Part Of Solving Our Problems Is Not Creating More

Healing begins when we stop hurting ourselves.

James E. McGinley, PhD
2 min readMay 3, 2022


Man and his shadow sitting by the sea and thinking.
Photo by Geoffroy Hauwen on Unsplash

It is a reality that our lives are not free of problems. That is ok since dealing with life’s problems, both big and small, is simply part of the experience of living fully.

But sometimes, we are part of the problem.

When our own behavior is making life difficult, preventing us from being happy, destroying our mental and physical health, and separating us from the people we care about, it is time to recognize that it is time to stop and do things differently.

Change first requires brutal honesty.

We have to look — really look — at ourselves and realistically put blame where blame belongs. That means we have to be aware of and accept the fact that we often contribute to our own suffering.

Part of the problem is that we are in the middle of our own fight for survival. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to give advice to others, but how hard it is to give advice to yourself? The reason is simple, we have some distance from their problems so it is easier to be objective and see the big picture. That is not so easy for us because we are too close to our own problems. It is easy to see options for others, but it is harder to see our own options.

When it is time to heal, it is time to stop hurting ourselves.

Another problem is that we often lack the energy to really solve our problems and change. We are exhausted. We are so busy fighting for survival that we lack the extra energy required to move beyond it. But the longer we delay change, the longer we stay where we are at.

Staying where we are at often means we are on a slow decline. The quality of our life is slowly eroding and the distance to a better life is increasing each day. There is a saying in addiction recovery that we hit bottom when we stop digging. Sometimes, we just have to stop digging and start building.

We can make it better.

Sometimes, a new start involves stopping something first. Life is about direction and momentum. We don’t have to solve all our problems in one day. But we have to give ourselves the chance of a new start and a new chance to heal.

James McGinley, PhD is a professor, author, certified life coach, and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor.Books/Blog Facebook Instagram YouTube, The Coping Expert

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James E. McGinley, PhD

James McGinley, PhD is a professor, author, certified life coach, and licensed counselor.