Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.
— Tony Robbins
Problems are inevitable.
We all have them and we will continue to have them until we no longer exist.
Hard facts, I know, but this is the real truth.
I will do my very best to teach you how you can solve any problem, even on the worst of days.
Our constant problems revolve around issues tied to health, career, kids, relationships, money and the struggle is always real.
I used to naturally be a very indecisive person due to my fear of ALL the problems I was going to have if I chose wrong the option.
My head was a mess and I couldn’t decide on anything, whether it would be a big or small problem.
- What should I have for dinner?
- Should I go to that party even if I don’t feel like it, just to please my friends?
- Should I jump, take a leap and start a business?
I would measure the ups and downs for absolutely everything, and in the end, I wasn’t making any decision at all.
Therefore, I was staying still and not taking ANY action which is worse than no action at all.
I was stuck.
Once I changed my mindset, I had a whole new perception of what hardships and problems in life mean to be.
WANTED: THE CONTRAST
Learning about the contrast in life and why we need it was a total eureka moment for me.
Without the bad, the good cannot exist.
Without negativity and problems, we won’t be able to feel and experience joy and positivity.
We can’t know nice without knowing what mean is.
Just think about living a life where you are happy ALL the time and feeling good constantly.
If we weren’t also capable of feeling the negatives and knowing the difference, the good things in life wouldn’t exist.
We can’t have one thing without the other.
This contrast is mandatory and it has always been there.
It’s how we think about our problems that decide how we feel and react.
More on how to master your thought-work next.
FACT VS THOUGHT
The key to solving any problem on any day of the week starts and stops with your thoughts.
Problems are created in our minds.
A problem isn’t really a problem until we make it one – that’s how I now like to think about it.
Problems are created by your thoughts which make you feel a certain way.
If you feel you have a problem on your hands you might feel anxious, worried, confused and feeling all the negative vibes. Yay..
The big takeaway from this article is that circumstances are neutral.
It is your thought and feelings about your circumstance that decides if it is a problem or not.
Circumstances are out of your control, they are facts.
- My hair is blonde (fact)
- The weather is sunny today (fact)
- It’s raining (fact)
- My best friend canceled on me (fact)
Your thoughts about these circumstances are what decides if it is a problem or not.
- My hair is so pretty and I love it (thought)
- The weather is so nice today (thought)
- My best friend is so mean (thought)
It’s entirely up to you how you look at your situation or “problem”.
Circumstances are NOT the problem. Your thoughts about them are.
This is great news! You have the power to think anything you want, so you might as well create new thoughts that are positive, support you and are solution-focused.
Circumstance: It’s raining.
Negative thought: Man, it’s raining, I don’t have an umbrella, there will be traffic today. I’ll be wet, cold and I won’t get anywhere – ARGH!
Positive thought: Yes, it’s raining, that means I can stay inside, cuddle up in a blanket, read a good book and light candles. It’s cozy time!
How you look at the problem is everything.
You can make your problem support you or you can make it mean that your world is literally ending. It’s up to you – I’d personally go for the first one.
Remember your thoughts shape the results you have in your life.
Your Thoughts -> Feelings -> Actions -> Results
Problem – I am $50.000 deep in debt
Thought – I will make this problem support me
Feeling – Motivated and ready to kick the problem’s butt
Action – Start an online business or multiple side-hustles to prove to myself that I am capable, solution-oriented and that I can slowly but surely pay off my debt.
EVALUATE THE PROBLEM
When you (or your mind) think you are faced with a problem, pay attention to WHY you think this is and how you are feeling.
Try and be present with the emotion and the feeling your problem is giving you, and then question it.
- What is the problem?
- How am I feeling?
- What am I thinking?
- What am I making this problem mean?
- How can I think differently about it and make it mean something that supports me?
- Does this really qualify as a problem?
- If so, why do I think that?
Go head to head with your problem.
Ask yourself why you feel like you need to eliminate this problem from your life.
Maybe the problem is there to teach you something, to tell you that you’re on your way but you should try another strategy and that there’s an underlying issue that needs to be resolved.
The reasons for your thoughts and beliefs are endless.
So, take the time to reevaluate them.
WELCOME YOUR PROBLEMS
Acceptance is a big part of learning how to handle any problem.
We need to be able to live in that feeling of negativity, accept it, and then ask it to please go away.
If we try to resist, react or push away negative thoughts it will only feed into the problem and make it even bigger.
Sit with your thoughts about the problem and really feel it. Get some perspective.
Is it the worst thing that could have ever happened to you? Dramatic sentences I know.
Sometimes we need to see things for what they truly are, and the best way to do this is to see them from the outside.
I’m sure, compared to everything else going on in the world, the problems you think you have are borderline silly.
If you are feeling anxious or stressed out about something, try and mentally leave your mind and see your circumstances from a different place.
Switch your thoughts around.
I know this may be hard to do when you are in it, but try and get in the habit of seeing things in another context.
Zoom out on your problems to see the bigger picture.
PROBLEMS ARE FOREVER
The truth is there is no place you arrive where you won’t have problems.
Problems are a part of life and apart of your journey.
Without negativity, we wouldn’t have positivity.
We need this contrast in order to feel ANYTHING.
You can’t know good without the bad.
Thinking that the grass is always greener on the other side is a major mistake. It just isn’t true.
If you desire a specific result in your life because you think it will make you happy, you are in for a surprise.
Happiness doesn’t live on the other side of success, it should be part of your journey, not the purpose of it.
Be careful not to mix up happiness and success.
I’m not saying you won’t be happy if you make all your dreams come true and become successful, you will, of course, feel proud and happy, and you should. But happiness shouldn’t be the only end goal or reason for pursuing your dream.
I hope this makes sense.
We tend to always strive for something better, for a day that will come and we will have no problems at all.
Embrace the contrast and work on your mindset, rather than trying to change something that cannot be changed (e.g other people’s actions).
- I am single, I have problems
- I am married, I have problems
- I am promoted, I have problems
- I am the happiest I have ever been, I have problems
- I am traveling the world, I have problems
Nothing has gone wrong, problems are a part of life.
THE SOLUTION: YOU
The solution is within yourself.
It’s not up to other people.
It may be hard to see this at first, but it’s the real truth.
And other people have nothing to do with how you FEEL about your situation, problems, and circumstance.
A solution to your problems can be found by writing freely for about 15 minutes.
Note, not just on any topic, write about your situation, thoughts, feelings and every little ingredient that you feel make up the problem you are currently having.
- Weigh the pros and cons and study them
- Be solution-oriented
- Don’t wallow in negativity
- See your circumstances as facts and your thoughts about them as optional
You decide and have the power over what you think is a problem and what is not.
It’s entirely up to you and your mind. Not other people.
Turn your problems into opportunities, write your own story based on your circumstances in your life, make it all mean something that SUPPORTS you.
That’s the big secret, guys.
It’s all up to you.