Problems are part of life.
Yet, we’re not always taught how to solve problems effectively and efficiently.
Plus, we have a lot going on in our lives, much of which can seem out of our control…
…the alarm didn’t go off.
…the number on the scale went up 3 lbs.
…the school that won’t let your child go on the field trip because you forgot to sign the permission slip.
…you dropped your cell phone in a puddle while fumbling for your car keys.
…your car payment bounced.
Let’s take the alarm not going off.
We think this is a problem, but it’s really not a problem.
The alarm not going of is a circumstance, better known as a fact.
And, all circumstances are neutral until we have a thought about them.
We think, “OMG, I’m going to be late! Why didn’t the alarm go off?! My day is ruined!”
These negative thoughts cause us to feel anxious, overwhelmed, frustrated, maybe even hopeless.
Negative emotions drive us to rush, not pay attention, lose patience, and even blame.
We create a habitual cycle of negativity that influences how we show up, interact, perform, which further solidifies our negative thinking.
Our negative thinking doesn’t change the fact that the alarm didn’t go off.
It doesn’t solve our problem or offer a solution.
In fact, our thinking IS the problem.
Because no matter the circumstance, we are always free to decide what we think.
How we think causes how we feel.
Our feelings inform how we act.
How we act creates our results.
Therefore, learning how to master our mind and strengthen our mental game is key to leading and creating a successful and gratifying life.
How To Solve Problems
So, the next time you bump into a circumstance that you think is a problem, try this 6 powerful questions:
1. “Why is this a problem?”
Write down all the reasons (thoughts) why the circumstance is a problem.
Then, ask yourself:
2. “How do these thoughts make me feel?”
Get in touch with the vibrations in your body and even where you feel them.
3. “How do these thoughts make me act?”
Notice how you act when you feel the feelings.
4. “Are these thoughts solving my problem and creating the results that I want?”
Observe how the thoughts actually cause more problems, especially for your anxiety and anxious eating.
So then, ask yourself:
5. “Why do I think these thoughts?”
Take your time with this question and you’re not allowed to say, “I don’t know.”
Hiding inside, “I don’t know” blocks your brilliant wisdom.
In most cases, we hang on to negative thoughts because we’re afraid to take responsibility for our own decision-making and problem-solving.
We prefer to blame something or someone for our misery, or we think our thoughts are facts.
But, thinking thoughts that cause you to feel horrible and do nothing to solve the problem is crazy-making and serves no productive purpose.
So, dig deep into this question and clarify why you think these thoughts.
6. “Who would I be, what would I be doing, and what would I have without these thoughts?”
I’ll leave you to contemplate your answers, and please do, as the awareness and insight might surprise you.
Then, practice using these 6 powerful questions regularly when you bump into circumstances that you “think” are problems.
Because most often, all our problems are in our mind.
And fortunately, so are the solutions.