When difficulty becomes a soul gift – turning problems into possibilities.
The inspiring women you see gracing the covers of your favorite magazines might not admit this, but some of the problems they’ve faced are the exact reasons they became so successful, powerful, and vibrant. In fact, show me a strong, accomplished woman and I’ll show you a slew of problems she had to battle to get there!
I strongly believe that problems can be blessings in disguise, offering up wonderful opportunities for our personal development.
The difference between failure and success is not how many problems you have, it’s whether or not you can turn those problems into possibilities.
I once heard someone say, “Failure is inevitable; use it wisely.” I think the word "failure" can easily be exchanged for the word "difficulty" and it's an equally valuable piece of advice.
Every successful person I know has this golden nugget of insight.
But how does it happen? How can we flip the script and create possibility out of difficulty?
Identify, but don't exaggerate, your problem.
Be honest with yourself about the details surrounding the problem.
Perhaps it’s work-related, a family matter, financial troubles, or an issue that came up within your circle of friends. Chances are if you don’t approach the issue with an open heart and a positive mindset, you may be setting yourself up for a bigger problem.
Whatever the problem may be, use it as an opportunity. Avoid creating melodramatic stories and assumptions about the situation and just stick to the facts.
Oftentimes, our minds will start coming up with little stories about the difficulty and our anxiety starts to take over the narrative. Suddenly, we start assuming things that may not be true or, worse, start to make decisions out of fear, instead of using our intellect and our heart.
Don’t exaggerate the problem, but be critical and aware of what you are truly dealing with.
My grandmother used to say, “Don’t make mountains out of molehills.” While sometimes problems truly are mountainous, we can (as Glennon Doyle says) do hard things – and, no mountain is too high to climb with a little bit of faith, determination, and an attitude of gratitude for the soul gifts we gain with the altitude.
Determine causes and effects to get you on the right path.
Turning problems into possibilities is often easier when you’ve analyzed the causes and the effects of your problem.
For example, say you want to lose 40 pounds.
Sure, it’s important, to be honest, and admit, “I’m ready to lose weight.” But, it can be even more powerful if you were to write out all of the daily habits that contribute to your current health, such as indulging in packaged foods too often, avoiding exercise like the plague, or wallowing in what I call “stinkin’ thinkin’ that’s filled with negative self-image thoughts like:
- This is just how it is
- I’ll never be able to do it
- I can’t help it – it’s my (lack of time, hormones, genetics, thyroid …)
Then, add in the specific effects that these actions and thought habits create, such as low energy, limited mobility, poor self-image, and a general feeling of blah.
Seeing all these details on paper will guide you in the right direction and may even offer preliminary solutions. You’ll learn more about yourself and more about how to solve the problem for the long term.
Trust that you have the solution.
Problem-solving is a valuable life skill and the more practice you have with it, the more likely you’ll be able to conquer issues in the future. But when dealing with life’s ups and downs, nothing is more valuable than the trust you learn to have in yourself.
When a problem comes up, it’s the perfect time to go within and dig deep. Find your inner power, reignite your inner flame, and remember that you are a dynamic, elegant woman who has overcome so much before.
Let’s be honest. I could sit here all day and tell you how brave and phenomenal you are, but it’s up to you to do the hard work of loving and trusting yourself.
If needed, take out your journal and put some time into listing out all of the problems that you have solved in your life.
Here’s an enlightening and effective way to prove to yourself that you’ve got what it takes to find solutions to almost any issue.
- On a piece of paper, draw 4 columns.
- The first column will be titled, Problems. List out all of the problems that you encountered in your life that you were able to find solutions for.
- The second column is for Solutions. List out the corresponding solution that you discovered for each of the problems that you listed.
- The third column will be titled, New Possibilities. Here you’ll write down each new possibility that you discovered hiding within each of those solutions. For example, perhaps you solved a problem at work which made you realize that you had a skill that you and no one else knew you had!
- And finally, the fourth column is for your Emotions. Write out how each of those situations made you feel, how you felt when you solved it, and how you feel now knowing about the New Possibility that was born from the issue.
Perceive the problem as a spiritual test.
Years ago I had doubts about starting my own business. I knew that I had this big, exciting dream and it was up to me to make it come true.
But when problems arose, I began to second guess myself, wondering if I had chosen the right path. Was I just kidding myself? Did I really have it in me to make this dream a reality?
I soon realized that if I was ever going to solve these entrepreneurial problems, I was going to have to switch my mindset and start perceiving these problems as what they actually were: soul gifts and possibilities.
Spiritual tests arrive in the form of obstacles that we must overcome, and in doing so, we reaffirm our strength and resilience. It’s as if the Universe, herself, is asking, “Are you truly committed to your dreams? Is this what you really want?”
So, if you can perceive your problems as spiritual tests or soul gifts, you’ll uncover ways to reconnect with your higher self.
Let’s face it: sometimes we end up in places, at jobs, or with people that are not truly aligned with our core values.
Sometimes, and this is simply a result of fear or apathy, we let life just push us along, with no particular destination or intention, until one day we realize we aren’t at all where we want to be.
But, here’s the thing, My Beautiful Friends:
The Universe doesn’t want you to play it safe.
The Universe wants to see you thrive and transform.
And, if you’re ambling along through life with little energy or focus, the Universe will see that and start to shake things up on your behalf.
The question, of course, becomes, what are you going to do once you’ve been shaken up?
And that’s the beauty of turning problems into possibilities. It’s getting the opportunity to grow.
Take inspired action.
Of course, we know it’s important to make things happen and get things done. But, sometimes, just because we know it needs to get done, doesn’t mean we know how.
How can we take action that will turn our problems into exciting possibilities?
Start getting inspired!
Go out and see how others solve their problems; research influencers who’ve been known to get things done and adapt their practices.
You’ll notice right away that successful people don’t shy away from tough decisions or complications. They use obstacles as fuel for their fire and usually go above and beyond their original plan.
Inspired action means solidifying your intentions and refusing to back down.
It’s your chance to get creative because real problem-solving begs you to become an innovator. And you don’t have to be Marie Curie to come up with amazing solutions! Much of the time, finding the right solution is more about being confident rather than being a genius.
Avoid what I like to call “distraction actions,” which are actions that strengthen the problem instead of paving the way for a solution. The big one, of course, is talking.
Now, don’t get me wrong, you’ll never catch me being the quiet church mouse since I love talking! But when it comes to my hopes and dreams, I find that doing is far more powerful than saying.
Many women sound so joyful and motivated when they talk about their aspirations, but they rarely take bold steps to make those dreams come to life.
And that’s really the key to turning your problems into possibilities: taking inspired action that will remind you just how powerful and innovative you really are.
If you’re ready to learn more, I would love for you to join me in the School of Self-image. There are so many tools that I’m excited to share with you. Because life is always going to throw curveballs your way, but learning how to use these curveballs to your advantage is an empowering way to not only grow but help others, too.
I’m here to tell you from my own experience: Life isn’t only about the destination. It’s about the journey too and sometimes the journey is rough.
And, that’s when it applies just enough pressure for you to become the sparkling, brilliant diamond that you always knew you were.
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