Thinking of a Problem as a Challenge

How does one do that? See a problem as a challenge that can be dealt with and learned from. Some days that is a difficult challenge in of itself.

One of my friends wrote this quote: “It’s not a problem, it’s a chance to develop problem-solving skills” – Lorna Lansard

She has a very good point. But how do we do this…? How do we lift ourselves above the knee-jerk negative reaction to problems? You would think that since I’m in IT, that would be second nature to me. And sometimes it is.

However, there are many times that those darn emotions get in the way. That is where I have trouble making these problems into a learning experience. Often, I even know better that to get emotionally involved in a problem, but being a very emotional person, it is hard for me to get past that. I think the key is to recognize that you are becoming emotional and force yourself to take a step back and wait before trying to tackle the problem.

Many people do that all the time  – they are able to distance themselves enough from a problem to be able to find solutions. They are able to keep their head clear so to speak.

As I am finally growing up (a little, anyway! 🙂 ) I am finding that I am getting better at this. The trick is to refrain from, what I’d like to call, “Freaking Out” when I first come across a problem! I so often  have done this. This is when my mind is completely blocked to any solution and I just can’t see the light.

The guys at work used to laugh at me because they’d always be able to tell when this had occurred. I would be seen literally FURIOUSLY typing at my keyboard and they could tell that I was giving someone a “solution”!!! Invariably, I would regret writing it after I’d had time to think!

So, what I’m desparately trying to do is WAIT…take a step back, even completely away from the problem and think of it in a different perspective. I try to remove the emotion from the situation and think logically. This is something that we programmers are able to do. I just find that I sometimes don’t allow myself to be logical.

I am starting to find that the more I practice this “stepping back” from the problem first, the more I am able to find creative solutions. I am able to see the solutions and/or see how this problem could actually end up helping me. Maybe someday it will be as easy for me as it is for my very logical husband! He rarely “freaks out”! Oh, I can only dream! As long as I recognize the problem and keep trying to fix it, right!? 🙂


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