There’s a famous quote commonly attributed to Albert Einstein:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
Whether or not the great Albert Einstein said that doesn’t matter.
What matters to me is that this is a harsh quote.
And I don’t think it’s entirely fair.
I think it’s in our human nature to to try to just will our way to where we want to go.
It doesn’t work.
We do what we’re used to doing.
Humans are creatures of habit, and we tend to do what’s most comfortable.
Why wouldn’t we take the path of least resistance?
But the problem with going down the well-trodden path is that we see the same things over and over–the same sights and the same perspectives that got us to where we are in the first place.
Something needs to change.
But what do we do?
Fear not, fellow human.
Here Are Some Examples of How to Break Out of the Problem-Solving Trap
Instead of doing what everyone else does to find jobs, which is apply to as many as possible online, try developing unique connections with people in the field you are interested in.
What is a unique connection?
It’s a connection based on what you have to offer.
No one can duplicate what you are.
So reach out to someone and establish a meaningful relationship.
Aim to be helpful.
Try to be curious.
You’ll make yourself more memorable, and you’ll learn about opportunities that you wouldn’t have if you just mass-applied to jobs on the Internet.
Here’s something else you can try that’s a little more directly related to the wonderful world of mental health.
Most of us have experienced it at one point in our lives.
The problem with anxiety is that it thrives when you do the same thing over and over. It’s a self-reinforcing feedback loop.
I’ll give you an example to illustrate what I mean.
You know how when you worry about something, you start to run through scenarios of what could go wrong?
You think through one scenario that seems particularly devastating.
Before you know it, you are adding to that scenario, making it scarier and scarier.
What was once a mole hill becomes Mt. Everest in no time.
But what about all the things that could go right?
Isn’t that equally possible?
It is, but we don’t tend to think about that.
Change your brain grooves, and you create funnels through which new thoughts can flow.
Next time you get caught in a negative loop, say the word, “STOP.”
Actually say it out loud to yourself.
Don’t worry, if someone looks at you, just tell them that you are following advice from a random mental health newsletter that you read.
Saying STOP breaks the thought pattern. And then choose a different way.
It will get easier over time. There are no easy fixes while improving one’s mental health.
But he more you can notice when you are getting off track, the more you can decide on a new way forward.