Most, if not all of us here on Indie Hackers, are hustling and bustling on new ideas, projects, and businesses. This means that we all live in the world of problem-solving, and it is solving problems that inevitably leads to growth. Unfortunately however, it's easier said than done. In the time spent solving one particular problem, oftentimes three more have slid their way through the grass and on to your desk. Whilst solving problems can be extremely rewarding, the struggle to solve the more difficult ones can be extremely.. well.. bang-your-head-against-the-wall..-ing.
I refer to the inability to clear a particular obstacle as 'the pit'. It's dark, cold, and lonely, and all you want to do when you're there is piece together a way to get out. Most of the time, it's quite simply the complexity of the individual problem that determines whether or not you get tossed into the pit. On the other hand however, there's a lot to be said for one's general mental approach to problems.
A 'mental set' is an unconscious tendency to approach a problem in a particular way, often based on past experiences and habits. If the last time your server crashed and you reboot the machine in safe mode to find it working again, that might be the only solution you can think of the next time it freezes.
In reality however, problems are seldom, if ever, the exact same. Applying the exact same previous practice in anticipation of the exact same previous result can contribute to sore heads and damaged walls. Simply put, factors change.
Instead of approaching problems in a linear fashion of 'remember-repeat', attack your problem from all angles. Write down your problem in the center of a page (crashed server), draw arrows outward pointing towards any situational changes that have unfolded since the problem last occurred (increased activity, new configurations, wider geographies), and then tap away one by one in an effort to find the issue hissing and hiding among one of these situational changes.
It can be a slow and painful process, but less so than a healing forehead.