The Achilles heel of our quick fix culture is a lack of deep problem solving. If it can't be fixed with potion, pill or a few minutes of effort, we aren't that interested.
If we have to grapple with our weakness, vulnerability or simple humanity, we pass.
This quick fix mentality has given rise to multi-billion dollar industries; drug pushers, second rate psychologies and personal growth pimps who promise the world and deliver disappointment, only to sell you more pseudo-solutions in the end.
And we buy it, half-knowing it won't solve that one problem deep within our souls that can only be solved by going deeper. Much deeper.
Yes, we all have it - that one monstrous personal issue that gets the best of us time and again. Even with education and therapy, the monster rages on.
Often, we keep this mother of all problems a secret, protecting it from exposure and the perceived humiliation that is sure to follow.
Even though we hold expertise in many areas, the monster haunts our thoughts, ever present in the back of our mind.
We often search in vain for years for that magic bullet, the one cure that will deliver us. We invest thousands of dollars and all of our naive hope in the solution, only to return to that old, familiar place of angst.
Addictions, chronic anxiety, jealousy, resentment, inferiority, selfishness, self-consciousness, social anxiety, depression, lack of discipline, lack of caring, laziness, lack of purpose, overeating, over sleeping, over indulging... all of these can haunt people for decades.
How to proceed when nothing has ever worked
The real solution begins in your approach to the problem. Most often, we shoot ourselves in the foot before we ever get started resolving a deep issue.
We expect a magic bullet. There are no magic bullets, so we give up.
We don't tell the truth to those who want to help us. When they aren't dealing with truth, they cannot help.
We approach the problem expecting to fail - and we do.
In spite of our misery, we are not convinced that we really want to change, so we don't commit. Then, we don't change.
We make impossible conditions. I'll do this as long as I don't have to (do what is really necessary i.e., deal with my past, deal with my feelings, make myself vulnerable, take a risk, make a commitment, give up my indulgences, feel uncomfortable, tell the truth, etc...).
And so on. We tend to approach our most important issues with our GPS set to failure. This is the essence of a negative psychological attachment. Problems stick to us like glue because we are attached to them. What now?
Here are five ideas that may help in your approach
1. Give the monster some respect.
Stop hating your monster. Stop trying to annihilate it. Stop fighting with yourself. It has survived this long in spite your desire to kill it. In fact, it may grow stronger as it resists. Just stop and rethink your relationship to this part of you. It is a part of you.
2. The monster is your greatest teacher.
When you begin to consider that this inner demon is not only your friend, but your teacher, things begin to change. A client approached me recently stating that she wanted help to eliminate "the evil bitch inside her."
As she began to describe how the evil bitch acted, it occurred to me that, in spite of being harsh on the delivery, this part of her was very intelligent. In fact, this was the part of my client that demanded boundaries.
When our work was done, my client had a completely different sense of herself and realized this part of her was not an evil bitch, but the "wise part" in her psyche. Your inner monster has so much to teach you, if you will listen.
3. Stop seeking a magic bullet.
Just drop it. Magic bullets are sold by slick types who prey upon the desperate and naive. Don't fall for it. Interestingly, in an effort to prove how much effort they have put into solving their "unsolvable" problems, some people like to list how many magic bullets have failed to fix them, as if this were evidence that they have given it their all.
Seeking magic bullets is NOT evidence that you are trying to solve your problem. Think about it. Seeking magic bullets shows a lack of commitment.
4. Investigate underlying attachments.
This is the heart of the matter. Part of you wants your problem. Part of you is more comfortable with your problems. Part of you finds a strange satisfaction in the misery.
This is not your fault, but an attachment. You did not choose it, but you alone are responsible for it. You will have a hard time identifying it, which is why we created the AHA Solution.
Once you see it, you can begin to make your way out, but ONLY AFTER you see it. Learn about negative attachments. It will change your life.
5. Talk to someone.
Have you been protecting this problem by keeping it to yourself? This is a sure way to prolong the agony.
Do not be ashamed. Do not be afraid. Talk to someone who has been there. Engage someone who has resolved a similar issue. Sharing your problem leads to solutions!
A mentor of mine once offered a challenge when I was in the midst of my worst personal dilemma. He said, "This is the deepest question. Can you really change your core beliefs and become the person you want to become? Is it really possible? Well, are you going to find out, or are you going to continue in your unhappiness?"
I found out. My worst dilemmas in life are in the past. My chronic, self-inflicted misery is behind me now. Even the worst problems - the kind that never seemed to let up and made me feel utterly helpless and hopeless - are gone. Life is not perfect, but I am in the driver's seat now and it has made all the difference.
You can solve your worst problem, too.
About the author:
Watch the free video The AHA! Process: An End to Self-Sabotage and discover the lost keys to personal transformation and emotional well-being that have been suppressed by mainstream mental health for decades.
The information in this video has been called the missing link in mental health and personal development. In a world full of shallow, quick-fix techniques, second rate psychology and pharmaceutical takeovers, real solutions have become nearly impossible to find. This presentation will turn your world upside down.