precussionist; and Steven Hawking's diagnosis of motor neurone disease has not prevented him from achieving a long life and a stellar career.
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:
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:
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.