The Nine Step Problem Solving System

In all areas of your life, you will face problems. This is inevitable. No one is immune to this reality of life. However, there is no need to feel vulnerable. Because with the Nine-Step Problem-Solving System that I am going to teach you today, you will become adept at solving even the most daunting of problems. Once you master this system, you will position yourself to solve any problem.

Step 1: State the Problem in Writing

It is absolutely critical that you take a clean sheet of paper and write the problem down. By doing so, you will identify what the actual problem is. It should be as simplified as possible. Any one that reads the statement should be able to tell you what the problem is.

Step 2: Emotional Detachment

Problems can emotionally hit you very deeply. This can create an imbalance of emotions. Certain stress hormones are released that can cause you to feel unstable. To counteract this change, all you need to do is just laugh at the problem. Yes, literally laugh at it. State the problem while laughing at it or using comical voices. I understand that this sounds absurd, but trust me; This will calm your nerves down and get you focused.

Step 3: Psychological Support

You will tend to feel lonesome when faced with a problem. You will assume that the whole world is out to get you. The remedy for this feeling is to take the time to think about your spouse, your family and friends. This is your support group. These are indeed your well-wishers who always want to see you smiling and will do anything to see you happy. These are the people who will stop everything to come to your aid when you are in distress.

Step 4: Physiological Response

The caveman response behaviors of fight-flight-freeze are still embedded in you. In our modern times, you may have come to understand that the responses of fight and flight are really not necessary as we do not for the most part face life-threatening moments. And you are less likely to respond in this manner. However the freeze response is one that you may seem to have little control over. Therefore, you need to learn to tame it. You can easily break the shackles by simply making your body move. You can get up and take a walk or if possible run. Engage yourself in a little exercise routine of moving your hands, shoulders and waist. If the shoulders are drooped, pull them up and stretch them wide. If your breathing is shallow, take a moment to perform some deep breathing exercises. And if your head is hanging low, lift it up high, high into the sky.

Step 5: Change Your Vocabulary

I am sure you agree to the fact that words have power. Words from President JF Kennedy enticed a nation to aim for a goal as audacious as landing a man on the moon. Words can influence you in a positive or a negative way. The word Problem has a negative effect. You need to give it a more positive spin. You can instead use the word Challenge or Opportunity or even a Possible Blessing in Disguise instead of the word Problem. As a result of changing the vocabulary, you will approach the issue with an entirely positive outlook. From here on, I will only use the word Challenge in lieu of the word Problem.

Step 6: Put on Your FBI Hat

The next step is to put on your FBI Agent's hat. Gather all the facts and data and put it in writing. View the challenge from different perspectives. Scrutinize each and every detail. The solution to the challenge could lie in this step.

Step 7: Positive Questioning

It is important to ask quality questions. Quality questioning will lead to quality solutions.

Here are some questions you could pose:

  • Who can I call or talk to about this challenge?
  • Have I had a similar challenge in the past and how did I handle it?
  • What is the worst-case scenario?
  • How important is this issue anyway?
  • Will it matter in one week, one month or even one year from now?
  • What is the long-term benefit of solving this challenge?
  • Can this be an opportunity for something majestic?

Step 8: Control Your Focus

It is imperative that you maintain your focus. You should have at least 80% of your focus on the solution and only 20% on the actual challenge. In your mind, you should be repetitively asking the question, "What is the solution to this challenge?"

Step 9: Celebrate

If you take some time to reflect on all your past challenges, you will realize that you have solved almost all of the challenges that came your way. Is not that remarkable? In the same way, you will solve this challenge as well. Once it is taken care of, you need to take the time to celebrate this latest triumph. You see most people multiply a challenge they have by ten times. It is a big deal for them. But when they overcome it, they downplay their achievement. This is very unfortunate. But you are not going to be like them. You are a champion, and a champion acknowledges his / her achievement in front of a packed arena. So go ahead, celebrate this moment of achievement.