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Problem Solving Skills for Everyday Life


During several meetings recently my team made me aware that most women don’t think or talk this way when it comes to addressing tasks or problems in their lives. Like in the previous episode I discussed being proactive and that it is a choice to think that way everyday. Both ways take time and energy but if done correctly it can help take the stress out of your life and put you in a lead position. It can help you find the gems in your everyday life vs. feeling like you are always fighting an uphill battle.

Episode 124: Problem Solving Skills for Everyday Life

In our family we always say “Stay ahead of the problem” especially in business. Not only can it help you take the stress out of your life but it helps you get a jump start on your competition or in my case, help you avoid the crowds or the rush. It’s no secret I love a good sale and especially this past Black Friday, I made sure I got into Ulta in the early hours so I could beat the rush and get the products and services I wanted before the rest of the world had woken up.. You can make a game out of it too.

When I am in a meeting or listening to a conversation at lunch and my friends or clients are telling me about their problem I automatically switch into gear and start dissecting the problem in my mind. I break it down into 4 parts and then ask myself a series of questions. This helps me to be able to start forecasting possible scenarios that could come from the situation at hand. By doing this and forecasting possible scenarios I am able to help my friends and clients foresee pitfalls in their future that could lead to a more painful experiences or expensive financial losses. For instance, if a friend is confiding in me that they are thinking of leaving their boyfriend after 3 years because they just don’t think he’s the one or that he’s to cheap and she doesn’t like his lifestyle and doesn’t want to stay in it anymore… I always ask them “Where do you see this going from here?” “ What is your go forward plan?” or “Do you just want to stay single for awhile and date?”

But to be able to do this type of forecasting and problem solving you first have to know what the problem is and be able to define it at the root cause. Often people don’t realize or take the time to ask themselves what is the real problem here. When something isn’t meeting your expectations you should ask yourself “What is the problem here?” The person that has 51% of the problem controls the problem. Ask yourself if there is an alternative to this problem if not then you need to pivot to move forward out of a bad situation or bad fit.

It’s important that you ask yourself in the situation “How do your emotions directly affect you or the situation?” Insecurity often prevents people from facing themselves. But as we say in our family “You control the decision and then the decision controls you.”

This it’s why it’s important to sit down and write out by yourself the top 10 good qualities about yourself and then the 10 least attractive qualities about yourself. Be honest in which areas in your life you think could use improvement. Also, then ask your close friends and family members what they think your best qualities are and what are your weakest areas. This will give you a better idea of what it is you are actually facing and have to work with too.

So how do you learn to make good decisions? Easy by making bad ones. It’s only through practice that you can learn to gain your confidence, sharpen your skills and increase your judgement to help you to be able to trust the problem solving process.

For instance, in the dating world ask yourself “What is it about this type of person that I am attracted too? List those qualities and be honest with yourself. By being honest it’s the only real way you can gain the clarity you are seeking and thus better able to make a better decisions and solve the problem in trying to be able to attract your ideal life partner or soulmate.

Also, what type of network have you put together for yourself? Do you have a good Dr. , lawyer, accountant, priest or friend group that supports you and your dreams. Do you have people that you can rely on and trust their opinions or do you feel like you need to do some more research and ask around and find the type of accountant or Dr. that is a better fit for your current needs. By doing the homework and being proactive and breaking down the scenarios you will better be able to define any problem and thus be able to predict or decide what direction best serves you.

It really isn’t hard once you start to exercise these simple steps. I have created a check list for you to be able to use and refer to when you are in a situation with a problem and need to decide how to move forward. But as I always say first you have to get the car out of the ditch before you can get back on the road and onto your next destination.


  1. Know yourself

  2. Define where your confidence level is at

  3. List the positive and negative things about yourself

  4. Accept what is vs what can be

  5. Asking yourself if the problem is a reversible or irreversible decision

  6. Stay ahead of the problem.

It’s important to know yourself so that you can accurately decide how the problem is affecting you. A problem is a perception or event that affects you.

Ask yourself “Do I rely on myself?” or “Am I even self sufficient in these situations?” It’s important that you define where your confidence level lies. For instance, the 2 top things people fear the most in life are death and public speaking. So to eliminate the fear and worry out of your life decide where your confidence level really is first.

It’s important to gain these skills so that you don’t get labeled a thumb sucker or a whiner. No one likes to hang around someone that whines all the time. It’s annoying and boring.

Remember you become good at problem solving by gaining experience. It’s avoiding a huge diversion if you do your homework and skip the pitfalls that will come along in life.

Create a grid and at the top label it at risk vs. not at risk problems and on the bottom label it involved vs. not carrying. Then place your problem inside the grid to be able to define how you should move forward. For instance, if you are thinking of breaking up with your boyfriend is it an at risk/ not caring type of problem or a not a risk/ caring type of problem. How can you improve the situation so that the problem disappears?

Ask yourself is this a reversible problem vs an irreversible problem? What is your personal involvement in the problem? Are you setting up expectations for failure or for success?

Accept what is vs. what it can be.

Problem solving and decisions making are a lot like the rubik’s cube. When you buy it it has already been solved but as you play with it and try different scenarios to put it back together you can see it all takes time, patience and practice.

Jennifer Deputy-2.jpg

Hello, I'm Jennifer Deputy

I am a writer, blogger, and traveler. Being creative and making things keep me happy is my life's motto.

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