Maybe all the time?
Remember the song ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ by Bobby McFerrin? One line in the lyrics say, ‘in every life we have some trouble’, and I believe this is true for all of us, don’t you?
Do you feel that sometimes ‘troubles or problems’ seem to arrive on our doorstep in many forms, personally and professionally, throwing us ‘off kilter’ and sending us reeling off course into a dizzy turmoil of endless worry and hopeless despair?
The trouble is, when this happens we forget where we were headed, what tasks we had for the day, or goals for the week or month, instead focusing on the ‘problem’ that has arisen taking over our thinking, our focus, our direction.
When this happens to me, and I’m wearing my ‘worry head’ I find it helps to sit somewhere quiet and take a ’15-minute mental time-out’ to focus on the context of the problem itself, the facts rather than emotions, and mentally ‘reel in’ all the ‘what if’s’ which by the way are usually the worst-case scenarios TIMES THREE!
Taking on the weight of self-doubt and losing self-belief reduces motivation hurling us in a negative spiral, diving into a whirlpool of doubt, fear and panic achieving nothing.
We then drift into the same habits focusing on the negative rather than the positive, and doubting ourselves. It’s almost self-sabotage!
I find that being clear what the problem is and writing down possible solutions helps. There is always a solution to every situation, we sometimes can’t see it!
Imagine if the problem was someone else’s, what you would say? You would offer practical suggestions for their consideration, and tell them they are great and will get through this. By swapping shoes, this helps us determine how we might deal with the problem.
Worry torments our lives. We worry about doing the wrong thing, but doing nothing will always be the wrong thing. By doing something, even if it’s the wrong thing, at least we’ve tried to tackle the worry full on and not bury our heads in the sand; doing something helps reduce our fear of that ‘worst case scenario’; moving forward and not standing still.
Swapping shoes detaches ourselves emotionally, helps us become impartial, an observer. And we can always think of a way out of someone else’s situation can’t we, but never ours. Stepping outside our ‘shoes’ helps us become more rational, seeing things in context, reaching a positive conclusion.
Albert Einstein was quoted as saying “You can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it”.
To deal with our problems and remain motivated, we must change our thinking. Instead of problems let’s call them challenges. This enables our negative thinking to change to positive thinking. By calling them challenges we start to focus more positively on the task in hand achieving positive results.