Only You Can Deal With Your Problems

Have you watched the movie 300?

I ask because I love that intro on Leonidas’s life. It wasn’t the sparring or the asceticism that got me. It’s the part where he was thrown into the freezing tundras to fend for himself. Against the cold and sabretooth tigers.

I know it’s fiction, but that scene was boss.

Of course, I don’t condone doing the same, especially since sabretooth tigers have since gone extinct. But the concept itself highlights a point I firmly believe in: that you have to be the person to walk through the fires of your life.

Nobody else can do that for you. Especially when it concerns conquering your self-doubt. And why would they, anyway? They have their own doubts to care about.

Here’s the catch, though. Overcoming self-doubt involves facing the doubt itself, which means facing real challenges. Like running 100 kilometres. Or holding your breath for five minutes. Or trying to keep a straight face when someone has food in their teeth.

The death of doubt doesn’t happen in the land of the possible. Heck, it doesn’t even happen in the land of the plausible. It’s only discoverable in the unknown. And the problem with that is people will often think you’re crazy for trying.

Just look at David Goggins. Or Courtney Dauwalter. Houdini or Marie Curie.

This is why people try to conquer Everest or swim across the English Channel. Not because they have a death wish, but because they don’t know if they can do it.

Ironically, it’s there where you build your self-belief.

Learning to be my own fireman

I’ve recently taken on a job role that requires a tad more leadership than I’m used to. But because it’s related to writing, I totally believe in my ability to handle the post.

That’s because I’ve spent years writing, editing, and experimenting with the written word, not just for work, but also on my own accord.

This includes having to write 2,000 words while on the road for 16 hours per day, as well as justifying my work to particularly harsh editors.

Contrast that to my days as a salon supervisor, where I didn’t care enough about hairdressing to progress beyond the niches I enjoyed (cutting and colouring).

My skills weren’t up to par with my colleagues, I didn’t earn as much commission as they did, and I couldn’t retain as many customers. The worst part was, I constantly evaded any challenge that came my way.

Like I’d talk customers out of perming their hair because I wasn’t confident in my skills. And said skills would continue to deteriorate because I didn’t dare walk through the fire.

That’s why I’m grateful for having discovered writing. Not just for the experiences and income it’s gotten me, but also for the lessons it’s taught me about myself.

Fight your own fires

It’s up to you to face your own challenges. When it comes to overcoming self-doubt, you can’t outsource the work.

I’m not going to tell you how to do it, though. That path is yours to discover. But I can share how I did it. And that’s by striving to be the person I respect.

I know I’m doing it right when others start asking me how I do it—in the form of emails seeking writing guidance, for instance. Or a friend asking me to be his physical trainer.

If there’s anything you take away from this post, let it be that the negative feelings of life can double up as a gyroscope.

Because self-doubt isn’t fun. Neither is fear, boredom, or guilt. But they do highlight the gaps in your life. The areas in which you can improve. Just like pain, they’re a necessary evil.

And if my self-doubt is anything to go by, I’m going to be a pretty damned kick-ass writer in the future. All I need to do is to keep walking through the fire.

Be a part of my newsletter for more content like this (that you won’t get elsewhere on the site). Also includes a free guide on how to grow your blog through the art of commenting.

36 thoughts on “Only You Can Deal With Your Problems

  1. Happy for your about your new job, one that involves writing. If writing for a WordPress blog helped you get there, that’s a tidbit I will use to encourage myself as I try to find jobs that will use my writing ability (such as it is). It has been fun keeping up with your posts! Thank you!


    • Oh yeah. Writing has never been a waste of time for me. Writing has only given me more opportunities in writing. So keep writing if that’s your dream!

      (says the person who’s feeling a little fatigued from writing, lol).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I faced a huge challenge this week: the charger of my laptop was blown. Unfortunately, I can’t repair it because it cannot be repaired.

    Surprisingly, it was not that hard for me to stay without the laptop. It was the inability to work which was bothering me. I dealt with this problem by distracting myself, but for the future, I need to come up with a better way to deal with this issue.


    • It’s great that you’re able to live without your laptop. As someone who relies on the laptop for all things from entertainment to work, it’ll be hard if mine broke down without a replacement.

      What modes of distraction did you use?


      • Majority was listening to the music on my phone, as this is the only thing I can do on the phone consistently. Apart from that, I watched cricket on TV, since Indian Premier league is currently going on right now.


  3. This is an interesting topic. You can’t rely on everyone to solve all your problems in life, and only you know the situation you are in. Agree that overcoming self-doubt means facing real challenges, and being self-resourceful tackling your problems and finding solutions will get you far.

    That sounds like such a busy job, being on the road for 16 hours a day. But it’s great to hear that writing is what you love doing. I like to see problems and challenges as opportunities to reflect on my life, see what can be improved and a good reminder on what I want to achieve. Writing is not easy but if you are passionate about it, you will make it work. I know I will. And I think you will too, Stuart :)


    • Yeah I think I could’ve phrased that part better. The 16-hour days was for an old project, and it’s that experience that allows me to handle today’s work.

      I truly appreciate your faith in me, because to be honest, I do feel lost sometimes too when it comes to writing. So thanks for this!


      • Oh, old project. But it was still 16 hour days. Long days 😄 You write incredibly well across a range of topics, and your blog and readers show it. Sometimes you just got to trust in your passion. Keep on writing!


  4. I’ve not seen 300, but thank you for reminding us that only ourselves can fight our own demon! Self doubt often lead to analysis paralysis (and perhaps also the need for perfection?), which means nothing gets done and nothing is gained! So I’m learning to shift my focus to “making progress”… one word or one paragraph at a time… We’ll get there eventually…!! 🤞🏼🙈
    Also, congrats on your promotion! Hope you are enjoying the new responsibilities!


    • Yeah, I’ve realised that I’ve been a low-key perfectionist without realising it. Like I say I’m not a perfectionist, but I won’t do something unless I know that everything’s going to turn out just fine. ‘Making progress’ is definitely a great way to go. Thanks for these thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wrote this story and some people believed it was real, a real ad. The human race is doomed. I fought myself about releasing this.

    As far as my problems go, I have solved many. I moved away from my family so that grandma can relax in life because she’s getting old. I’m close enough that she can come by every so many weeks. My siblings are busy with their own lives, and they’re to the point where they can manage themselves. We won’t go there. I cut my dad off when my grandma died. Several people have said, “But he’s your father.” Other relatives were like, “I’m not going to help him. He tormented me, and he will drag me down, too.” I tried to get him help. I don’t want to deal with him anymore. I’m not a whiny teenager if you only knew, and people who get near him know only too well, and sometimes too late.

    I had all these rules in my head, and I was brave enough to finally realize that they aren’t mandatory. The more I let them live, the more I die. Poison.

    I’m fat, and I try to be kinder to myself and body. Some days I fail. It would be nice to have someone to exercise with. I’ve done that with a lot of people, especially when I’m in shape.


    • Thanks for sharing that story about your dad. It takes bravery to bare everything for others to see. And your acceptance of where you are and what you want to change is strength too. I hope you find your path regardless of what you choose.

      Thanks for sharing, and here’s to keeping on having the strength to deal with what life throws at us!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Stuart, Interesting observations. Kudos to you for having found your passion in writing and calving a career out of it. You write well indeed.
    Yes it is true that nobody but you who can overcome your self-doubts, how else can you know if you are capable of doing it? Incidentally I go to this hairdresser who has been trying to educate his clients about hair, he does a good cut but he does not perm hair because he feels strongly that chemicals are bad for the hair. My daughters wanted to colour their hair, he gave them a run-down why colouring was not to be encouraged , so they went somewhere else to get the colouring they wanted. He lost clientele for trying to do the right thing.
    Cheers, LH


    • Hahaha yes. I used to envy my colleagues who’d do anything their clients wanted. It didn’t matter if the bleaching would spoil the hair, or if perming wouldn’t make them look good. As long as there was money involved, they’d do it. And the result was that they got way more commission than me. So I wonder sometimes, what’s the right path?

      I guess the best path is when you’re not bound by money and can follow your own vision. That’s true freedom for me.

      Thanks as always for sharing your wonderful thoughts!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. We genuinely have to go within to figure things out even if doing so feels highly uncomfortable. This is because the world is our belief system being mirrored back to us and nobody can change that mind, but us. Big-time challenge at times but the freedom one experiences by healing within is the ultimate peace of mind. Great post!



    • Yup. I’m one for changing the way we look at the world, because that’s exactly how the world will treat us back. Similar to the ‘nothing is right or wrong, but thinking makes it so’ mindset.

      Also, I’ve been sick these past few days, and I certainly feel like that diminishes my outlook on the world for sure. It’s a reminder that the mind-body connection is real!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think we can only deal with our problems when we are humble and resilient. Humble because no one owes us a living. Resilient because we have to find strength to pick ourselves up every time we fail/fall. Some self doubt is healthy and make us aspire to put our best self out there, not always, but we try our best. Giving up may be an option. Perhaps problems can make us aware that there are alternative paths to get somewhere or arrive.


    • I love that thought about how nobody owes us a living. It goes hand in hand with Cam Hanes’s motto: Nobody cares, work harder. If something’s wrong in our lives, it’s up to us to deal with it—not others. Thanks for stopping by as usual, Jeanne!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh yeah, that introductory scene in 300 definitely set the mood for an epic movie. A great post Stuart. I like the way you have talked about facing challenges in two ways – first finding out your path or disconcerting your passion and then working hard towards overcoming the challenges and having faith in yourself.

    I have usually found that other people’s opinions make me doubt my capabilities more. But I’m trying to work on it and see if I can take something positive out of their feedback and if not then figure out a way to delete their feedback completely from my mind 🙂


    • I’m susceptible to other people’s feedback too. And the only way I’ve found to be immune from them is to know my worth. But takes a while to cultivate, and it’s something I learned totally by chance.

      For instance, I’ve started realising that I don’t really care for others’ thoughts on my writing, because I’ve written so much that I know I’ll just continue writing the next day. So it really is true that doing the work gives me assurance. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. It’s human nature to be proud of our accomplishments. Your post made me think about the extra high and jolt of confidence we get when we conquer something that used to frighten us. Each time we do, the next hill doesn’t seem so daunting.


    • It does, doesn’t it? Every time I look at something that scares, me, I think back to the things I used to be afraid of, and trust that if I can just get over this hump, the next one will be that much easier. Thanks for these great thoughts!


    • Yeah, I believe in that motto but I’ll be danged if it isn’t hard to stick to sometimes. I have my chicken days and my superstar days though. Aspiring to stick to a routine regardless of feeling someday.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. On the road for 16 hours a day? I guess I shouldn’t be complaining that my 25 minute commute was closer to 35 minutes this afternoon. Damn! Many people would use that kind of behind-the-wheel time to talk themselves OUT of scary things, but since you are conquering self doubt, I’ll bet you use that time to talk yourself INTO trying things.


  12. This is such an important message, Stuart. Often people look to others to solve all of their problems. The best growth and best solutions come from figuring things out for yourself. When my daughters were small, I’d always let them try to figure things out on their own before jumping in to help. I think that’s why they’re both independent and strong willed as young adults.


    • I’ll remember to do that with my children in the future! What a great way to raise children. Gotta admit, I’m a little lacking in the problem-solving department, so I guess I have my work cut out for me. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, Michelle!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I haven’t seen the movie but it sounds worthy of a watch.

    Love your post Stu! What else is new~!!!!

    “This includes having to write 2,000 words while on the road for 16 hours per day, as well as justifying my work to particularly harsh editors.”

    That’s impressive and so are the emails you’re getting which proves the proof is in the fire of your belly you continue to create.

    You are a damn good writer for sure, and if you speed write, I have my next manuscript idea I’d love you to write. 😜🤣

    Keep walking and writing through the fires.. They become you!



    • I probably wrote that part not as well as I should’ve, as the 16-hour days were part of my past more than they are my current JD.

      Lol you seem to be killing it in the manuscripts department, so I’m gonna leave that up to you, and I’m curious to what your next project is gonna be!


  14. As a career firefighter, I was tasked with solving the problems of others, ironically, fighting fires. What few people knew was that there was a fire within my heart, with danger lurking beneath. I had my own personal problems that I had to keep well hidden and as such unresolved for many years. My personal problems eventually became compounded by the things that I had to witness and experience at work, and there were many times when I seriously considered giving up entirely.

    Whenever I found myself engulfed by the waves of a bad day, I took solace in the knowledge that the sun still rises, even through the rain. There were moments when it felt like the stormy clouds gathered solely to cast shadows on my life, drenching every aspect of it in a torrent of melancholy. But as a woman who had weathered many such tempests, I knew there was always light waiting to break through.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I watched 300. Thinking of it now still gives me shivers, especially the bloody scenes of slaughter. But yeah I agree that facing and walking through our Waterloo is probably the quickest way to conquer our fears, though not always the most painless nor pleasant. Thanks for the reminder. And thanks too for updating us on your recent new responsibilities. It certainly explains the shift in your recent blog posts in terms of word count and substance. Wishing you well as you lead on there. And here too. Please keep your words here coming Wordsmith Stu!!

    Liked by 2 people

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s