Do you often have trouble when you encounter a problem? Every day we face challenges and problems in life, both big and small, and so it’s very important to be good at tackling them. However, that can be easier said than done, and if we make one of these mistakes when trying to solve a problem, we might make the situation worse instead. So could you be making some of these mistakes when solving a problem? And what can you do instead?
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Overthinking can be an easy trap to fall into when trying to fix a problem. When you’re overthinking, you dwell on the same thoughts and problems for far too long, usually in very unhelpful ways, such as focusing too much on things you can’t change, replaying bad scenarios in your mind, and even second-guessing the decisions that you’ve already made.
Overthinking is highly stressful and wears you out, and is unlikely to lead you to a solution to your problem. Instead of ruminating about things that you know can’t be helped, try to think of something concrete and productive that you can do to improve your situation.
If you notice that you’ve been caught up in this loop of overthinking, the best thing to do is to put some space between you and what you’re thinking so hard about. Do something that takes your mind off of your problems. This could be a hobby that you love, exercise, or meditation. Anything that keeps you from slipping back into rumination is great for you.
2. Repeating The Same Mistakes
Another common problem is repeating the same actions over and over, even if they don’t properly fix the problem. This is more likely to apply to long term problems that you encounter on a regular basis, such as spending too much money or eating too much. Why do we keep repeating these same mistakes?
It’s important to try and think of why you keep making these mistakes, and whether you’re actually addressing the root cause of the problem. It may not be enough to just say that you’re going to stop. For example, if you’re trying to stop overeating, it’s going to be incredibly hard to do so if your kitchen is always filled with tasty foods that are easy to eat too much of. By having a better awareness of yourself and your situation, you might notice a pattern that leads to your problem. With that knowledge, try to think of new ways the problem could be solved.
Another important thing to do to fix this problem is to try and look at your situation from different perspectives, like by asking your friends or family members what they think. They might be able to tell you things that you didn’t previously consider, which opens up new options and paths for you to take in the future.
3. Avoiding Failure And Mistakes
It’s natural to want to avoid messing up and failing, so we can stay safe and not look silly or incompetent, but trying to avoid making mistakes at all costs can be a big mistake itself. If you’ve been facing the same problems for a while and nothing is changing, it could mean that what you’re doing to fix the problem just isn’t working, and you need new solutions.
Searching for solutions to a problem will usually involve some trial and error before you get to the best answer, so avoiding any errors in your search for an answer does not mean that you’ll solve the problem properly. Being afraid to stray too far from the way you’ve always done things can limit your options in many ways like this.
Trial and error is one of the main ways that we learn, and so our mistakes teach us many important lessons in life. By avoiding them at all costs, we cut ourselves off from all kinds of new realisations and possibilities that could allow us to better solve our problems in both the present and the future.
4. Aiming For Perfection
Another mistake is always searching for a perfect solution to our problems. The reason for this is similar to the last mistake, in that we don’t want to risk failure or embarrassment if we can’t fix a problem well enough. We might spend a lot of time considering our options and avoiding good solutions because we think we can find something better.
However, it’s important to recognize that most problems in life don’t have perfect fixes, and settling for a good-enough solution is usually preferable to spending so much time and effort trying to find a perfect solution that might not exist. Rather than providing a better solution to our problems, searching for perfection just makes us more frustrated and exhausted during our search for an answer, which never helps us.
5. Not Seeking Help
The last mistake that’s often made when solving a problem is being hesitant to ask for help when you need it. It’s normal to want to be independent and able to deal with issues on your own without having to ask other people for help, but not all problems you encounter can be solved by you alone, and there’s only so much one person can handle, so it’s crucial to recognize when this is the case.
When you’re trying to solve a problem all on your own, you can only use the perspective, ideas and abilities that you already have. Other people will bring new perspectives and skills that could be invaluable in solving your problem. They may have even faced the exact same problem before, and know exactly what to do to help.
Perhaps your friends or family would be the best people to ask, or perhaps you would benefit a lot from having a transformational coach or therapist to help you out. Either way, remember that two heads are always better than one, and there’s never anything wrong with asking for help when you need it.
Hopefully this article has given you a new awareness of how you approach your problems in life and whether you could be doing it better. It might be easier said than done to stop making some of these mistakes, like breaking the habit of overthinking, but being aware and mindful of them is the most important step to finding better ways of solving your problems.