Fix Thoughts Not Problems

I do not fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.” Louise Hay

Life will always bring us problems; it’s inevitable. What isn’t necessary: the suffering and pain that most of us feel when faced with complex difficulties. For most of us, our default response to any new problem is to think, “What am I going to do now?” We dive in with the problem and let it consume us and merge with our daily being. We don’t intend this, but by attacking the source of the problem – by dismissing or rejecting it – we feel like a victim, stuck in our own quagmire. We quickly sink into the quicksand of our problem and feel overwhelmed, not allowing ourselves to feel good until the problem is resolved or goes away. Indeed, by suffering with the problem, we waste hours of our lives with such feelings as worry, sadness, pain and anger. What if, instead of addressing the problem, we instead address our thinking? When we look at a problem and stop labeling it as such, we can begin to think of it as an opportunity – because that is what each problem really is – an opportunity for us to shift our perspective and learn another lesson. Imagine if you looked at the problem and kindly asked it, “What do I need to know about this?” Rather than resisting the situation, you’ve now invited your circumstances to provide you with a new wisdom or lesson. By fixing your thinking, you can immediately let go of the fear and embrace curiosity and possibility. Instead of being overcome by the problem, you’ve now stepped outside of it – almost separating yourself from it, which ultimately allows the problem to resolve itself. When you look for the gift, you’ve cut the problem off from its vital food supply and can no longer thrive in your mind. Mind you, this isn’t the same as denying that a problem exists; it is merely letting yourself see it differently – because when you fix your thinking, the problem will fix itself.

Weekly Path to Peace: Fix your thinking.

  • What are the current problems that have consumed your thinking? Where do you feel frustrated or spend hours of your life wondering how to create a solution? You may not even be aware of all the ways your problems infiltrate your being, so begin this week by writing down all of the problems you spend time worrying, thinking or being frustrated by. Allow yourself to be completely honest.
  • Instead of trying to solve the problems, ask yourself, “What do I need to know here?” Allow yourself to hear the message of what each problem is showing you. For example, if you’re constantly worried about how you’re going to pay your bills, ask yourself what this situation is showing you – what is the gift or lesson that can emerge from your current situation? By shifting your thinking, notice how you can step away from the problem and use it for growth. Journal about what you discover.

As you begin this week, rate your level of happiness, self-esteem and self-confidence on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not satisfied and 10 being very satisfied. Notice where you are Sunday evening after you do this week’s peace practice to see if there is a change.