The Problems That Come with Addressing the Problem of Solving Your Own Problems
A Very Meta Article
For most of my adult life, I’ve been trying to solve my own problems.
Example 1: I wasn’t satisfied with the professional paths (full-time jobs, internships, or grad school) that were presented to me at the end of college, so I decided to try and make my own by freelancing.
Example 2: I missed singing and performing a cappella music back in high school and college, so I convinced a few friends to form a semi-professional group. We’re still going after 3+ years of gigs (even after a small girl threw up at a birthday party while we sang “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen).
Example 3: I wanted to find larger client projects, so I formed a collective with two freelance web developers that allowed us to combine forces and take on more client work. Ultimately, we all wanted different things and the collective disbanded.
Example 235: I’ve always had trouble finding others who share my ideas and have the skills I need. So, I decided to create in-person events where people can connect over ideas and skills instead of booze and potential leads. This has turned into a company that offers products, services, and opportunities all around the mission of creating deeper connections over ideas.
These are just a few examples of me tackling my own problems in the past. In hopes of making your life a little easier while doing the same, here are a few problems I’ve noticed when addressing the problem of solving your own problems (and some solutions):
Problem 1: Listening to your inner critic — The toughest problems were the ones in which I tried to solve them on my own, which I’ve learned the hard way, is about the dumbest thing you can do. Once you identify your own problem, instead of beating your head against the wall, start by sharing it with one other person who could give unique insight and perspective.
Problem 2: Feelings of isolation — Another option that seems to fall by the wayside is to seek out others who have the same problem you do. If it’s work-related, there’s a good chance someone else at your work is experiencing the same frustration. If it feels more like a personal problem, take to the Internet and search for others using social media, keywords, and online communities.
Problem 3: Spinning your wheels — When you’re working on your own, this can be the biggest hurdle. It’s easy to get stuck in the weeds when you have no one else to talk to. Each day feels like you’re tackling the same set of problems without an end in sight. At the very least, share your progress and solutions with someone else, whether they are experiencing your pain or not. It will help move things along.
Problem 4: Lack of objective perspective — Have you ever noticed it’s infinitely easier to give someone else dating advice than it is to follow your own? The simple answer is objectivity. The same thing applies to solving your own problems. When you are fully invested in the outcome or solution, it’s easy to become biased. This is yet another reason to bring in others who can help you see things a little clearer by sharing their unique perspective.
Problem 5: Forgetting to share your solution with others — Once you do actually solve your own problem, it’s easy to pat yourself on the back and move forward. Before you move on, why not take your solution and share it with others who still need it? There are plenty of people who are facing the same problem and there are probably even more who haven’t even come across the problem yet.
From past experience and sharing these problems now, the overall trend seems to be bringing in the perspective of others. This can be second nature while on a team, but it’s way more difficult to solve your own problems on your own. If you’re a freelancer, solopreneur, or remote worker, it’s important to reach out to others regularly instead of working in a vacuum.
Personally, this became much easier for me once I joined a coworking center and tapped into the community. In the end, all that matters is that you push through until you come to that solution. Otherwise, you’re just creating another problem while solving your own problems.
Did I forget anything? What other problems have you face while trying to solve your own problems? Let’s continue the conversation below in the comments or on Twitter at @williamfrazr.
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