How To Overcome A Situation That Appears Over - Complicated
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How To Overcome A Situation That Appears Over  -  Complicated

A friend sent in a question asking “How do I overcome situations that appear to be over complicated?” If that’s not something you’re experiencing right now, I’m sure there will a time when you will in the future, because life’s like that!

The very first thing is I just wanted to point out is that the question that was asked was how to overcome a situation that appears to be over complicated and I emphasise the word ‘appears’ simply because it's really all about your perspective.

Sometimes I hear people say things like “I wish I had more money” or they might say “It's alright for so and so” or “It's alright if you’re someone who’s rich like Richard Branson” and then I very often say to them “Well would you like to have his bills? Would you like to have his problems?”

Ultimately your perception of situations may make it seem complicated because of how you’re choosing to see it at that particularly moment in time. For other people they might see the same situation and think “If only I just had that to deal with!” or they might look at that situation and say “Hmm heres an opportunity for growth I haven't experienced yet.”

Just consider for a moment that it’s your choice to see complicated situations as complicated. You are choosing that perception.

Therefore the very next thing that I want to introduce you to is how to gain a better perspective on things. You've probably all seen pictures of when astronauts go into outer space and then they take pictures of the earth from space. How in those pictures the earth just looks so straightforward and simple! It's just made up of blue bits and green bits and maybe a few white fluffy clouds here and there. Ultimately the earth looks like a really simple place.

However if you were to zoom in in that image and get closer and then you start seeing each individual country and each individual city and then the towns and the people in it and what the people are doing and the drama that people are having.

That's when it starts to get more complicated and this is true of our problems and challenges in life as well. The closer you are to them the more complex and complicated they appear.

A great thing to do to get a better angle on things and also a better handle on things is to give yourself a zooming in and out perspective on them. If I was stepping back from this situation that appears to be complicated how does it look now? How does it look better? Very often doing that will also give you some insight about how to move the problem forward. Everyone’s heard the saying “You cant see the wood for the trees.” It's a really accurate saying. It means that when we’re in a situation, it's very tricky for us to see the right way to manoeuvre ourselves forward in that situation. Or how to manoeuvre ourselves out of that situation because were too busy being in it. So give yourself the benefit of being able to step back and look at it or maybe even work with a coach or someone who can have that outside perspective for you and look in. Then you can start to find some ways forward.

A very simple technique is break it down into smaller chucks. When you have something complicated that you’re dealing with, it's impossible to deal with the whole thing in one go. It's like trying to eat an elephant all in one sitting and you just can’t do it. You can’t physically fit the elephant into your mouth!

What we would do is break it down into smaller chunks. You need to do the same thing with your problem or your challenge as well. You’re going to break it down to smaller pieces so that you tackle it bit by bit and then it makes it feel much more digestible. It makes it easier for you to take that problem on. So start asking yourself

“What’s the very first thing I need to do?”

“If I do that thing first, does that have a knock on effect on other elements of this problem/challenge?”

“What’s the thing that I can do that will wipeout other other elements of this problem in the biggest possible way?”

“What’s the thing that will really help me to take control of this situation?”

Start thinking about how you can break it down into different chunks and how each of those chunks is going to have a ripple or domino effect on the rest that’s left over.

Something I like to do when I have a challenge, is to write down my list of possible outcomes and the consequences of each of them. For example, late last year my dad passed away and because I was his only child and he was divorced from my mum, sorting out the estate was in my hands.

It was quite a complicated job. There was lots of bit's and pieces that needed sorting. The biggest complication was around his property. He lived in a block of flats, so there was a lease on the flat but the lease was running really low. I had a choice of either taking on the flat myself but having to renew the lease (because I wasn't able to get a mortgage without doing that) but a new lease was going to cost £20,000. Or I could sell the flat, but then there were challenges around selling it because no one wanted to buy a flat that had such a low lease, so even then I was still going to have to find a way to raise £20,000. It was a big stress in my life back then. I wrote down all of the different options that I had and what the outcomes of each of them might look like. As it happened I didn't end up taking any of those options that I listed because as I was going through the process and talking to more people about it, I discovered a way in which I was actually able to sell the property whilst increasing the lease using the proceeds form the sale.

The more that you can plan your outcomes, the more ideas you’ll start to get but crucially you’ll get “it” out of your head. When you go start to sleep at night and that thing is still buzzing around in there and staying unresolved, it starts taking up your mental energy and that's when it can feel exhausting! If you get it down on paper you’ve off-loaded it at that point in time. You don't need to keep it occupied and stored up in your head. Very often the process of writing it down, will help you find other avenues to move it forward too.

A tip that can be quite a tricky one for some people, is delegating this complicated thing to other people. It can be a really useful thing to do, and it does come with a new skill set for you to tap into. If you’re not someone who ordinarily delegates, essentially you’re reaching out to someone else saying a) I need some help and b) I’d like you to help me. That’s not something that comes naturally to everybody. It can be a big stretch in a different direction for some. However when you do that, it frees up your time, it makes your time and thinking space available to perhaps look at how you could move the situation forwards, instead of just being tied up in the complications of it. If the challenge that you have is one where you’re able to delegate elements of this complicated thing out to other people, you should definitely consider it.

Finally, just embrace the stretch. I’m someone who happens to believe that despite how big the tricky situation might be, however big the challenge is, as a result of getting through that and coming out the other side (and ultimately there’s always an end to it at some stage) you will have gained so much learning and experience - maybe a good stretch in your emotional resilience as well. Having that good stretch in your emotional resilience and building up those skills, is likely to build up the foundations ready for an even bigger challenge later on in life and at least at that stage you’ll be much better prepared for it.


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