Put Your Problems on the Back Burner
By Paula Gregorowicz

Ever have a problem or challenge that
you just can't seem to solve?  Perhaps
you've stewed over it a while, tried
to force a solution, and gotten frustrated
in the process?  You toiled away for hours or days on end to no avail.  

Then, all of a sudden out of nowhere an idea comes to you when you least expect it --
in the shower, taking a walk, shopping for groceries.

We've all had this experience. I know myself in my many years doing computer
programming I might hit a snag and then go absolutely insane trying to find a
problem. I would toil, curse, scream, and rip my hair out and not be able to solve it.  

Then, if I walked away from it or simply asked someone with a fresh set of eyes to
look at it -
- boom -- there is a simple answer and the problem gets solved in a matter of
minutes the path forward gets clear in an instant.

What if you could tap into this ease and power from the get go?

Well you can, if you're willing to put things on the back burner.  I've heard this concept
from different sources over time. Most recently I was reading the book "Slowing Down
to the Speed of Life" by Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey and I loved the way they
explained it.

They said:

"The back burner of your mind works in much the same way as the back burner of a
stove, slowly brewing a pot of vegetables and broth into a delicious, succulent feast of
soup. All you had to do was put each of the ingredients in the pot, stir them up, and
then leave them alone to cook, only periodically adding a dash of this or that and
stirring the pot.  A soup on the back burner needs to cool slowly; if the heat is too high
we burn the dish. The back burner of a stove requires little attention; we can cook
something else on the front burner at the same time."

I loved this analogy and not just because I love to cook!  If we can in fact step away
from the challenge at hand and put it on the back burner a solution will be shown to
us.  This isn't about dodging responsibility for our challenges.  What it means is we
find a new, powerful, and different way of thinking to solve them.

Here's how I've found the process works best:

1. Recognize that you have a challenge or question that needs an answer and it is not
coming to you right away.

2. Give yourself permission to step away from it.

3. Get yourself prepared to simmer on the back burner by:

 a. Clearly stating the challenge or question.

 b. Asking for an answer or solution to show itself.

 c. Set a time frame for when you'll check back in, i.e. lift the lid and check on the

 d. Add any details or intentions you have regarding the possible solution. (Ex: that it
needs to be a win-win, for the highest good of all, etc.)

 e. Being open to possibility. You can't force the solution or answer to look a certain

 f. Letting go

4. Now just allow it to simmer on the backburner.

5. Do not check the "pot" until the time you specified - a watched pot doesn't boil is
more than just cliché and contradicts the back-burner philosophy.

6. After the time has elapsed -
- check in and see what new insights, ideas, solutions,
or answers are available to you.

If you're someone used to "making it happen" it may be a challenge for you to start
practicing putting things on the back burner. Believe me, I am one of those people and
it was hard for me to detach from the "how".  

Yet, with much coaxing and practice I have learned how and now find it one of the
most powerful tools I know for attacking challenges, finding answers, and creating
new ideas.  

Whenever I feel my gut contracting, my frustration mounting, and stuck-ness setting
in, I give myself permission to put it on the back burner.  Give it a try -
- I guarantee
that if you surrender your doubts and fears you'll find it quite beneficial.

About the author: Paula Gregorowicz, coaches women to get more comfortable in their own skin
so they are able to fully value themselves and what they offer and as a result experience greater
levels of success and meaning in their life and business.  They gain more clarity, confidence, and
courage to succeed on their own terms and live life by their own design.  Get the Free eCourse to
learn the "5 Steps to Turn Fear into Freedom" at

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