Rather than bury your head in the sand, take a good, hard look at your problem. Gather information about it, and think about the causes and the relative importance of the problem to your life. Believe it or not, you're not the first person to experience your problem. You can obtain information by talking to others, through books and articles, or by searching the Internet. Finally, reflect on what feelings this problem stirs up in you.
Derrick feels frustrated at work as a mechanical engineer. He hasn't been given the level of responsibilities he feels capable of taking on, and he hasn't received the bonuses or recognition he's expected. His frustration grows as he ruminates about his dilemma in the early morning hours. He realizes that the situation is contributing to his mounting depression. Derrick goes online and researches comparable jobs; he also reads some books about career advancement. Derrick decides the first step in tackling his problem is describing it (see Worksheet 12-4).
Derrick's Problematic Situation: S.
I'm not happy with my job. I want more responsibility and the pay and recognition that go along with it. I've been here for six years, and I'm still doing the same things I was when I got here. I don't think the problem is a lack of skills; I'm pretty confident about my talent. One of the books I've read suggests that maybe I haven't been assertive enough and made myself known around here. This issue keeps me up at night, so it's quite important.
After describing his problem in great detail, Derrick is ready to go on to the next step, figuring out his options.
Using Derrick's description as a guide, take the time to describe your problematic situation.
1. In Worksheet 12-5, describe your problematic situation.
2. Consider reading books and articles or searching the Internet for helpful insights, and record any relevant information you find.
3. Include information about possible causes of your problem.
4. Include your emotional responses to the problem — does it make you feel depressed, frustrated, anxious, or something else?
5. Indicate how important the problem is to you.
My Problematic Situation: S.
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