Getting Personal

Personal problems are the hardest kind of problems to solve alone. Personal problems are not just the private, non-work kind but can also be work problems taken personally. Work-related problems involving personality clashes other co-workers can also be taken as a personal problem.
Personal problem are hard because they tend to cloud our our judgment. Things we would normally see become obscure or even hidden. We can think we have ran out of options. Personal problems also change the way we act or behave. What we usually avoid doing suddenly becomes an option, sometimes the first option. Even the degree of what we do changes, taking our action too far or not far enough. All this makes Step 2 and Step 3 hard to do.
But there are ways to make dealing with personal problems easier.

  1. Get help. If you cannot see, some else can. To not seek help when it is available is not wise. Asking for help is offering to trust. Make Step 1 to be a declaration of "I have a personal problem and I need help".
  2. Write it down. When no help is near or you find it hard to trust, writing can be an equal substitute. By putting down your problem on something, you are starting on Step 2. Continue this by reading it back what you've written to yourself. Follow Step 2 and complete the description of your problem.
  3. Give yourself some distance between yourself and the problem. If you have the time, put what you wrote away for a while, like a day. Go and do something that normally makes you happy. Something simple like taking a walk, reading a book, having an ice cream or watching cats playing the piano.. Take a nap. When you feel refreshed, read back what you wrote. Or think about what you said when you asked help. If it helps, try talking it out a bit more. Imagine your are reading a problem someone else sent you. What advice do you have for yourself? Are you ready for Step 3?
  4.  If you think you are not ready, try to get help to start Step 3. Or you perhaps you want to take things slowly. Check yourself up. How are you feeling? If you are angry or upset, perhaps you should do something else. Or just let it all out. Either way is better than staying put. Personal problems can be very draining. Sometimes we can feel that we have given until we have left nothing to give. We can feel like we are drowning in the sea of despair. Just don't loose the one thing we need to stay afloat, hope.
  5. Stop making it personal. Ask yourself, how can I make this not personal to me? Is it really personal or am I just adding that dimension myself. Exercise your powers of rationality. Look from outside the box.
Personal problem can rob us of our judgement and objectivity. Yet we face them every day in many forms. That means that personal problems can only rob us of our wisdom and clarity of thought only when we allow them to do so.