The “Problem” is NEVER the Problem We Think It Is

It’s a thrill and a privilege to help people shift the way they see their world, because when we remove the eye patch and see the world as multi-dimensional, well, mind—>blown!

Like that moment when you’re looking at an M. C. Escher drawing and everything shifts.


Suddenly, you’re not seeing the same drawing you were looking at.  You’re standing in front of the same piece of paper with lines and forms and shading and squiggles, but there’s been a shift and it’s actually hard to see from the original perspective any more.

The same can happen for the problems we see in our lives.

We can shift them such that it’s hard to even see them as “problems” any more.

And it’s very cool when that happens.  Top Ten!

I was working with a client recently.  She wanted help with her relationships.  She was convinced that she doesn’t “do relationships;” that socializing was and would always be a struggle; that people are basically frustrating and difficult and there were too many variables with people to ever be good at dealing with them.

But relationships aren’t really the problem for her.  People aren’t the problem.

The “problem” is NEVER the problem.

The so-called “problem”— the money struggles, the people struggles, the weight struggles, the getting-momentum-in-your-new-project struggles—is never the problem.

The problem is the way we think about the problem and the way we talk about the problem.

So the fun is in finding a way to shift it—to think about the “problem” (relationships, health, money) and to talk about the “problem” in a way that stops making those things a problem. To stop creating problems when we can use our resources to create something else instead.

How can you take off the eye patch and see some new dimensions?

So rather than every day identifying your “problem” as a problem and relating to it as something which is annoying and frustrating and needing to be dealt with, how can you take off the eye patch and give it some dimension?

Can you see it as an opportunity?  A chance to exercise some latent skills or to learn something new?  How has it been an answer to your prayers?

An exercise for exploring other perspectives.

A journaling exercise I give to clients when they’re like dogs with a bone and they want with all their hearts to hang on to the “problem” is to find a way to talk about the “problem” in a different way and write it out so you get your story straight.

In other words, get clear about what you want instead of this “problem” and when you’re clear, speak THAT into the world.

For example, here’s one from my own life. 

It’s from a time when I was hearing mostly “no’s” to my coaching proposals and I was feeling defeated. 

The “problem,” as I saw it, was I was unmotivated; I was wallowing in the belief that things just don’t work out for me. 

My problem was,  “I’m done.  No one will pay for this.  I’ll get a ‘real’ job.”

My problem was “Fuck it.”

Here’s some of the reframe and how I chose to think about the problem and speak into the world, instead.

  • I’m getting excited about my next steps!
  • I can’t wait to see who I get to work with.
  • I know I’m getting closer, that I’m even closer than I can imagine.
  • I’ve set myself up for success.
  • It’s easy to follow through and follow up with potential clients.
  • Creating clients is fun.
  • It’s so fun to connect with people, hear their visions and support them as they create their dream lives.
  • This is how I’m meant to make a difference in the world and I can’t wait to make a difference.
  • I’m excited about every conversation.

I could go on.  But, I won’t.  You get the picture.  I had to stop whining about how hard things were and focus instead on what I reveled in and what I wanted to have instead of the “problem.”  

I had to think about and talk about my “problem” in a different way and find a way to stay mindful of the new thoughts and integrate those into my system.

Tools to help the journey.

If you’re in the mood for some woo, I’ve created an essential oil playlist to help you with this process. These particular blends are only available through Young Living and they are magical when it comes to supporting personal growth and change and the kind of transformation my clients (and me) crave.**

Here’s what might make this process flow and stick :

Step 1:

Recognize that something needs to shift and start to tune in to your thoughts about the “problem.”


GatheringGATHERING.  This oil can support you as you gather potential for self-improvement.  It helps to align the physical, spiritual, and emotional thoughts and feelings you have with what you desire and it increases focus and clarity.  So it will support you as you gather awareness about what needs to change and how.



Believe stimulates the mind while keeping you grounded so that you’re compelled to take positive action toward getting what you want.

Step 2:

Begin to craft a new way of looking at, thinking about and talking about the “problem.”


Dream CatcherDREAM CATCHER:  OMG, use this if you can only get one!  Dream Catcher may help open the mind. Period.  If that’s not enough magic, it can help visualize the new dream you want (the new way of thinking about the issue) and protect against the negative dreams and self talk that steal our vision (good for Step 3 of our process).

ACCEPTANCE:  May stimulate the mind to open up and accept new things.  Also, may create a feeling of security, which is a really important component of any kind of deep change or transformation.



Pretty much what it says…use this to help support your creativity, resourcefulness and fortitude as you envision and go for what you want.

Step 3:

Practice and integrate the new ways of looking at what used to be the “problem.”


 TRANSFORMATION:  Another OMG oil in my repertoire as a transformational coach.  This one may offer support in making any mental and emotional changes.



Dream CatcherDREAM CATCHER:  See above.



3 Wise Men3 WISE MEN:  This may be good for keeping negative emotions from reattaching to the body, so use this if you notice a tendency to slide back into the old ways of thinking when you get triggered going forward.



Diffuse.  Diffuse.  Diffuse.  You can diffuse any of these oils, one at a time.  Pick 2-3 that resonate with you and put them in the rotation in your diffuser, depending on what step you’re working on.  This is your transformational playlist for shifting your relationship to any issue that you’ve been seeing as a problem.

If you have any questions about the oils–how to use them, how to get them, why Young Living–feel free to get in touch and we’ll talk.

So what happened for me?

Honestly, I read through and tweaked my list a couple of time after the initial session where I wrote out some new possibilities for me.  I made a point of really feeling into the excitement and the sense of fun and possibility and motivation as I captured this new story.

Then I promptly forgot about it.*

Luckily, the spell had already been cast and there was momentum behind my new perspective.

In just a week, I’d turned a corner, found new resolve to pursue my path. 

I jumped back into a challenge to have 100 Powerful Coaching Conversations in 30 days.

I found I was effortlessly reaching out and connecting with people, scheduling conversations, engaging in the day to day processes required to make this dream of mine work.

Though nothing much shifted in my external circumstances in that week (I mean, I didn’t suddenly sign up 6 clients and deposit $100,000 into my account), the “problem”—the limiting beliefs, the lack of motivation, the terrifying prospect of getting a “real” job—all gone.

I could see those things still there as options on my menu of choices. 

But my menu had expanded when I chose to shift the “problem,” and none of those other options looked even remotely tasty or nourishing any more.

New perspective.  New choices.  New reality.


*For best results, try not to forget about it.  I wonder what would have happened if I’d put more sustained focus on the new story.  Hmmmm….never too late to conduct that experiment.  So…stay tuned!

**There must be some disclaimer I’m supposed to share about the verity of these statements.  How ’bout this:  in my personal experience, this shit works.  You may have a different experience.  You may just wind up smelling good.  Or your house will smell good.  Just follow any safety recommendations that come with any essential oils you purchase and you should be good.

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