When you are struggling through something, it’s important to be open to permanent change and solutions. Don’t let your problems own you. Instead, become the master of them. These four tips can show you how to overcome your problem, no matter what you’re facing. Be ready to read some positive books, problem solve and ask yourself probing questions!

Don’t be problem conscious.

People who have hindering, disabling beliefs are problem-conscious. They constantly focus on their problems and are the downer in the group. They view their problems as permanent. This is a dangerous trap to fall into.

It is necessary for you to strive to find solutions to your problems—even when it seems there are none. The mental exercise alone will begin to stir up creative ideas in you. As you focus on these ideas, solutions will come and the permanence of your problem will begin to fade.

Henry Ford put this principle to work with his engineers. He went to his design team and announced, “I want a V-8 engine!” They told him it was impossible. They couldn’t do it. But he was adamant: “I want a V-8 engine. And you will build it for me.” And they did! The moment Ford got them to quit focusing on the impossibilities and instead turn their mind to the possibilities, they figured out a solution.

Don’t see the problem as your whole life.

People who have difficult implementing change tend to see their problem as their whole life. Every time you talk to them, they talk about the problem! Their life is consumed by it. But in reality, most of our problems are only huge because of our perspective. For instance, listening to our young kids talk about their troubles is almost humorous. It’s definitely not funny to them, but as parents we can easily see that what they call a catastrophe is really not so bad.

Many times we need a new environment to gain an objective view of our circumstances. Our challenges are real, but there are also some very real solutions. One strategy I use to gain an objective view is to make a break from my current surroundings. Personally, I get out into the mountains to go fishing.

But if all you do is change your physical environment, then will just take your problems with you. You also need to change your mental environment. You can do this by putting new words and ideas into your mind. Read and meditate on positive books. You can determine your present level of effectiveness in dealing with problems simply by examining what you have been reading or watching lately. If you are not carefully feeding yourself on positive, encouraging materials, then you are bypassing one of the most effective strategies you have to enable yourself to see beyond your problems.

Your problem is not your identity.

Some people see their problem as their identity. This is incredibly dangerous! By allowing it to become your identity, you allow it to own you. You are not a bad parent simply because you have a troubled teenager. And you are not always going to be a bad husband because your first marriage failed. This guilt can adversely affect you in all areas of your life.

I have seen so people who have failed in business or in marriage or in other things. We all make mistakes. But the question is, will you allow that mistake to mark you for the rest of your life? So many people see the problem as who they are. And then they are never able to cross the bridge to permanent change.

The reality is that it doesn’t matter where you have been, what you have done, or what has happened in your life. Do not allow your problem to be your only identity. Instead, ask for help from God and others to see positive areas in your life. Yes, you made this mistake, but you also have potential to make unlimited good choices.

Ask yourself the right questions.

One of the most effective ways to change your mental environment is to ask yourself probing questions. Too often when faced with a problem we immediately and only ask, “Why me?” That’s never helpful. You could ask a thousand more productive questions: “What can I do to change this?” “What good can come out of this?” The wrong question leaves you floundering in the quicksand of self-pity. If you continue to ask that question, you will never get out. So instead, ask questions that encourage you to seek real answers. The real answers to your problems are buried three or four questions deep normally. So keep probing your own mind to find the answer that leads to permanent change.

What is a problem you are currently facing? Let me know in the comments.

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