I stumbled upon something I wrote to myself more than a year ago.  It’s about a difficult situation I was dealing with back then that I have zero recollection of now:  

Ok Jason, computer concerns.  Before we go into the magically intoxicating details of your problem, which are like pure malt liquor to you, let’s just say that almost every problem that currently exists in the world has a solution.  Some solutions like 3 being the answer to 1+2 can be figured out in less than a second.  But for others, like the solution to your present computer problem, you don’t know the time or the distance yet between the problem and a solution, nor do you know the cost of finding the solution.  So What can we say in the next two minutes?  How about simply that sitting here writing this lays the groundwork for a different energetic result than merely reacting to your problem in a panic.  You’re on the right track Jason.  

At the time I’m sure I was struggling to keep a clear head and instead of devolving into a panic.

It used to be habitual for me to get all out of sorts about virtually every problem.  Then if I solved one problem, another was always in the wings for me to once again get discombobulated about.  

I used to blame this habit on my disability.  I guess I thought the reason I got more anxious and up in arms about everything was because I’m disabled.  Now in retrospect, that just doesn’t make sense.  But I’ve noticed one of the best ways to sustain habits that aren’t serving me is to come up with a good rationalization.  Even if that rationalization is completely irrational.

I’m quite a bit further down the road of problem management these days.  I do my imperfect best to maintain confidence that a solution can be found.  I employ patience while keeping tabs on my stress levels.  I offer myself the kindness of breathing with and through my anxiety as I discover it.  

I used to panic about problems for days on end.  Now, I can’t remember the last time my panic has hijacked my day for more than 45 minutes before I chose to transition to a more constructive approach.  Now is a 45 minute panic something I’d want to experience in a perfect world?  No, but it’s a vast improvement over my old ways of coping.

Does this make me the King of Calm Problem Solving?  Heck no, I’m well aware that unconstructive habits have a way of reappearing if I let go of my practices and somehow start believing I’m cured of ever again trying to solve problems in unconstructive ways.

I’m also well aware that just like the computer complication above, few problems are ever lasting.  Even the problem of a bitter North Country Winter will eventually be solved by the lilacs and longer days of spring.   

Solutions will be found and 
progress is not only possible, 
we are making it all the time, 
whether we are aware of it or not.

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JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment.  He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.

He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “Doing your Imperfect Best ™”.

His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.