We all experience various challenges in life. Maybe we have to figure out how to make our next rent payment. You may be dealing with depression or anxiety. Perhaps you’re having relationship or job issues? A worst-case challenge might be dealing with the death of a loved one.

The first step in dealing with any challenge is to recognize the issue. Recognizing a challenge isn’t so hard with some issues. For example, you don’t need to do a lot of soul-searching to realize next month’s rent is due, and you don’t have the money for it in the checking account.

Some issues do require recognizing the challenge. Alcoholism is a good example. Most alcoholics live in denial and don’t recognize the challenges they face. Many challenges have negative associations. Who wants to be labeled addicted or an alcoholic? Even though society seems to have become more accepting of such challenges, there’s still a personally felt stigma to avoid.

Once you’ve recognized the challenge, there are additional steps you can take to overcome the challenge. One important step is to talk about your challenge with others. Discussing your issues with others has a number of benefits. First off, it helps define the problem and how it affects you. Open discussion can also help you relieve your own internal stress about the issue.

Talking about the challenge with others allows you to get their insight into the issue and potential solutions to the challenge. If the challenge is a medical issue or mental health problem, you most definitely will want to talk to a medical professional. For addictions, organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous can help.

Discussing the issues allows you to follow through with another step you can take to overcome the challenge of dealing with the emotions associated with the problem. For example, at the loss of a loved one, you need to allow yourself to grieve. Holding in emotions is destructive and can cause additional mental and even physical problems owing to undue stress.

Once you’ve recognized the challenge, discussed it with others, and allowed yourself time to deal with the emotions corresponding to the challenge, it’s time to look into solving the problem associated with the challenge. One way you can look at solutions is to research how others have dealt with similar challenges.

Another way might be to ask for assistance with finding a solution through either discussing the issue with a professional (medical professional, clergy, mental health professional, etc.) or with someone who can give you insight into a solution. Often times, you’ll find that a person who is less involved with the challenge can give you a more apparent perspective on the issue because they’re not emotionally invested in the problem and can think more clearly on the topic.

If the challenge is something where you can find a practical solution, then you should act on it. There are some issues you might not be able to solve immediately. For example, you can’t do anything about the death of love. You can, however, look into additional ways to earn money for that overdue rent.

Some issues may be solvable but difficult to solve. You might not be able to immediately stop an addictive behavior, but on the other hand, you can certainly begin the process with the appropriate guidance and behavior changes.