I don’t believe there are any quick fixes when it comes to life problems, especially not significant ones.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t quick strategies that you can use to help you think more clearly.
And when it comes to trying to sort through our own problems, we’re usually left in the dark. More specifically, people typically get caught halfway through the reasoning process. They are able to identify what they do not like, and the experience they do not want, but they don’t imagine the opposite of it, what they do want.
Whether you want to switch a job, work through a feeling like resentment, or really anything else in-between, you have to ask yourself the following question:
“What is my experience of this, and what would I like this experience to be?”
Once you have the end goal in mind, you can start to bridge the gap between those two places. I recommend actually drawing this out on a piece of paper, where you can actually outline the steps manually.
The mental shift
You’ll notice in the mental shift that what you have is at the bottom, and what you want is at the top. This is an important alignment because you want the experience of feeling as though you are rising to a greater outcome.
If you hate your body, and you want to love your body, you cannot go right from hatred to adoration. It will not work. It might even make you feel more manic and aggrieved. So what if, instead, your steps between those two places looked more like this:
- I am willing to love my body someday.
- I recognize that people with bodies like mine do have loving, romantic relationships.
- I am willing to respect my body.
- I am willing to maybe one day not hate my body.
Here’s a breakdown of what this would look like, with some example questions that might help you shift your mindset:
WHAT YOU WANT:
- Step C: Why am I attached to this being impossible?
- Step B: What do I need to do to make this possible?
- Step A: What do I need to think to believe this is possible?
WHAT YOU HAVE:
The behavioral shift
The mindset shift isn’t the whole of it, however. It’s just the beginning. The next way to bridge the gap between what you have and what you want is by evaluating your behaviors.
The best way to break this down is to determine what you would need to do each day, month, and year to arrive at your goal.
WHAT YOU WANT:
- Step C: What do I need to do each year to make this possible?
- Step B: What do I need to do each month to make this possible?
- Step A: What do I need to do each day to make this possible?
The unconscious work
As you go through the process of identifying these steps and figuring out these steps toward changing your life, you will undoubtedly come upon some resistance, doubt, and unconscious attachments.
These attachments are fickle and can be really deceiving.
For example, let's say you want to spend more time with your friends, but you’re having a hard time reaching out regularly and feel a lot of resistance towards doing so. You’d want to ask yourself the following process to uncover what is still motivating you not to:
- What is the feeling that you get when you try to reach out to your friends? Got it? OK.
- Now, when is the first time you felt that feeling? What were you doing? What happened?
- How did the event that first triggered this feeling change you? What did you take away from it?
- How could you have responded differently to create a different outcome?
- Can you empathize with your younger self? Can you understand that any healthy person would have responded the same way to those circumstances?
- What action can you take now to change how you feel and move closer to your desired outcome?
- If there is no action you can take, what affirmations or beliefs can you work on conditioning yourself to that are helpful and productive?
And lastly, you ask yourself this:
What can I learn from this experience, and how am I going to be different in the future?
Getting through our deepest problems is a process of becoming crystal clear on what they really are, and then figuring out what we want to experience in place of them. When you understand what you are working toward, the path becomes clear.