I have problems, you have problems- the human experience is having an endless train of problems and working to find solutions for said problems.
While facing difficulties is inevitable, what I am seeing more and more in the people around me is a complacency with their problems. Instead of tackling problems or at least being curious about possible solutions, it seems like the automatic response is to drown in a pool of our own self inflicted confusion. We chose to be confused instead of curious about the solutions we are being called to find for our problems and that keeps us in inaction.
Confusion = Inaction.
I prefer to be a problem solver, but I definitely wasn’t always like this. One of the clearest examples I can recall of my tendency to wallow in confusion was with my weight.
My thoughts went something like this; “There are so many diets out there it is impossible to know which one will work for me” or “So-and-so says bread is bad, but this person is thin and they eat bread- so do I eat bread?” or “I am so screwed up there is no way I can figure this out- I am hopeless.” Indulging in all the diet BS that is out there and totally dismissing common sense created so much confusion in my life- and guess what? I stayed unhappy and overweight. I was so “confused” that I lost my ability to make at least a tiny step in the right direction.
Thankfully, I was able to break out of this cyclone of confusion by increasing my awareness + simply admitting to myself the reality of the situation. The reality was that I was choosing to be confused because as long as I was confused I didn’t have to take action. And by not taking action I was safe- safe from failure, safe from “missing out,” safe from having to change and grow.
If you are someone who feels confused or stuck often, please receive this message today; you have the ability to figure anything out.
You are not hopeless, stuck or confused; you are just someone who needs to start collecting some new evidence. So far you have years worth of evidence demonstrating that when a problem arises you are the kind of person who struggles to break out of confusion and find a solution. The best way I have found to combat this evidence is by intentionally creating some new evidence in your life. This evidence will come from seeking out solutions and getting creative. You don’t need to always find the right answer, but you will show yourself that you are capable of finding many possible answers to your problems. No more confusion, just an unwavering curiosity.
I have a few mind management techniques that can get you out of confusion and into the mind space needed to solve all of your problems, so you can get more out of this life. You don’t need to waste another second of your time on earth hemming and hawing over your weight, your anxiety, your future, or any other problem you are facing. You can finally get busy solving them.
how to solve your own problems
Adopt a growth mindset. This mental shift is key in honing in on your ability to solve your own problems. A growth mindset is the belief that you can continue to expand upon your abilities and improve. This belief fosters a love of learning and a level of tenacity + determination required for great achievement. What growth mindset means to me is a commitment to doing better today than I did yesterday + staying out of self judgement and in the mode of self improvement. In terms of solving problems, having a growth mindset means that just because you can’t do everything doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Focus on what you are able to control and the areas where you are ready and able to improve. Do what you can + don’t get trapped by the illusion that you must do things perfectly for them to be worth doing at all.
Break a problem or goal into smaller + clearer pieces. Sometimes we are stuck in confusion because we are overwhelmed with the reality of getting something done. This is especially true with big, obscure goals. The best way I know to avoid the overwhelm associated with big, important goals is to break down the steps. For example, one of my goals for this year was to become a better cook with more knowledge on holistic nutrition. Instead of being confused by the endless amount of meals I would need to master, books I would need to read or ingredients I would have to source, I broke down my goal into sub-goals. I had to first get clarity on exactly what kind of cooking inspired me and made me feel my best *vegan cooking* and then I invested in some beginner cooking guides and watched some videos on the topic. From there I was able to get even clearer on the things I still needed to learn and wanted to invest my time into. I am continuing to make healthy meals for the people in my life and am still learning + adding on to my knowledge everyday. As questions come up, I simply type them into Google. No drama. I just keep taking small, manageable steps towards my goal. The same could go for a career goal or weight goal. List out doable steps you can take towards to goal, and then- here is the magic -do the steps.
Meet yourself where you are at + focus on next best decision. This is the advice I give my coaching clients all the time. When mistakes happen or you are confronted with a problem- just make the best decision you can in the moment. Life is just a series of decisions and the more of them we can make from consciousness and intention, the closer we will get to the solutions we are seeking. Your life will never be perfect, but you can always chose to do your best with the hand you are dealt.
Explore solutions from a place of abundance. This differentiation is critical when it comes to your ability to welcome solutions into your life. When we think things like “I have no idea how to fix this” or “I can’t figure this out” it shouldn’t be surprising when no ideas or possible solutions pop into your brain. With these thoughts at work you have quite literally requested that your brain find all the evidence to confirm your thoughts as true. Instead of working to find a solution your brain is busy reinforcing your lack of ideas and insights. Instead of hoping for solutions from a place of lack, i.e. “I have no solutions,” it is far more effective to explore your problems from a place of abundance. Try on thoughts like “I can’t wait to figure this out” or “I can’t wait for all my great ideas to come to me” and watch as solutions appear in your brain like magic. Welcome these solutions into your life with openness and optimism + you will find what you are searching for.
Drop your excuses for why you can’t figure things out. Bottom line is that you are a human being with a functioning prefrontal cortex- you can figure anything out. There is no single right way to get things done, it is up to you to chose how you are going to show up for your life. You can either be a victim to your circumstances or you can chose to be a tenacious, creative problem solver. When we act out our excuses we are allowing our inner-bully to not only win the fight, but to sit in the drivers seat of our lives. When we give into our excuses we are confirming them to be true and real + that can do untold damage to your self esteem and faith in your ability to find solutions. Stop wasting your life arguing for why things can’t work out for you or why you won’t figure this out and start going to battle for what you really want- to solve your problems and start living a better life. You are not confused, you are just comfortable remaining in inaction.
We have the internet. This is something that makes me scratch my head probably more than anything in the world. People come to me or complain to me about problems that often could be resolved by a Google search. In fact, the second I come up on a problem in my own life, I type it straight into my search bar. This simple approach has allowed me to solve hundreds of problems without confusion or drama. And I don’t just use this for simple problems, the internet has even helped me remedy some tough mental obstacles in my life. Recently, I was experiencing serious social anxiety and after sitting with it for a while (about 15 minutes) I decided it felt terrible and wanted to do something about it. A simple search turned up millions of solutions to my problem and a single click lead me to the one that worked. I found just the resource I needed to understand why this was happening and how to start feeling better. It was free, quick and it worked.
While you are on this amazing journey of solving all of the problems in your life and more, you will probably face a day when you realize your life is never going to be unproblematic. This realization hit me like a ton of bricks. I can hustle and work on myself, but at the end of the day I will always be a human who lives an imperfect life. Problems will never stop popping up, but the difference is I no longer use my problems against myself. When you give yourself the power to solve your own problems, you get to use the difficulties in your life to grow and evolve into the next best version of you. Your problems are no longer a liability to your success but the thing which allows you to be more and do more with your life.
So while we will always live imperfect human lives, I hope that you, like me, will never stop living a life enriched by the curiously and tenacity required to figure anything and everything out. You have everything you need to solve all of your problems.