If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my just over two decades on this planet, it’s that people are always seeking help. There’s always a problem that needs to be fixed, be it unrest in personal or professional relationships or general dissatisfaction in areas of their life, regardless of whether the everyman sees it as a problem or not.
You may be someone like me; a person friends come to for advice even though your life is no more put together than theirs, or you may be like some of my friends, asking for advice just to confirm that the solution you’ve formulated in your mind is ‘right’.
If there’s one thing you learn from this post, it’s that situations are only as bad as you make them. Optimism and common sense will often make a bad situation much more manageable.
Manageable; Not better, but because you’re expending less time freaking out about the situation, the lighter the weight feels on your shoulders.
When a problem arrises approach it like this:
You need to decide whether the situation is something you can fix yourself or if it’s something beyond your control, and I don’t mean is it something my friend Sally can fix. I bet you nine times out of ten that if Sally can fix it, you could have found the same solution on your own.
That doesn’t mean never seek help, it just means you should actively work on your own problem solving skills for your own self development before helping others flex theirs. If its something beyond your control, eg. if it requires a medical professional, counseling etc. then seek help, but if you’ve determined it’s within your ability to fix (even if you think Sally could fix it better) then move on to step two.
Can my intense emotions solve it?
By this I mean you should ask yourself, will getting angry or panicking help?
I’m absolutely not suggesting you don’t allow yourself time to feel. That’s very important and necessary for a healthy mental state, but sometimes we need to realize that when the clock strikes 12 it’s time to wipe our tears and crack on with improving our situation so our tears next time are a little less because things are a little better.
You will not be able to solve every problem with positive thinking. I don’t think I have an example in my life where positive thinking was the sole solution, but what it does is give you more mental space to sit down and try and look for solutions.
Whilst it’s important to let negative emotions have their time, you need to recognize that they are roadblocks to progress and only cloud your mental space making the prospect of a solution being found appear impossible.
Don’t waste time being upset about what’s wrong. You knew what was wrong the first time, move on to trying to make it better, even just a little bit.
How can I solve it?
This is the hardest step as solutions aren’t always common sense, but it’s important that you make an effort to try and solve your own problems before asking others to. I say this in the context that your situation isn’t life threatening. If you consistently work on solving your own problems, even if half the time you find that you have to ask for help from others in order to finally find a solution, eventually you’ll realize that you’ve become better at noticing and caring for your own issues.
You’re more capable than you think, but because people don’t like being wrong they let others decide for them. That way if it fails it wasn’t your fault right? It wasn’t your idea.
No one knows you better than you do. As a result someone who knows themselves and knows how to help themselves will prosper more than those who rely on others to help them. It’s important to seek help when you need it, absolutely, but you need to foster an environment where if Sally doesn’t answer her phone, it’s ok because you can figure it out for yourself.