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Forget the Why, ask the What?

The Simplified Way to Problem Solving

Want a simplified way to think about your problems and what to do next?

Here are a few basic questions you can ask yourself when you find yourself having racing thoughts or ruminating about a problem. Sometimes we need to take a step back from what is bothering us and write down what is happening to give us a clear view of how to cope with the problem. The Now What can help us become more Solution Focused rather than problem focused.

If you struggle to do this on your own, try this exercise with your therapist or someone close to you that can help you be objective.


What, So What, Now What?


What? What is the problem?

Tip: What is bothering you, what happened, what are you thinking about?


So What? So what are you feeling and how is it affecting you?

Tip: Identify how this problem is making you feel and why you don’t like feeling this way.


Now What? Now what are you going to do about it?

Tip: How are you going to change your feeling around this thinking or what behavioral change are you going to make?



What? My boss told me I am falling behind in work and that my work seems to be suffering.


So what? It hurts my feelings and makes me angry. I try hard and I don’t feel my work is acknowledged. I want to quit and avoid my boss.


Now what? I can talk to my boss again and share with him what I feel like I have been doing well as maybe he hasn’t seen what I have contributed. If I continue to feel undervalued I can quit my job and find a better fit.


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