Sometimes A Problem Is A Solution

We all have lots of problems.....or so we think. I recently heard a simple but powerful statement that merits a lot of reflection:

What you typically think of as problems are often

 simply solutions you don't like.

The most basic definition of a problem is a struggle or conflict with no readily achievable solution. But more often than we care to admit, it isn't that the answer is outside of our grasp; it's just that we don't want to face it.

It's human nature to seek out solutions to our problems that are congruent with our desires. Whatever issue we are facing, we generally want to resolve it in such a way that we get what we want and not what we fear.  Unfortunately, rather than rigorously questioning the underlying basis of our primal wants and fears, it's seductive to act like the real "problem" exists wholly outside of ourselves.  The truth is that the answer to any particular struggle may be unique, but it's generally an inner destination.


Many solutions are simple but far from easy:

  • Face the fear. 
  • Let go of the outcome. 
  • Stop trying to control the situation. 
  • Forgive. 
  • Look inward. 
  • Go into the unknown. 
  • Accept the situation for what it is. 
  • Relinquish the idea that what you think should happen should happen

Widen your perspective and you may find the solution to a problem reveals more about you than you ever imagined. There are many sources to help you on your journey, including counseling, but it helps to remember that a locked door isn't as much of a problem if you know that you hold the key.


Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT is an Atlanta counselor and psychotherapist for individuals and couples.  In addition to his general practice he has special skill in helping people address concerns about sexual behavior that violates relationship commitments, personal valyues and /or a sense of self-control


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