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Ask Dr. C: 3 Smart Questions to To Ask About Your Problem

Problems. They’re part of everyone’s life.

contemplative girl

Some are little annoyances popping up unexpectedly: your car won’t start going to work, coffee spills on your blouse before the meeting or your best friend made remarks that hurt your feelings… But some annoyances turn into problems and part of growing up is learning how to deal with the problems that life can bring.

Whether the problem is something you have created (like making sarcastic comments to your friends or eating 1/2 gallon of ice cream every night for a week) or something that you have no control over (someone’s opinion of you, the weather for the outdoor wedding, or a package that is lost in snail mail) – having a plan for solving problems is a healthy thing.

So, what questions propel us to finding the answers we need?

Question 1: Is this a one-time problem …or a pattern of behaving for me?

This matters, because if the problem is coming from the way I am behaving – (for example: overeating or allowing anger to consume my thoughts) I need to tackle it in a different way. If it’s a one-time problem (I ran over a nail on the way home and now have a flat) – it requires a one-time solution, not changing something in my behavior. Assuming your driving skills are good.

Question 2: Should I break the problem up into manageable pieces (actions) or do I need to tackle the whole situation at once.

(For example, should I lay some ground work before approaching my mother-in-law or do I just schedule “the talk”.)

Question 3. Can I manage my own attitude while I am working on this problem?

As one author writes “My attitude will determine my altitude.”

If solving problems were that easy, there wouldn’t be so much advice given and articles written about it. Getting wise advice is always a “go to” move as well. But learning how to look at the problems you are facing in a way that propels you toward solving them – puts you in the smart place.

I know you can do this!

Dr. C

PHOTO BY: Alexander Kuzmin