“You have dealt with so much and done the best that you can, take a moment now to appreciate how strong you are.” ~~Karen Salmansohn
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting the first one.” ~~Mark Twain
“Understanding can overcome any situation, however mysterious or insurmountable it may appear to be.” ~~Norman Vincent Peale
Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.
I now better understand my problems.
I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.
Years ago, while raising alpacas, one of the most valuable tools in the field was balanced breathing. Alpacas are herd animals without a strong ability to protect themselves; they rely heavily on processing information related to their surroundings. Alpacas notice the little things like the breath of a 4 legged or 2-legged thing near them. Balanced breathing was just as important as a sharp pair of clippers!
Fast forward to today. My yoga instructor repeatedly states that our breath is our fuel. A quick Google search will tell that our breath sustains life by providing oxygen needed for metabolism and removing by-product carbon dioxide. Breathing also affects motor control and plays roles in physiological and psychological regulation. In a nutshell, breath is life. With something this important, this can be a natural place to begin when faced with a problem, large or small.
Statement #4 can be put into practice immediately upon discovering a problem. Just like alpacas banding together tightly when sensing something off, we can take a deep breath and band together for support. Reaching out to the WFS Online Forum, in face to face groups or a 4C sister, we find compassion and strength. Adding in slow, steady breathing can prepare our mind and body for understanding and problem solving.
Hi 4C Women,
I’ve heard it said often to just breathe when a strong feeling seems to stop us from doing what is so necessary for life – like breathing!
My way of practicing Statement #4 is to replace “problems” with “worry” and to make the distinction between worry and concern. It’s been said that worry is problem oriented and concern is solution oriented. As a former worrier, I was reluctant to give up this approach as that would also mean I would have to actually be in charge of finding solutions to real issues/concerns. It was much easier (or so I thought) to see my whole life as a problem that could never be solved. I still go back to worrying now and then and that is usually when I have put way too much on my plate. I compare it to one of those “all you can eat buffets” for one low price. Well, I’ve learned the price is much too high even when it’s low! Thank goodness for the WFS group and my friends to help me (not judge me) get back to problem solving real concerns. If I am trying to control another person’s behavior, that is a red flag that I am distracting myself from taking care of the only person I can control and that is me. I can set healthier boundaries, I can make choices that support my well-being and I can ask for help from those I trust.
I want to focus on productive problem-solving as that teaches us so much of what we are capable of, how open we are to new ideas, what risks we are willing to take in this new approach, learning the difference between worry and concern and believing we are problem solvers with great follow-through as we practice Statement #4.
Here are some ways to start the productive problem-solving for concerns/issues that require our attention:
- Clear description of the concern.
- Clear delineation of the “ownership” of the concern. Whose concern is it?
A clear description of the scope of the concern. How extensive? How long has it existed? How many people are affected?
- A clear description of the consequences if concern is not solved. What is the impact on family, job, marriage, school, life in the community, etc.
List brainstormed solutions to the concern. This is where your trusted support system is helpful.
- A system of ranking each solution to finalize the decision-making process.
A clear description of yourself as a decision-maker. Are you procrastinating? Avoiding the issue? Are you shutting down or blocking creativity? Are you ignoring it, hoping it will go away?
- Determination to follow through on the solution. Are you willing to take the risk and pursue the solution to its fullest?
Hope this is helpful if you are struggling with an issue. If it helps for now to use the word “problem,” please consider doing that. Much success in moving forward in your ability to make decisions, seek support and take risks.
Bonded in being powerful decision-makers,
4C WFS Member