How to Reframe Your Problems

Photography by Joshua Rawson-Harris

There are problems and then there are problems.

The big ones are fierce, ugly, life-threatening, and gut-wrenching. The rest are created (and nurtured) in our heads.

I know this personally. I have sat in the belly of the whale for years not working on skills I wanted to learn, books I wanted to write, damaging relationships that needed to end, ways to become financially independent, and dreams that yearned for attention. Ironically, I was successful at the really big problems that endangered my physical and mental survival and I was good at solving other people’s problems.

Yet I found dozens of reasons not to accomplish many things I held dear: I was unworthy, I was too old, I was a fake, there wasn’t enough time, no one would care, I lacked training, money, time, and connections. The list went on ad nauseam. 

Recently I have been complaining about the massive learning curve and budget required for website marketing and SEO of my new site JustJinx.com. I hadn’t owned the fact that it would take more time, energy, and skill than creating hundreds of art pieces. I whined and groaned inside. Oh, woe is me!

I thought I had solved a problem by creating an imaginative way to raise money to assist those in need of assistance and recognition.

I wanted to believe that I had created a website selling printable art as a rational decision. This was not true. I made an emotional decision and then created a rational explanation to justify it. Most of us do this. My goal is to learn to make decent art available at affordable prices and donate part of the proceeds to the Living Arts Corporation to assist those that I know who are truly struggling as a result of the pandemic.

If my goal was to help people, I had better create better feelings.

Finally, I had a chat with my lonesome self and owned the truth about my problems. 

We solve one problem only to exchange it for another problem.

And this, dear reader, is a good thing. 

All human activity boils down to this: we trade one set of problems for another. Problems are simply a component and attribute of life. Problems hold the promise of moving us forward.  There will always be problems, obstacles, complications, and struggles.

Each time we solve one we get to welcome a new direction with different problems. 

Our problems become our possibilities. 

May we all be pregnant with possibility.  

Jinx Davis is an actress, artist, and entrepreneur. During the Covid pandemic, she created hundreds of paintings that she turned into printable art to help support the Living Arts Corporation.

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