When sitting with a problem, avoid settling for “this is hard”, and instead, add a “but”.
“But” leaves the door open to a solution. So then, “this is hard” turns into, for example, “this is hard, but I can find an answer”.
“This is hard” is a verbalisation of a state of mind. It's a definitive state of mind–a close loop from which there is no way out.
“But” creates a spiral rather than a closed loop. It's an open loop, like a mountain road that traverses, it's a circuitous route rising to the top.
“This is hard” locks you in, a prisoner to your thoughts and feelings about your current situation.
“But, I can find an answer” says that one exists even though you can't see it yet.
It calms the fire raging in your amygdala–the fear centre of your brain, and opens up your hippocampus–the memory and learning centre.
Stress and anxiety may still be your companions but they are less aggressive than before you added the “but”.
When you're sitting with a problem, take the attitude that the problem is real, but it's not over. You have an opportunity to find an answer. Write down what you know and be truthful with yourself.
Stay with the attitude that the answer is out there and you're going to find it.
Then wait for the answer.
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