How to handle a challenge in 5 easy steps - Expat Nest e-counselling

Your Toolkit

How to handle a challenge in 5 easy steps

If you have a lot on your mind at the moment, here’s something for you! I’m a big believer in quick and brilliant tools that make a difference in our lives. This week’s article covers a powerful technique that will help you strengthen your defences so you can face any challenge that comes your way.

Maybe you have an exam coming up or bills to pay… perhaps a family situation is making you feel anxious… or maybe you just don’t know where your career is going. You might have had an argument with your partner, or a disagreement with a colleague – or perhaps you’re frustrated because things aren’t going the way you’d like them to.

Stress is a part of life. But sometimes our stresses, whether big or small, start to pile up and overwhelm us. If you’re getting to the point where you feel defeated or just want to give up on a challenge you’re facing, this handy technique will gear your mind towards finding solutions, no matter what’s going on in your life…

Use the mnemonic “I COPE” to help you deal with challenges

I = IDENTIFY the problem and state it in specific terms. It may help to come up with three words that describe the situation.

C = Determine whether the problem is CHANGEABLE:

  • Am I able to change the situation or not?
  • Is the potential for change in my control?
  • If no change is possible, do I express my feelings or change my thinking?

O = What is your desired OUTCOME? What do you want or need to achieve? Now explore your OPTIONS for solving the problem.

  • What are the advantages of each option?
  • And what are the disadvantages?
  • Decide on two to three ideas that feel right to you.

P = Now choose one solution and PLAN how to implement it. Write down what three steps you need to take.

E = EVALUATE the action you’ve taken. Did the plan work? If not, go back to “O” and try the next solution.

And finally… keep repeating the motto ‘I cope’. You can do it!


What challenges are you facing? Do you find this tool valuable? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Feel free to share this article with a loved one who is feeling overwhelmed. And do subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive bonuses and updates!


© Vivian Chiona

FEEL FREE TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR BLOG OR NEWSLETTER. We ask only that you attribute Expat Nest and include the following: Expat Nest ( is a professional online counselling service for expats.


—— Discover more


Related Articles

—— Subscribe to our newsletter

Inspiring & Supportive Info  

Straight to Your Inbox

Hello, my email is