Have you ever faced an issue or a problem that just feels so intimidating? These kind of problems can make you feel like your stuck in a cage and you have to battle against them. What are you going to do? What could possibly help? Maybe a good pep talk?
A pep talk is great, but it doesn't make the problem go away.
I was thinking about these types of problems as I was coaching this morning. I coach freshman. That's code for, "I will look at you like I'm paying attention but then when I have to actually do what you're saying, it's obvious I wasn't paying attention." We do this drill where we put the freshmen in a cage with a real problem: someone else is going to come at them. No really, we have a cage. It's a structure that has four corners and there is fence as a roof that hangs about three and half feet off the ground. The "cage" as we call it is a reminder to players of a simple rule in football - low man wins. Lovingly, the drill is also known as, "Rage in the cage."
You can see fear start to creep into the eyes of a freshman lineman as soon as he has to enter the cage. But it's not the cage causing fear, it's that they have to block someone else inside the cage. Watching them struggle with fear I kept saying to them, "Stop thinking about what's across from you and just do what you've been coached. You can only control you!"
Then I thought, "Crap Brad, take your own advice." I can get so focused on the THE PROBLEM or THE OBSTACLE that I lose sight on what I CAN DO. I think it comes back to core values, doing the things that I know will work instead of trying to respond to the problem. From a football perspective it's a matter of taking powerful short steps, striking with my helmet and hands at the same time, running my feet through contact, and then rolling my hips, and extending to finish a block. What, or who, lines up against you doesn't matter. I would still give you the same coaching advice no matter how big the opposition.
So what are your core values at your work place? What are the core values you have in relationships? What are the core values you have in serving/volunteering? Sometimes we have to stop trying to take on the problem and take on ourselves.