Ever since having learnt how to effectively problem solve I often wonder how I managed before in those years when I feared choosing one path instead of another, when I over relied on my friends opinions of what I should do, often choosing ‘solutions’ which really didn’t work for me whatsoever. The critical difference between those years and now is that in the past I mainly made decisions based on pure trial and error, often ignoring my gut and paying a hefty price for not doing my research.
In the end my lack of problem solving ability and ignoring my gut took it’s toll, culminating in my marrying entirely the wrong man. As you can see, effective problem solving not only enables you to make more informed decisions but can, in a very real way, save you from disaster.
In reality I believe problem solving is a combination of both the head and the heart (or gut / instinct) working together to find a solution that not only makes sense and looks good on paper but one that works best with you and what you want out of life. To me it has proven critical to disregard others opinions or plans for my life whilst working through my decision making process. This has not only allowed me to pursue a more authentic life but has meant the decisions I do make are much more in tune with the life I want to create. This has ultimately meant I am more satisfied by how my chosen solutions have manifested themselves, hugely enhancing my quality of life.
Questions to ask yourself to better understand your heart ( or gut / instinct)
Base the following answers purely on your resulting emotions:
• Does the solution fill you with excitement?
• Does the solution inspire and motivate you?
• Does the idea of the solution working out fill you with happiness?
• Does the solution fill you with fear? (fear of the unknown can be a good indicator we are growing so not always a bad thing)
• Does any aspect of the solution fill you with dread?
• Does any aspect of the solution make you feel hemmed in or trapped in any way?
Word of caution: If in an abusive relationship it is necessary to be aware that your heart may be misleading you into believing staying might be the best option either through fear or perceived ‘love’ for the perpetrator. If you believe you may be in an abusive relationship please investigate charities local to you which will be able to offer you help by trained professionals who will best be able to advise you on how to proceed moving forwards.
Have you ever ignored your gut instinct? What happened? Do you agree that masterful problem solvers combine both the head and the heart when making decisions? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.
Following using psychology to transform my life, I founded Accessible Psychology to help empower others to live the life they long for. My journey is living testimony that no matter where you are, absolutely everyone can apply psychology in order to lead more fulfilling lives.
Oh and I love Oprah, Marie Forleo, Tony Robbins and lovely people like you!