If you display these 9 behaviors, you’re a natural problem solver

For some people, problem-solving is a natural skill set that they just have a gift for.

But what is it that they do differently from the rest of us?

Maybe you pride yourself on being one of these people.

If you recognize plenty of the following behaviors in yourself, chances are you are!

1) You take a logical approach

Problem solvers keep a clear head.

They approach the task at hand from a rational and reasonable perspective.

That demands staying objective and looking at the facts presented to them.

It also means that they don’t let their own personal thoughts, opinions, and ideas get in the way.

Instead, they remain open to all possibilities.

Essentially they judge things based on the evidence in front of them rather than preconceived notions.

2) You’re naturally curious and that helps you to be diligent and apply yourself

We’re more likely to stick at something when we’re genuinely interested in it.

That’s why motivation and enthusiasm can take you far. You are spurred on by a thirst to understand and figure things out.

The journey of problem-solving brings you pleasure. This is more helpful than you may realize.

Because you don’t always need to be especially talented or stand out to get ahead, you just need to not give up so easily.

We know this from the fact that every success story comes along with hardships that first need to be overcome. That demands patience.

The truth is that when it comes to being a good problem solver, persistence really does count.

The potentially long and drawn-out process toward better solutions is less likely to get you down when you are intrigued enough to keep going.

Despite the frustrations you may feel, you genuinely enjoy the discovery involved in it all too.

3) You don’t ignore emotions but you know how to keep them in check

I’m not one of those people who thinks emotions should stay out of all decision-making.

The truth is that they can be useful guides that steer us in certain directions. Just as long as we recognize that our feelings are not facts.

But that’s not to say that there isn’t an emotional element to problem-solving. For starters, empathy is really useful for problem-solving skills.

Especially when you are problem-solving things for human beings who are fundamentally still emotional creatures. 

The key is to know when to override your heart. That takes plenty of self-awareness.

The best problem solvers can put their own feelings aside for the greater good of the task at hand.

That also means moving your ego to one side too.

4) You’re not driven by ego

One of the greatest physicists of all time, Albert Einstein is famously known for his humble attitude.

Despite all his success and being heralded as a genius, he once remarked:

“As a human being one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists. If such humility could be conveyed to everybody, the world of human activities would be more appealing”.

Part of your ability to find the best solutions rests on the fact that you don’t make everything all about you.

It’s not about proving a point or showing off how clever you are.

You most likely have a growth mindset that always thinks there is more to learn.

Even when you get a strong feeling that you’re on to a winner, you don’t let your ego get you fixated on just one potential option.

5) You keep an eye out for new opportunities

Opportunity is the gateway to new solutions and new creations.

You’re sharp and observant. That way, very little escapes you. And that includes chances.

You’re not the type of person to let things pass you by. You are alert to possibilities.

Rather than miss out on chances, you usually decide to roll with them and see where they lead.

That often takes plenty of courage.

But luckily, that’s also something you have in spades.

6) You are not afraid to take risks

With all the diligence, grounded thinking, and discipline involved in problem-solving, it can start to sound like it’s something best suited to the squares amongst us.

But that’s really not true.

In fact, it’s the bold risk takers that are often rewarded the most.

That’s not the same as recklessness of course. But finding solutions is ultimately about experimentation.

Sure. you can stay safe, but that doesn’t always get you somewhere new.

The very best problem solvers are prepared to put themselves out there and try something totally different.

If it doesn’t work out, they just move on to the next.

Trial and error is an essential part of finding solutions, but not everyone relishes it because they fear failure too much.

7) You’re pretty good at going with the flow

This goes back to not getting fixated.

Whenever we take a rigid approach, we’re prone to breaking instead of bending.

So natural problem solvers are often naturally adaptable people.

Change doesn’t terrify them, they’re happy to go with it and see where it leads.

Of course, it helps that as we’ve just seen, they’re not averse to taking a risk.

But their generally flexible approach to finding answers means they don’t get overly attached to how they think things “should” go.

8) You think outside the box

Some people might even consider you to be a bit of a quirky thinker.

But you find inspiration in all sorts of places. Places that not everyone else is looking.

And that’s one of the keys to your creative approach.

The more we seek varied experiences, the more it allows us to seek out new and unexplored approaches.

Your creativity allows you to break free of limitations by engaging your imagination. It’s this that is at the heart of all inventiveness.

You can then dream up new answers that haven’t ever been considered.

9) You have great instincts

At first, you might think that the analytical world of problem-solving is completely incompatible with wishy-washy gut feelings.

But here’s what people often don’t appreciate about intuition:

Your gut reactions are more than guesswork. Let’s not forget, our gut is often referred to as our second brain. Neither is intuition some mystical force that you tap into.

The reason it’s so fascinating is because it comes down to the way we are wired. It is scientific.

We can’t possibly stay conscious of every single piece of information we come across in life. It would be an overload to the system.

But all those seemingly unimportant encounters, inconsequential details, or titbits of info are stored somewhere in the warehouse that is your unconscious brain.

Your instincts are merely you tapping into that storehouse.

You may not be able to put your finger on it, but alarm bells ring because you have experienced something before that may be helpful right now.

Research has proven that intuition can be surprisingly effective, especially when it comes to bigger and more important problems compared to the little ones.

10) You have the discipline to delay short-term gratification for long-term reward

Problem-solving isn’t only about looking at what is in front of you now, it also asks you to consider the future.

Sometimes we have way up what is best in the grand scheme of things.

Quick fixes can be very tempting, but it needs to be sustainable.

It may do for right now, but what about in a day, week, or year from now?

Natural problem solvers are always thinking ahead.

You have a tendency to consider all possible variables and make the smart choice for the long term.

11) You don’t wait around for others to save you, instead, you roll up your sleeves and get to work

This screams something incredibly important:

You are proactive.

The best problem solvers don’t sit around hoping someone else is going to figure it out for them so they don’t have to.

They don’t get lost asking everybody else what they think. They make a start.

Rather than falling into victim mode, they get to work looking for their own creative solutions.

12) You love to organize and plan the finer details

Organization is totally your jam.

It gives you a little thrill to have everything neatly ordered and laid out in front of you.

Usually, by the time you get to work on something, you’ve already broken it down.

You know what you’re doing and you have a blueprint for it.

You’ve thought about all the potential obstacles that need overcoming, and you have a plan for them.

This makes life so much easier.

As the saying goes, fail to prepare and you prepare to fail.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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