Dealing with problems

Dealing With Problems: How To Handle Challenges In Life

No one particularly likes dealing with problems but, hand on my heart, learning how to smartly handle challenges in life is a skill that will serve you well. For EVER! Furthermore, once you know how to deal with problems, you won’t become scared, stressed or anxious when they arise. It is more a case of mild curiosity and Oh-This-Is-Interesting as opposed to stressful OMG-OMG-OMG! turmoil.

Dealing With Problems Rather Than Ignoring Them

One of the potholes along my own path was not fully understanding how to deal with problems. Law of attraction books are constantly saying ‘you are what you think about’ and ‘whatever you give your energy to you get more of’.  So whilst I concur that dwelling in negativity is not at all beneficial, for quite a few years I misunderstood the teachings. I thought I had to turn away at the first sign of trouble. I would put my head in the sand at the snifter of an arising issue. It was like I had my hands over my eyes singing and twirling ‘La-la-la-la-la-la-not-looking-can’t-see-you-la-la-la!’ I was scared of dealing with problems because I honestly believed that if I gave them my attention they would get bigger. But ignoring them can make them bigger too.

When you deliberately ignore your problems with the hope they will disappear, there is usually still an awareness of the problem, on some level, within you.

For me, it was only when I began consciously acknowledging and dealing with problems, did they resolve because I was able to shift any underlying anxiety and resistance. Below is a technique you can use when facing challenges. I adapted this method from the RAIN technique as outlined in this lovely Jack Kornfield article.

Dealing With Problems In Action

Step 1:

Recognise: The first step when dealing with problems is recognising that there is one to begin with. How will you know if there is a problem? There will be evidence in the way you feel. When you are happy in the moment, there are no problems. When you are feeling unpleasant emotions, you have an indicator that something is off.  Negative emotion can also be called resistance. Your negative emotions (frustration, jealousy, anxiety, sadness, anger, overwhelm, worry) are telling you that you are resisting something. Recognise the resistance.

Step 2:

Investigate: Once you recognise there is a problem, you have the ability to investigate it further and find out exactly what is troubling you. I have known a lot of people to trip up on this part out of fear, like I was in the past, of creating something unwanted. But if you recognise resistance, you’ve already created something unwanted so it is far more valuable to shift the energy around whatever you’re resisting by dealing with it.  If you are unhappy, why? Ask yourself,  ‘What exactly am I resisting?’ Something in your present moment that has you thinking, ‘I don’t want this. I don’t like this. I need this to be different’. What is it? Investigate the resistance.

Step 3:

Accept: Acceptance means that you choose to accept that a problem exists. It also means you accept your current feelings about it. “I accept that my son is angry and withdrawn. I accept I don’t like his recent behaviour. I accept that I am finding his behaviour upsetting and that I feel scared and sad.” Acceptance doesn’t mean that you are passive and you put up with feeling miserable. Instead, acceptance is a courageous step in the process of transformation. It is you being brave enough to say, ‘This here, this exists right now. I accept its presence’. Or if you truly cannot accept it, then you say, ‘I accept that I cannot accept right now,.’  There is peace in that statement too. Accept your resistance. Accept the reason behind the resistance.

Step 4:

Act if Required: Sometimes, no action will be necessary as the situation is something that cannot be changed. Other times, action is required. From a place of non-resistance, any action taken will be skillful and effective in nature. You are skilfully responding as opposed to emotionally reacting. Your communication will be clear and effective. If it involves dealing with another person, they will feel your authenticity.

There are times when, even after taking step 1-3, a feeling of flatness can still ensue. That is, you recognise something is off, you investigate why, you accept its existence but you still feel rubbish.  For me, it varies depending on the degree of the problem. With practice, step1-3 will be enough to genuinely make peace with a situation for it to no longer evoke negative emotion. Other times, you may need to raid your arsenal resistance releasing tools.

Dealing with problems and learning how to handle challenges in life is empowering because you know you can handle whatever comes your way. Managing challenges in your life will evoke an inner strength and confidence that will not only benefit you and what you attract in life, but will positively inspire those closest to you.

If you have your own tips on dealing with problems, I’d love to know of them. Please feel welcome to share in the comments.

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