Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many people are experiencing difficulties in their lives than ever before, given the Coronavirus pandemic and economic uncertainty surrounding it. Problems are inevitable and hoping they go away is only wishful thinking. Challenges are sewn into the fabric of life and there are two ways to view them. We can see them as serving no point in our life, or conversely, that they contain the seeds of opportunities for our personal growth. How about you? What do you believe is the reason for problems in your life? What is your mindset when things go wrong? Do you stay stuck in your difficulties or do you try to find a solution?
I admit, when problems arise in my life, my initial reaction was one of anxiety and worry. I felt I had little control over the situation and found it difficult to deal with. However, I’ve come to distance myself from the drama nowadays, instead of overreacting. By distancing ourselves from a situation, we create a space between the problem, so we don’t ruminate on it. We must also allow the passage of time to reveal more information about what we’re experiencing. When I encounter a major problem, it seems that weeks and months later, it has evolved to something completely different. I had this conversation with a coaching client recently, who experienced the same negative emotions. I invited her to mentally distance herself from the drama, otherwise, she was likely to stay stuck in her negative emotions without finding a solution.
Are you happy with the idea that we needn’t bring negative emotions to the table each time life doesn’t go according to plan? Sometimes, what appears as a problem can be a stroke of luck if we withhold our beliefs about it. Our problems are similar to horses tethered to a chariot. Given the opportunity, they will run wild and we’re unable to keep them from taking off. Things will always go wrong in life and our task is to overcome it as best we can. The key message here is that when things go wrong, don’t go with your problems; focus on the solution. We must become solution orientated instead of allowing problems to pull us into a pit of despair.
Problems Are Nourishment For Your Soul
The more you complain about your problems, the more problems you will have to complain about. — Zig Ziglar
When difficulties emerge, we are inclined to believe life is unfair. I’ve met many resilient leaders over the years who don’t allow their problems to overwhelm them but seek to understand the lessons contained within them. These people have experienced many challenges throughout their life without getting caught up in the drama. You’ve heard it said that problems are opportunities for growth, but that means minor comfort when we face challenges bigger than us.
For example, think of a recent challenge you overcame? What lessons did you learn from it? What actions did you take to deal with the problem? If we believe difficulties are bigger than us, we remain helpless and stuck, instead of trying to overcome it. I assure you; the most trying experiences contain a solution and sometimes it requires digging deep within ourselves to find it. We may encounter frustration, anger and disappointment, but don’t despair when you experience these emotions. It means you are toiling away in the trenches to find a way out.
What I’m suggesting is; the more problems you face, the better you become at dealing with them. The bigger the problem, the greater your level of growth. Our personal growth is associated with our self-esteem and character, which are indicative of living intentionally and purposefully. We cannot avoid problems because there is always one waiting at the next corner. The problems that frustrate me most are ones that emerge when I least expect it. But I’ve learned that the universe will test my resolve to see whether I am growing to deal with the challenges.
So, going back to the problem you experienced recently, what is the lesson you’re invited to learn from it? What qualities is the universe trying to develop within you? When we resist an experience, we resist the growth associated with it. It is like receiving a present on your birthday but refusing to open it. You’ve no doubt experienced enough birthdays to know that a present is a gift to cherish. And so of our problems. The universe rarely gives us an experience packaged beautifully, with a bow on it. They are clothed in pain, disappointment and difficulties. So, when things go wrong, don’t follow your problems and create greater worries for yourself. Instead, see the lessons as a gift and your problems will become nourishment for your soul.