PFA 010: Face your problems head on and never turn your back on them

The Prepare for Awesome Podcast

Where I want to educate, inspire, motivate and empower you to strive higher, push further, give more, do more, be more as you become all you possibly can be.
Anyone can hide from their problems.  Anyone can stick their head in the sand.
But facing them and working through them, well that will make you strong.
PFA 010: Show notes
On today’s show, we will be talking about facing your problems, challenges and past mistakes.
 #PrepareForAwesome #Challenges #Overcome #SelfBelief
I read a quote from an unknown source recently.  It said, ‘Face your problems head on and never turn your back on them.  Because it isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them that defines you and makes you who you will become.’
That is powerful stuff if you get it.
You see we all face challenges and have problems.  We can’t go through life without them.  They are there just as much as oxygen is there.  It just is and so are they!
Someone once said problems are like weeds.  They grow whether you want them to or not.
However, what we find is so many people run from their problems not realising those problems will always follow them.  And as a result never stop running.  They run from people they don’t like or people who don’t like them.  They run from bad memories or places which bring back memories.
They run from financial issues or relationships.
One morning, back in the day, I woke up and realised I had been running from my problems.  At the time, my running took the form of alcohol, rum in particular and by the time I realised I had been running from all the smaller problems in my life, I had run into an even bigger problem.  That problem was a liter of Red Heart rum every day!
The problem was so big, I would stop off and buy a new bottle each evening on the way home from the air force base where I was stationed at the time and would finish the the bottle I had bought the previous evening before I went to sleep that night.  In the morning, before getting out of bed, I would crack the seal on the new bottle and have a drink to help me get going.
And I had become an expert in hiding my habit not only from my friends and work colleagues, but also from my family.  Many of the non-flying personal and a few of the flyers on the base had alcohol issues, so as long as I never appeared to drink in public, the smell of rum or alcohol was always blamed on someone else.
However, there came a morning, as their inevitability always does when we run from our problems, that I woke at my usual time and remembered I had not bought that bottle of rum the previous evening because I had worked late.
I was eventually able to drag myself out of bed and into the bathroom, where I was confronted by a very old gray-faced 21-year-old in the mirror.
And it was while staring at myself in that mirror, that I came face to face with the fact I had been running from all of the problems in my life.  I made the decision to go to work, but to head in to the Sergeant Majors office and ask him for help, which I recognised I needed.  Fortunately, he was available and had me booked into an alcohol rehab center for 2 weeks and that was the start for me of facing my problems head on.
So whatever it is you are running from, there is hope.  Whether these are large or small issues, long-term ongoing issues or something that happened today, you can turn around and face them head on.
Now, the solutions and results of you facing your problems may not be evident overnight and neither am I suggesting your problems will disappear, because they won’t.  But by facing your current problems head on, they will not become baggage that you drag around with you for the rest of your life.
For some people, it may be a boss who is an outright idiot, while for someone else it may be an always empty bank account, while for someone else, it could be the breakdown of a long-term relationship and for yet another person, it may be a scary health issue which you found out about today.
And I don’t want to diminish your problems and challenges, but they don’t have to define you.
An old African proverb says, ‘Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.’  And what you want to become is a skillful sailor in the boat called ‘Your life.’
The question though is how.  How do you face your problem head on and then overcome them?
Well if you ask my friend Mr. Google, you will find there are approximately 621 million response to the question, ‘How do I face my problems head on.’  So it seems like just about everyone and his grandmother has a solution for you and me, but realistically, it will probably be different for every one of us.
However, having faced many other challenges and problems, some small and some massive, but most kind of in the middle, these are the 6 things I do to face my problems head on.
Though this may seem obvious, most people never begin anywhere and act as if the problem does not exist.  By not identifying the problem or the cause, you have begun the process of running.  Of burying your head in the sand.
When I confronted my gray-faced 21-year-old, I had to understand what had led me to that point before I could deal with it.
By identifying the problem and what has caused the issue, you have made a strong start to overcome it.  You will have put it out in front of you where you can confront it and begin to deal with it.
By understanding the cause of the problem, you will have a better understanding of how to deal with it and what route you need to go to ensure it is completely resolved.
The next step is to write it down.  This seems to make it more real and as you write, you may find you gain in understanding the issues better.  Don’t get me wrong, this could be the hardest part of facing your problems, as it can raise some ugly memories depending on the depth of the problems you are dealing with.
However, it can also be extremely helpful as it could start to help you develop answers and solutions to the issues.
As I wrote down the challenges I faced at the time, I found answers to why certain things had happened and began to understand how I was going to deal with this huge challenge which I faced.
And remember, this need not be something you share with the world.  I am only now becoming more open about the additional problem my drinking caused.
So, now that you have identified the issue, understand the cause and have written these things down, you can begin to develop a solution and a course of action.
For some smaller problem, it may simply be a phone call to restructure your debt which has fallen due and you can’t pay.  For another problem, it may mean making an appointment to see a therapist, but whatever the problem is and whatever the size of that problem, you need to have a plan of action that is going to work.
Finding a solution and putting a plan in place is not always as simple as it sounds.  But again it is a part of the process for dealing with and facing up to your problems.
However, it is not enough to identify, understand the causes and write these down.  It is not enough to decide on a solution and a course of action.
If you truly want to face these issues and deal with them, you have to make a conscious decision that you will follow through with your plan and stick with it until you have sorted out the problem and you have won.
The power of facing and overcoming your problems is not in the problem, nor is it in you identifying, understanding, writing or planning.  The power in you facing your problem, lies in the decisions you make and the way in which you execute those decisions.
Facing your problems head-on or running away from them is your decision and no one other than you has the power to make that decision for you.  But the decision you make can make a massive difference in your future.
Ok, so now you have these problems out in front of you and you understand the causes behind them.  You have a plan and you have made a decision to deal with them.
Now is the time to execute on those plans and on those decisions.  This is where the tire meets the road and you need courage and strength.  For some issues, it could be overcoming the fear of your solution being rejected or just the fear of making the phone call, while for others problems it could be the fear of the potential long-term consequences.
Nelson Mandela said, ‘I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’
And taking action is all about overcoming fear.  Be brave and have courage.
Whether the problems and challenges you are facing are made of your own doing or the doing of other people, they are not the termination of your life.  They are not the final word on your life.  They are similar to issues which occur to people all around the world all the time.
People get into debt, they get divorced, they make bad decisions in business and in life.  This is a normal part of life.  Some of the problem you face may be things that should not be a normal part of life, but are a problem you can overcome.
Problems and challenges are not final.  You can get up and move forward.
Remember, you life is your story and if you don’t like the way the chapter is being written, then you can change it and rewrite it.  This is your decision.
So that it for this episode.  Thanks for listening.  I look forward to chatting with you again in the next episode.
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Thanks again for your time today and I look forward to chatting with you on the next episode where I will again share with you ideas, tips and tools to help you become the best version of yourself you could possibly be.
Have a great day.  And remember to be awesome today.
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