“Not only do we want to give up worry, but we must learn how to work our way out of problems. Worry is the antithesis of overcoming. We worry when the conditions overwhelm us. Overcoming is when we overwhelm the problems. Today I shall overcome all worry and will work my way out of my problems. I will overcome worry. And, forevermore, I shall say bon voyage to worry.” -February’s Reflections for Growth booklet by Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph. D.
“When you begin to worry, go find something to do. Get busy being a blessing to someone; do something fruitful. Talking about your problems or sitting alone, thinking about it, does no good; it serves only to make you miserable. Above all else, remember that worrying is totally useless. Worrying will not solve your problem.” -Joyce Meyer
“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.”
Statement #4, “Problems bother me only to the degree I permit them to.”
I now better understand my problems and do not permit problems to overwhelm me.
BASIC STEPS IN PROBLEM SOLVING*
1. Identify the problem. Write down concrete observations about it. Can you break it into parts? The incorrect identification of a problem virtually assures that you won’t fix it. Don’t focus on other people, you can’t change them. You need to learn to cope with the problem yourself.
2. Generate Solutions. Many women see situations as black or white. There are usually more than two options---list a couple dozen of them! Consider every possible solution to your problem---even if unrealistic. If fleeing to Mexico is a solution, write it down.
3. Compare your options. Try your favorite one first, while taking into consideration the consequences. Perhaps you want to combine several. If none appeal to you, you may be seeking the perfect solution. Alas, there probably isn’t one that doesn’t require a tradeoff, so start weighing compromises to get unstuck.
4. Write out a detailed plan. Include everything you need to do to accomplish you goal, and establish dates for completing each step. Consider outside help. Keep your expectations realistic. If your problem involves changing your behavior in relationships, don’t expect others to respond right away.
5. Put your plan into action.
6. Check on yourself. In three or four weeks, evaluate how well your plan is working. If it isn’t, don’t feel you have failed---what you learn may help you identify the problem more precisely. Maybe you will find new options or see a more realistic view of what will work. Make another plan and keep trying.
*This is an excerpt from the WFS Workbook: Coping With Stress by Margaret Pruitt, Ph. D. This item may be purchased at: http://www.wfscatalog.org/
Alcohol was my solution to just about every problem before my New Life. NO MORE. WFS continues to assist me in learning new avenues in identifying the problem and then putting action into finding and then coming to a conclusion. I learn, grow and feel competent and wiser with each problem solved.
I like and understand how Jean mentions, “Overcoming is when we overwhelm the problems.” Often times I have found myself stuck with a problem. Sometimes it may take time to figure out what the problem actually is and, on occasion, I need to determine if it belongs to me. Naming my feelings helps tremendously and I usually see a pattern beginning to develop in my thoughts or attitudes. Once I have reached this point, creativity can assist me in coming up with different solutions. I can honestly say that I have not once listed a couple dozen! (Although I have listed about 10 options.)
Reaching a solution comes easier for me today with action behind Statement #4. I no longer feel overwhelmed with worry and my attitude towards problems is shifting. I view worry as a welcome mat opening to wisdom!
Hi 4C Women,
WFS taught me to problem solve rather than remain in the worry phase; which is where I stayed most of the time. I also learned the difference between everything being a problem or worry and focus on those issues that truly needed attention. One of the best guidelines of WFS is that we do not give advice to others; instead, we share in how we resolved an issue. What a great learning tool in learning to listen, to again trust our instincts and share our outcome with others. We know our history better than anyone else and yet to be open to considering other solutions is part of the personal growth we can experience in an atmosphere of non-judgment and sharing. The “Basic Steps in Problem Solving” are just one of the great ways we encourage and support each other and ourselves on becoming responsible for our choices. -Dee
Thank you, Karen and Dee, for your words of encouragement and inspiration to start off our week! ~Becky Fenner, WFS Director
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