We live in a culture that tells us if we have a problem we can ignore it and it will go away or if we work hard enough it will go away. How many times has that worked for you? I know that, personally, if I try to do either it only makes the problem worse. In a culture that tells us we can handle our problems alone, we need to realize that this is not true. To truly deal with a problem we need to be vulnerable with one another.

There are steps to take in dealing with whatever it is you are struggling with.

The first step is to tell someone about what you are struggling with.

Sometimes we want others to see that something is bothering us so we wait for them to bring it up or maybe we are too afraid to let someone else know that we are struggling. Whatever the reason we need to see that the best way to deal with it is to tell someone we trust. This person might change depending on what the struggle is. Sometimes a more experienced adult is needed, sometimes a best friend can help the most, maybe a religious figure (pastor, priest, etc.) can speak to the problem. Just trust someone and tell them what you are going through.

The second step is to make an effort to see why you are struggling with this particular problem.

Sometimes a struggle seems superficial, but the root cause is something deeper. If this is the case, the problem will not go away if the root cause is not dealt with. This is why it is necessary to tell someone. They can help you through this process, help you see problems when you cannot, and see solutions. They can walk beside you as you experience the pain of your struggle and help you through it.

The third step is to acknowledge that you are not the only one to struggle with this problem.

Telling a trusted friend and finding out why you are struggling are great starting steps, but, I think, a crucial realization is that you are not the first person to deal with this. Acknowledging this allows you to know that you are not alone and that you can overcome this obstacle because others before you have.

The fourth step is to seek a solution.

No point in going through all of this if you do not want to move past this struggle, right? I am not trying to make light of this step because it is hard, but if the effort is not made the process up until this point is for nothing. This step will be difficult, if not the most difficult. Lean on others, they will want to encourage you and lift you up, let them. Even if the first solution does not work, do not give up. Maybe you need a different way to deal with the problem, maybe it will work if you try it again. Just know that others have found a solution and your trusted confidant will be there for you.

In this culture that tells you to fix your own problem, know that it will not turn out the way the world says it does. The process will be much harder, possibly too hard to do on your own. Family and friends will always be there to help. Reach out to others in your struggles and be there for those that reach out to you.