James Baldwin says “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
I very often tend to “think” in pictures, and the very first picture that came to mind when I read this quote was that of a charging elephant coming straight at me. The reality of that is definitely about ‘not everything that is faced can be changed’ and that gave me absolute clarity on what the message of the quote is.
We have all (hopefully) heard or even said the words “acknowledging that there is a problem is half the battle won,” and therein lies the key.
If you don’t know that there is a problem how would we even think about finding a solution, let alone “facing” the problem.
As usual it is about clarity! We have to be clear on what it is that we want to achieve and then put together the action plan on the ‘how’ we are going to ‘face it’ or change it.
Often the problem appears to be so big that it is overwhelming and when that happens most of us go into either Ostrich mode (where we bury our heads in the sand and refuse to even acknowledge there is a problem) or we go into full blown procrastination (where we avoid anything to do with the problem in the hope that it will fade away or disappear completely). Clearly neither of these options help us in any way. In fact what they usually do is make the problem even worse.
The best thing to do of course, is firstly acknowledge that there is a problem, and then decide on what the outcome is that you desire and then work backwards to where you currently find yourself.
This will enable you to then break things down into bite sized chucks that you can allocate both time and resources to sorting the problem out.
Remember to always ensure that the time that you allocate and the deadlines that you set for yourself are reasonable and attainable. Nothing will dampen your spirits faster than not achieving goals and milestones.
Finally, remember you are not alone! You may feel that you are up against the world, but the reality is that you aren’t! If you are in a state of panic and you don’t know which way to turn – ask for help! There is no shame in asking for help because we all need some help from time to time.
Face it, see the end goal, break it down, allocate time and resources, action it. Problem solved.