Strengthening Your Resilience through
Problem Solving

  Homer Simpson Image

“You can’t keep blaming yourself. Just blame yourself once, then move on.”

Homer Simpson, quoted in the London Daily Mail

During difficult times keeping problems in perspective may be a challenging task. But possibly the most critical aspect of developing resilience may be in learning that we have a choice about our attitude.

Reframing how we think is the first step toward managing how the problem may be solved.

Try this exercise for gaining perspective in the next difficult problem you encounter:

  1. Draw three columns on a piece of paper. In the far left, list the worst-case scenarios—every terrible outcome that comes to you.
  2. In the far right column, record all the possible positive consequences of this issue including all the wonderful but wildly unlikely ones. Be playful and use your imagination.
  3. In the middle column, list the most likely results of the issue. The more reasonable and realistic the scenario, the more optimistic you will begin to feel about solving the problem.
  4. As the final step, turn over the paper. Jot down your desired outcome, plus two or three concrete things you can do to make it happen.

Resource: The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles,
by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte