Everybody faces different giants throughout their lives. Even though we all face giants they come in different shapes and sizes. Sometimes these giants can be relationship issues. Sometimes they can be financial issues. Sometimes they can be work issues.
What makes something appear to be a giant is thinking that we can’t overcome the situation; the situation seems impossible or at least it feels that way.
The big question that needs to be asked and answered is: How do we overcome these giants?
7 steps to overcoming giants in our lives:
(These steps are not original to me. I have adapted them from a variety of resources that I have learned over the years.)
Step 1: Shrink the giant down to a manageable size.
We can do this by identifying and clearly defining the giant as precisely as possible. If our giant is finances then we need to ask ourselves this question: “Exactly what aspect of not having enough money is causing me to look at this situation as a giant?” By answering this question, we will be able to define more clearly the giant that we would like to tackle first. The more manageable sized giant might be: I do not have enough money to pay my credit card this month. This is a good first target to tackle. The goal here is make the giant small enough to overcome but still big enough to actually be of benefit.
Step 2: Brainstorm solutions to achieve your initial goal.
When we feel overwhelmed by our giant we begin to think “Why bother? This giant is too big to tackle.” One way around this is to try to step away from the giant and see whether any other solutions are possible. Keep in mind that the more solutions that are generated, the more likely a good solution will emerge. Some possible solutions to our financial giant might be: ignoring the problem, take out a loan, pay the minimum balance only, consolidate my debt to a lower interest loan or speak to a financial counselor.
Step 3: Examine the pros and cons of each possible solution.
Let’s do that with some of our solutions from above. Ignore the problem completely: pros – easier in the short-term; cons – the giant will only get bigger in the long-term. Pay the minimum balance only: pros – it would prevent me from defaulting completely on the payments; cons – the debt will not get any smaller – it will actually get bigger and bigger over time. Speak to a financial counselor: pros – this could be very helpful in the short-term and long-term; cons – I might feel embarrassed talking to them or I don’t know which one to contact.
Step 4: Pick one of the solutions.
The solution should be realistic and likely to succeed. The decision needs to be based on the answers in step 3 and it should fulfill these 3 criteria (1) Will it be useful for changing how I am? (2) Is it a clear task, so that I will know when I have done it? and (3) Is it something that is realistic, practical and achievable?
Step 5: Come up with a plan to carry out the solution.
If the solution is consolidating our debt then we would need to phone our bank and arrange for a time to come in. We will have to decide to be truthful and honest with the counselor. We will have to make all the arrangements to get there and so on. The goal here is to come up with a very detailed and realistic plan to reduce the chances of not following through.
Step 6: Carry out the plan.
In other words, go and do it! If the plan doesn’t work out for some reason then go back to your list of solutions and choose the next best one.
Step 7: Review the outcome.
Ask these questions: (1) Was the selected solution successful? (2) Did it help overcome the targeted giant and (3) Were there any disadvantages to using this approach?
How do you overcome giants in your life? Do you have any giants in your life that need to be overcome right now?