Sometimes, confronting a problem head-on is not the solution. If you’re really struggling with something right now, it might be time to take a radically difficult approach to solving it. Here are five unusual, but effective, ways to deal with the thing that concerns you most right now:
Give up. It might seem like accepting defeat, but re-analyse your position and what you are trying to achieve. Might it be better to give up and live to fight another day? Do you need to quit on one project to allow another one a better chance of success? Is there something else you can give up to free up the time and creative ability to smash this one? Worth thinking over.
Go for a long walk on your own. This is good advice in any circumstance where you sense your thinking is becoming narrowed up or where you know that the situation will continue to worsen the longer you postpone making a difficult decision. A good walk, ideally through peaceful surroundings, can give you a different perspective on your problem, and will often result in a creative solution or compromise that neatly solves the issue and allows you to make progress once more!
Discuss the problem with someone who has no involvement in it. It is so easy to get stuck in your approach to a problem because you’re personally affected by it, and all those that you discuss it with are also affected by the problem. Try to get some time with someone who has relevant experience and ask them for their input. In return, you can offer to do the same for them.
Imagine a friend presented the problem to you as his own. How would you advise him to deal with it? This approach is very similar to No. 3, but it works well when you don’t have someone to call on and you need to make a decision fast. It’s amazing how much easier it is to give advice to persons other than ourselves! Imagine that you had the situation described to you, and how you would respond. It will give you a good idea of the best way to proceed.
Take action, even if there is a risk it might backfire. Understand that it is better to make a decision and move forwards, than to procrastinate endlessly and never make progress. You can always try again if the first attempt does not succeed. I don’t know who said “better a poor decision today than a perfect decision tomorrow” but in many cases, this is sound advice. Set a timer for 2 minutes or 3 minutes and force yourself to make a decision and commit to it before the time runs out. Read more…