My Fear With Challenges
Challenges are usually never blissful. We can be challenged in our careers, relationships, financial status, or illnesses. They tend to make-or-break an individual. If that person is not prepared to face them, they can enter a downward spiral of depression and/or severe anxiety.
What I fear the most is being challenged. The feeling of failure instantly clouds my mind and the notion that I will not perform to my own standards makes me hesitant.
I tend to procrastinate more when challenges arrive. For example I would be writing a good article, but when it comes to editing, I become weary of myself, and my potential. I can complete a blog in a day or two, but the editing requires time.
When I am consumed with worry, my mind resets. The motivation and the inspirations that were once present, dissipates. It is casually replaced by laziness, discouragement and the pressure of having to succeed or assume ultimate, irreversible failure.
These following steps are to encourage us to overcome challenges. The odds are inescapable, therefore, we must transform our mindsets to ambitious, positive thinking. Apply these steps when necessary, but also to seek professional advice when you can. Here are 10 simple steps to overcoming Challenges.
Step 1| Embrace the Challenge
The practical way to gain experience from a challenge is when we embrace it. If we fail to embrace a challenge we lose the opportunity to learn from it. This leads to procrastination. In addition, creating anxiety for whenever a similar challenge appears. Instead, accept your emotions, find possible solutions and work at them with persistence.
The strange fact is most human beings want a life that will be a simple breeze with no stormy gale winds. No problems to arise, quick success, great grades, perfect health and to be happy everyday of the year. ‘They tend to forget when life tosses you lemons, the best thing you can do is make unsweetened ice-tea; or lemonade, your choice really.’
The reality is, we face challenges. Whether they are positive or negative. There are challenges that take our lives to the next level, promotions, honor roll in school and improving our health through constant exercise. However, there are gloomy challenges, like death in the family, cancer, lost of a job or heartbreak.
Step 2 | Embrace Failure
Remember, failure does not determine who we are, but how we react does.
The fight or flight hormone has protected our ancestors through dangerous situations. It was a crucial survival instinct that kept them alive when encountering hostile predators or unpredictable mother nature. They adapted.
In the 21st century humans have adapted to a more relaxed environment. Specifically, to those who live in first world countries. What our fight or flight hormone protected us against in the past, are things we barely encounter nowadays.
However, with humans still being fearful creatures, what was once our natural instinct has led to our anxiety. We now fear what we imagine, like potential layoffs, receiving a terrible transcript, facing an uncomfortable situation or missing our Pilates class.
When we are being challenged, we must embrace failure, whether it occurs immediately or not. Failure is bound to come. The only way to survive a storm of failure is to accept it, and learn from the mistakes. When we fail, we sometimes learn the most important lessons that will help us overcome the challenges ahead.
Step 3 | Share With Someone Trustworthy
Sharing our challenges with someone close to us will grant us motivation to endure through them; bearing our burdens when they are too difficult to bare alone. In addition, they can help us understand reason and provide wise advice.
We live in a time where secrets are like gold goblets, precious and not to be shared with anyone. Trust has dwindled, and sharing from our heart has become incredibly awkward. If we are not talking about the end season of Game of Thrones or how the Raptors won the championship, than what conversations are we trying to have.
Find a few people you can trust, then share with them, however, resist telling just anyone about your challenges. If you try to hold in your “number two”, a single fart can become a toxic bomb. Some challenges should not be held in, or they will break you down from the inside.
Step 4| Discover your Why
“Why do you want this promotion?“
“Why do you want to exercise?”
“Why do you want good grades?“
“Why do you want to start a new business?“
“Why do you want to embrace your illness?“
“Why do you want to live?“
When we have our why, we have our purpose. Purpose surpasses riches and glory. It triumphs pain and sorrow. Our ‘Why’ is one of our greatest aspects in life, because we have a reason to face another day and endure life’s challenges.
Step 5| Make it Count
Once we have discovered our ‘Why’, it is a matter of action or inaction. Countless individuals know their purposes for life, but not many act on them. Therefore, make it count. We must push ourselves to our best efforts and do not give up without a fight.
When we allow negative emotions to linger amidst our challenges, the vision to our ‘Why’ becomes obscured. However, if we work diligently to see it through, even when it is a struggle, we will appreciate the effort.
Step 6| Dump Regret
Regret will fester in our minds like a disease when challenges are concluded on negative terms. We all will experience it, even the best of us. Do not let regret hold you back.
Procrastination can stem from regret with future endeavors, instill in us unwanted anxiety or an unrealistic rationale to prevent us from pushing forward. In addition, it makes using Step 2 more difficult to follow. When we linger on regret, we tend to embrace failure less.
Do not let regret be a stumbling block, but a tool. We must look at our past mistakes and find the best solution to avoid them in the future. However, some mistakes are bound to repeat themselves, we will need to persist in positive growth to become wiser and more experienced.
Step 7| Read Books
Gaining more knowledge or learning more stories, helps us embrace the challenges that lie ahead.
One of the most helpful tools in the world is readily at our access, books. Educational books help overcome the challenge of not knowing. Self-development books build up our mental fortitude. Spiritual books help us cope with life and upholding holy principles; cook books help people challenge their cooking skills.
Books are designed for a enormous audience, peaking the interest of people from all backgrounds. It helps us when we need quick professional advice or want to learn more in a certain subject. They are easy to access, and are mostly affordable. With the exception of university textbooks that tend to cost a months rent or more; considerably even an arm and a leg.
Step 8| Do Not Overthink
Overthinking can be the greatest inhibitor. When challenges arise, everyone’s natural inclinations are to think it over before facing them. However, some of us can get into the toxic habit of pondering those thoughts longer than necessary.
The faster we can stop overthinking, the more clear our minds will become. This will allow for us to embrace the challenges and not fear them.
At this point I think overthinking comes naturally to me. To the point where a doctor told me to stop thinking. The first time I knew I could actually have a quiet mind, even if its only briefly.
When we overthink, we open a gateway for anxiety to enter our consciousness and live lavishly. It can eat away at our thoughts like a five course meal. In addition, it becomes easier to think everything will go smoothly, and when the first bump in the road appears, the mind goes into a uncontrollable frenzy. The ‘what-ifs’ suddenly become gloomy, unproductive thoughts.
When we become aware that we are thinking about a particular challenge too often to the point it is virulent, take a few deep breaths. Find a book to read, talk to someone or spend time in peaceful solitude where we are able to refocus our minds on positive attributes.
Step 9| Write it Down
Journals, to-do lists, vision boards are a few examples of writing down challenges or setting a goal to be accomplished. This is one effective method to reduce anxiety as what may have clouded our minds before is now written down on paper.
Talking about the challenges is one thing, but when we can spend time to write it down, things tend to become clearer. Thoughts that were all over the place in our minds, now have an opportunity to be organized on paper.
For example, I wrote down my challenge on this blog. I struggle with productively editing my written articles. Then, I shared it with all of you, embracing it without fear and understanding I have room to grow. Ridding myself of toxic regret and not overthinking it. In conclusion, I should have more motivation to improve in this aspect. That is the idea.
Step 10| Enjoy the Moment
This step should be the simplest. The title says it all, just relax, smile. Spend time with family, friends; find time to take a constructive break from the challenges and enjoy what you have.
If I have any advice to leave you all, it is this: Pursue the greatness that is destine within you. Do not worry about the time you have, but do your best so even at an untimely death, you have absolutely no regrets.
With all the hills and valleys that life presents, it can become tedious at times to juggle through it all. When we get so riled up on all that is happening, we tend to miss the moments that matter. Our self-development journey will require us to endure, but to also enjoy the roads ahead.