What I learned about problem-solving while in labor with my son

March 14, 2023 | Mirta Fagundes dos Santos

baby girl problem-solving math equations whilst mum is oblivious

Thinking back to 2012 – I was in labor with my son.

My midwife was in the birthing room with me, as was my husband. My parents, brother, and sisters-in-law were all there in the waiting room cheering me on, morally. But ultimately, I was the only one pushing a tiny human out of me. No one else was going to do it for me.

I realized I was on my own… It wasn’t a graceful realization; I was tired, in pain, and whimpering “I can’t do this” when my midwife grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me into reality”

– “You ARE doing this!”

– “You ARE in labor!”

– “This IS happening, AND no one else can do it for you!”

– “So, pull yourself together Mirta, and let’s meet your son!”

Thinking is like labor.

No one else can do it for you.

I know there is nothing worse than facing a challenge and feeling hopeless. Maybe you’re trying to fix a complicated relationship, get a work project back on track, or you’ve just taken on a big hairy goal and have no idea where to start. Maybe you’re feeling quiet despair, maybe it’s stopping you from sleeping at night, maybe you’re considering giving up?

You are trying to think of a solution, a way forward, but your mind is drawing a blank, and ideas are MIA. At this point, you may be tempted to outsource your thinking – to an expert, a mentor, or your best friend. Someone; anyone who is smarter than you.

And maybe someone else can help, but how well will they solve your issues, and how long will you rely on others when going gets tough? You have the intuition and the understanding of your own situation that no one else has – you are best placed to help yourself help you.

All you need is to develop your own thinking skills and you will be able to overcome any challenge that comes your way. You will stop panicking when faced with a challenge. You will be able to see the problem clearly. You will be able to brainstorm ideas and plan for a way out.

Only then should you bring in someone else – once you develop your thinking skills and have the ability to participate in your own problem-solving, instead of being a passive passenger.

Surround yourself with smart people, but know that; when push comes to shove – you’re it!

I’ll tell you now, what my midwife would tell you if she were here right now:

– “You ARE doing this!”

– “You ARE facing a problem!”

– “This IS happening, AND no one else can think it through for you!”

– “So, pull yourself together [insert name], and let’s come up with your solution!”

*Disclaimer: getting pregnant and being in labor will not make you think better. Instead, Black Belt in Thinking training is one of the ways to develop your thinking skills. Try the first module of our Thinking Foundations course for FREE here.