How you view and deal with your problems is a big factor in your wellbeing, stress levels and growth in life.

As long as we are alive, we will have problems. Some are bigger and others are smaller and some we solve or make bigger through our handling, or avoidance of them! The busier our lives and the more involved and engaged we are, the more problems we encounter for the most part.

‘Growth’ is a big part of our journey to fulfilment. The problems we face offer us an opportunity to do just that. In business, it is through solving other peoples’ problem, that we make a living and grow a company. And yet interestingly, as the very wise Tony Robbins points out, the biggest problem most people have is that we feel we shouldn’t have them! So often, we see our problems as an inconvenience, something we are above or don’t deserve. The time we take to complain and blame only adds to the time it takes to address matters. Life is a package. The good and the challenges go together.

A big part of life is about solving problems. The bigger the problem, the bigger the lesson we can learn from it and the more we can grow or get over-stressed as a result. It is a choice. When difficulties happen in life, we have three choices: bitter, better or broken.

Some problems are of our own making and if we learn from situations we can minimise and prevent at least some of them. Some problems are years in the making. Others happen just like that. So often, fear presents us from confronting and dealing with them.

Here are 5 things you can do when you have a problem:

  1. Take action – when problems come, you can be an ostrich and pretend there is no problem. You can think about the problem and do little or nothing. This type of thinking causes a lot of stress and anxiety. Or you can look at the problem and do your best to solve it by taking action.
  2. Deal with it honestly.
    We often tell ourselves convenient lies and avoid uncomfortable truths. Be real with yourself and others. While it is more challenging in the moment it will minimise problems over time and help you achieve resolution more quickly and bring personal growth.
  3. Ask for help from people who know more or better than you in that area. So often we ask personal advice from people with the same blind spots as ourselves. This is particularly true in matters of the heart, and problems that affect us emotionally or feed into our core wounds as people. In the same way that if you were building a house or making any major life decision you would ask someone with proven experience to help you. Do the same regarding emotional matters. If you want to be happily married, talk to someone who is happily married and learn how they do it.
  4. Learn to say no when you need to. A very good friend of mine observed that many people in Ireland go from saying ‘no problem’ to having a very big problem. Being too accommodating often gets us in to trouble and adds to unhealthy stress.
  5. Honest Reflection – take time to reflect honestly on how you are doing and look at things as they are – not better or worse. Honest reflection helps us minimise and solve difficulties.

Problems when viewed in the right way, can also help keep us humble, compassionate and grounded – all great human qualities that prepare us to connect and strengthen our relationships.