How do you go about solving a difficult problem? For some, this might not seem challenging because it is part of their nature, but others might need some insight.

When most of us are confronted with difficult problems, we can be overcome with feelings of being under pressure. This pressure can cause us to push so hard for solutions that we wind up spinning our wheels.

We don’t want to do the wrong thing, or we want a perfect decision, so we enter the “analysis paralysis” zone. We study the problem from every possible angle, collect huge amounts of information, struggle hard and do lots of analysis. Still the answer evades us.

Some of this is because it's hard for us to tolerate feeling confused for very long. We want certainty, and we want clear answers. However, sometimes it's better not to push it. Dr. Peter Carruthers, one-time head of theoretical physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory, said that our unconscious is an important factor in solving problems.

This means that while you certainly need to collect all the information possible, at some point it's important to back off, relax, and trust that creative, productive mental work will continue even if you're not aware of it. Sometimes “letting off the gas pedal”, leaves space for creative juices to flow.

Peak performers of all kinds demonstrate this, and researchers confirm it: analysis and intuition are partners in creativity and solving problems.

People who won't relax their dependence on concrete, countable information often just can't see possibilities that don't fit into what they already know. But, if you're willing to let go for a while and let your creative subconscious have a turn, you may be surprised and pleased at the results.

Think about it...