The Key to Solving Your Struggles

We all experience struggles at times in our life and work, for all sorts of reasons. Some happen due to external sources outside of our control. Some are self-created.

Solving those things can feel difficult, uncomfortable, and overwhelming. As a result, we often avoid them, retreat, or procrastinate. But doing this will hold you back. It will keep you stuck. Here's why:

The key to solving your struggles is to step right into them. Yes, that can feel excruciatingly uncomfortable. But you can't solve what you are struggling with by avoiding dealing with it. You can’t solve what you won’t confront. You can’t solve what you make excuses for, justify, or ignore. Not only will you not solve what you are struggling with when you do these things, but you are also risking making them become worse, bigger, and deeper.

But what does stepping into your struggles mean? Well, it means accepting the situation and taking responsibility for finding solutions. It means taking action, consistently and persistently, no matter how hard and uncomfortable it feels.   

I always think dealing with struggles is a little bit like being a caterpillar. The only way to turn into a butterfly is to step into your cocoon and wrestle like hell with yourself to come out the other side transformed. A caterpillar can’t become a butterfly without stepping into struggle, discomfort, and change. Equally, you won't transform your struggles unless you step into them, deal with them, and find a way to transform the situation.    

When you step into your struggles you are taking control of the situation and getting on the path of dealing with it effectively rather than it controlling you and keeping you stuck.

There is possibility, potential, and opportunity in our struggles. We just have to be willing to look for what they are.

And if the thought of stepping into what you are struggling with fills you with dread, keep this in mind:

The permanent pain of staying stuck is far worse than the temporary pain of creating change.

Here are some ideas for stepping into the things you are struggling with to find solutions:

  • Accept what is without blame, judgement, defending, justifying, or making excuses. You can't change what you won't accept.
  • Identify what would need to happen to solve this situation. If you are finding that hard to do get help, research, figure out what you need to learn. Commit to finding a way to figure it out.
  • Break the task down into really small steps. Take those steps consistently and persistently. Seeing progress, no matter how small, helps keep you motivated.
  • Identify any behaviours or habits you have that have created or contributed to the situation. On the flip side, identify the behaviours, habits, and mindset needed to help you navigate a path through your struggles and out the other side. Work on these things in parallel to your plan of action.  
  • Learn how to manage your emotions and feelings and what triggers them. They drive your actions and behaviour, which impacts your results. Therefore, they can be the difference between solving your struggles or staying stuck. A great book on this topic is Emotional Agility by Susan David.
  • Keep in mind that the path to solving what you struggle with is not linear. Be prepared for that.

What do you need to step into to effectively deal with and resolve something you are struggling with?

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