Here’s a great article from my dear friend and coach Karen from Canada. She has been my coach through thick and thin for over 14 years now and I can assure she has the magic touch. I loved this article because it provides wonderful wisdom at just the right time for me. I hope it strikes a chord for you too!
How to Handle Problems
by Karen Hood-Caddy
Everyone who hires me has a problem. Sometimes that problem is big, sometimes it’s small and sometimes, it’s gnarly, or frightening.
Needless to say, over 30 years of coaching, I’ve learned a great deal about how to help people solve problems. I want to share with you some of the skills that will help you address the tough situations in your life with greater ease and efficiency.
Because if there’s one thing that differentiates happy people from unhappy people, it’s how they address the hard parts of life.
Here are the best tips I know to handle problems like a pro.
- To be blunt, the only people that don’t have problems are dead people. So, accept your problems and trust that they beat the alternative.
- Get bigger than your problem. People who are living a great life aren’t as affected by their problems as people who aren’t living a great life. It’s like this: If you only have one cookie and mud gets splattered on it, it’s going to feel way more significant than if you have a whole box of cookies. Most people find that the moment they begin to live juicy lives, their problems seem to diminish in size and ferocity.
- Plan for problems. I have found this a HUGE help in my own life. I used to live as if everything would go smoothly, now I give lots of room for snags and actually look for problematic areas in advance so I’m not so put out when they appear.
- Trust that solving a problem will evolve you. We often have to grow or change our attitudes to deal with a problem and that’s a good thing. I had a great teacher in Switzerland say to me, “What just about breaks you, makes you.” It’s so true.
- Ask for help. There is always someone else who knows the answer to what’s problematic for us. Involve them. It will move you through the problem SO much faster.
- Start by chipping away at the problem: write down 5 small baby steps you can do to start taking the problem on. (You’ll be surprised how effective this is.)
- Know that everyone has problems, and many, many people in the world have exactly the same problem as you. This will help you feel less hard done by and less alone.
- Containerize the problem. Yesterday I woke up feeling a little down about an issue in my life. Then I realized that even though I don’t have this situation handled in the way I might like, I can still have a great day and still believe I’m a wonderful person. This thought gave me an immediate feeling of lightness. Yes, I still had the problem, but it wasn’t leaking into other areas of my life.
- Write down 5 crazy, outside the box solutions. It’s amazing how creative thinking can sometimes give us fresh ideas.
- Journal 5 ways your ‘Best Self’ might benefit from this problem. A communication problem with a child could give you greater empathy skills, a financial issue might make you more clear on monetary goals, a health problem could make you more committed to your physical wellbeing. Life is continually trying to evolve us. Don’t argue─grow!
I hope these suggestions were helpful. Please contact me if you’d like a complimentary idea session on how you can handle your own problems better and live YOUR BEST LIFE. Karen@personalbest.org
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