What if I told you I have the secret to solving any problem you have?
I know, it’s a bold claim.
But I can live up to it.
I’m going to show you how to solve any problem you’re having.
Career, business, health, weight loss, relationships, money, kids—you name it. This blog post is going to show you how to solve any problem in any area of your life.
There are no exceptions.
If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — How To Solve Any Problem.
Okay, let’s get started…
Reframe The Problem
The way you solve any problem you’re having is to change how you’re thinking about the problem.
The problem isn’t the problem, it’s how you think about the problem.
Don’t let this get by you. I know it can sound meta or philosophical, but it’s actually the truth.
Remember this universal truth;
- Thoughts create your feelings.
- Feelings create your actions.
- Actions create your results.
- Circumstances are neutral.
Circumstances are things you can’t control, like other people’s actions, the weather, what someone says to you, an event that happened, etc.
Thoughts are what you make the circumstances mean.
This relates to problems because the problem isn’t the circumstance. The problem is how you’re thinking about the circumstance. Meaning, the problem is your thought about it.
This doesn’t mean you should change your thinking. It means you should become aware of it and know it’s in your control to decide whether to keep it or change it.
My Six Figure Law School Debt
My student loan debt from law school is a perfect example of how you can solve any problem by changing your thinking.
When I first graduated from law school with $206k in student loan debt, I thought it was horrible. (Read my full story here.)
I first had scarcity thoughts about my debt like this…
- I’m always going to be in debt.
- I won’t be able to pay off my debt.
- I’m not going to be rich.
- How did this happen to me?
- I did everything right—I don’t understand.
- I have to live in a crappy apartment because of my debt.
- I can’t take a lower paying job that I like more because of my debt.
- I wish I never went to law school.
Since we know that thoughts create feelings, it’s no surprise that all these thoughts created less than optimal feelings. I was discouraged, frustrated, mad, and indulged in self pity.
Fast forward to after I changed my mindset and really implemented the personal development strategies I had been studying and everything changed for the better.
I shifted my thinking about my student loan debt to much more abundant thinking and had thoughts like this…
- What does my student loan debt make possible?
- How can I help other people with student loan debt?
- This is going to make an amazing story.
- I bet I can turn my debt into an online business.
- My student loan debt is happening for me.
- How can I use my student loan debt to my advantage?
- My debt means nothing about me or my ability to be super rich.
My debt hadn’t changed. The way I thought about my debt did. And as you can imagine, these thoughts felt so much better. I was motivated, excited, curious, and very future focused.
Nothing in my life had to change for me to change how I thought and felt about my debt.
I hear so many people use student loan debt as the reason for why they can’t create the life they want.
It’s just a story that’s hurting them.
You can let go of that story and create a new one that supports your future.
That’s what I did to the tune of a six figure online business.
Here are more blog posts about shifting your mindset:
- 100 Self Improvement Tips That Will Make Your Life Better
- How To Improve Your Mindset In 7 Steps
- The Life Hack I Used To Get Into An $18k Coaching Program
- The 5 Step Framework To Master Your Mindset And Design Your Dream Life
You Have Control
If it’s not clear by now, know this: you have control over what is a problem and what isn’t.
You have the power to interpret anything any way you want.
This is great news. It gives you all your emotional responsibility back.
Anyone can do whatever they want to you and you can decide and choose how you want to think about it.
The way you think about something will make it a problem or not.
This doesn’t mean you don’t recognize something as a problem. It means you recognize you are in control of making it a problem or not. It’s not someone or something else’s doing.
You have choices as to the gravity of the problems you have based on what you’re thinking.
Most of us don’t own that we create the problem. If the problem is outside of you, you can’t solve it. When you understand that you create the problem based on what you make something mean, then you can solve the problem.
Focusing On The Solution
We tend to focus on the problem at nauseam.
And by “we” I mean me.
I’m guilty of calling my girlfriends and talking about the problem over and over and over.
Can you relate to this?
All this does is give energy to the problem.
It just makes it bigger.
It doesn’t solve the problem.
Understanding why something happened is useful, but then, that’s enough.
Move to focusing on the solution.
Separate The Facts From Your Thoughts
One of the best ways for you to get really good at reframing how you think about your problems is to start by separating out the facts from your thoughts about the facts.
Facts are provable.
Thoughts are not.
Example: “my sister was rude” is a thought.
Example: “my sister told me my shirt looked terrible” is a fact (assuming that’s exactly what she said).
You can make what someone says mean whatever you want.
So, get writing.
Write down a journal entry for about 10 to 20 minutes without stopping. Write about a problem you’re having. Then, write down all the facts from your entry on one side of the page and all your thoughts on the other.
All your thoughts are optional.
And those thoughts are what are causing you so much pain.
Focusing On What You Really Want
To solve your problem, you need to look at the facts and your thoughts about the facts and decide if how you’re thinking about the problem is actually how you want to be thinking about the problem.
If the answer is “yes” that how you’re thinking about the facts is how you want to be thinking about it (as a problem), then you don’t need to change anything.
But if it’s not how you want to think about it, you can change it. Ask yourself, “how do I want to feel about this?”
Do you want to be angry? Do you want to be judgmental? Do you want to be curious? Do you want to be understanding?
There is no right answer. There is only the answer that you decide is right for you.
What usually happens is that we’re in the habit of having a gut reaction to a circumstance in a way we don’t like. So, something happens, and you get really mad about it, thinking that it’s the circumstance that caused you to feel a certain way. But the truth is you have a choice as to how you want to feel about whatever it is that happened.
If you want to change how you feel, you have to do this intentionally.
Solving The Problem
Think about what you want to think and feel with respect to whatever it is that happened.
Notice that if you’re in an elevated emotional state, you’re much more likely to solve the problem.
For example, coming from a place of clarity, wisdom, and understanding is a lot more useful for solving the problem than coming at it from anger and frustration.
Think about your problem. Think about how you’re feeling about it. Know that it’s your thoughts about the problem that’s causing you to feel this way.
Problems aren’t problems until you think about them. Thoughts about problems are choices.
When you change the way you’re thinking about the problem you solve the problem immediately because it’s no longer a level of problem you’ve created it to be. Instead, you’re working on the solution.
We often create problems based on what other people do because we have a manual for how other people should behave.
This takes all your power away.
Not to mention, it never works.
You can ask someone to do something.
But they either will do it or they won’t do it.
You can’t control other adults.
When you blame someone else for how you feel, you give your emotional power away. You’re being an emotional child. No one jumped in your body and made you feel anything. You feel how you feel because of your thoughts.
You can only control yourself. When you take responsibility for being in charge of your own problems, your problems are less intense because you own you’re the one causing them.
Know that you are in charge of you. Not anyone else.
You have everything you need to solve your problems.
Notice how you think, feel, and act with respect to your problems now.
Evaluate your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Are you reacting? Are you avoiding? Are you resisting? Are you pretending it away? Are you blowing things out of proportion? Are you walking around with intense anxiety?
Pay attention to why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings.
Nothing has an effect on you until you give it that power.
Different thoughts lead to very different actions.
When you are angry, you take very different actions than when you’re curious.
Do You Want Your Future Or Your Past?
A lot of our problems come from trying to rewrite our past. We’re arguing with what already has happened.
Know that nothing has gone wrong. It happened exactly how it was supposed to happen. How do we know? Because it wouldn’t have happened that way.
The way you rewrite your past is by rewriting what it means.
Facts are facts. But you can change your story about the facts.
You can’t change how you were raised or anything else that has happened in the past. But you can change your story about it.
There is no “old thinking” – your past isn’t affecting you. It’s only your current thoughts about your past that is affecting you. You have sentences in your head right now that you can change.
Nothing in your past needs to change in order for you to feel better about it.
The only thing that needs to change is the way you’re thinking about it now.
If you believe you had a horrible childhood, you’ll feel horrible. You don’t have to believe that. You can change your thinking about it – no matter what has happened to you. And you’ll feel better right now, without anything else changing.
You can believe that you had the exact childhood you needed to have in order to get you to where you are today; in order to help you create your future destiny; it couldn’t have happened any other way.
Practice this in real life.
Think about a small problem and notice how you think about it and how you feel.
Understand your thinking.
Understand how you’re feeling.
Ask yourself what you want to be thinking and feeling.
Ask yourself what are you doing to solve this problem and what you could be doing to solve it?
Then, do this for your past and your future.
Solutions can be found in your future.
Are you excited about your future?
When you think about your future and get excited about it, there is no limit about what you can create. That focus is solution oriented.
A Final Note!
There’s a lot of information in this post.
I don’t want you to get overwhelmed by it.
I want you to know that the way you solve your problem is by changing how you’re thinking about the facts. Shift from scarcity (fear, frustration, anger) and move to abundance (curiosity, possibility, hope). When you open up your mind from abundance, you realize you have the answers you need to solve your problem.
You may decide that you want to keep some of your problems.
You may decide you’re tired of having others.
Either way, the beauty is in knowing that it’s up to you.
You can decide.
You have the power.
Your problems are yours and can be solved immediately by changing your thinking.
It’s amazing that we’re that powerful over our own lives. I love it.