EPISODE 121 – Embrace Your Challenges as Gifts

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” – Paulo Coelho

Have you ever thought how easy life would be if only we did not have challenges? According to the Cambridge Dictionary Online, a challenge is: (the situation of being faced with) something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person’s ability. There is probably a challenge you are even facing today. There may be a strong possibility that you are trying to dodge or avoid the challenge. You may see the challenge as a pain so dodging it prevents suffering. Not all challenges result in pain but they often teach us lessons and expand the way you and I do things. There is no point in resisting it for whatever you resist tends to persist. Accept it and rise to the challenge.

Challenges stretch us and often make us uncomfortable because you need to change the way you show up. When you are first faced with a challenge, you may hesitate to evaluate the risks and rewards. You may be wondering, “What will I have to give up or stop doing to make this work?” You may hesitate because of your fears. The fear of failure, making a mistake, rejection, and even success. The fear of what others will say about you for making a choice, dressing a certain way, having opinions, or the way you speak. Don’t worry – everyone has an opinion so don’t take things personally. Their viewpoint is just that – the view of the world from their previous encounters and experiences. You do not have to do things that they do or they have done. Do you! Decide what you must do to face the challenge.

Sometimes a challenge is just what you needed to save you from getting stagnant or complacent. When life or your role gets too routine your brain does not get the stimulation it needs. Life becomes boring. You lose those creative juices that help you set yourself apart. Worry is not a useful emotion. Self-doubt robs the world of what you have to offer. Instead of being focused on self-doubt and worry which is a default to do and nothing but a waste of your energy. Channel your energy to believe in yourself and know you have what it takes to figure out the solution. Take stock of your knowledge, skills, and abilities. If you do not know something, you can always find a way. You must develop the “never give up” attitude to move through challenge.

Remember to embrace challenges as gifts. Challenges keep you relevant and relatable to others. Re-frame your challenge – what is the lesson you are meant to learn? How will this strengthen you? How can you take advantage of the challenge as an opportunity? Some people find comfort in sharing their challenges on and offline. Whereas, others tend to keep challenges private. What you need to know is that everyone faces challenges at one time or another.  You do not hear about them. These challenges shape our character and often make us help us step into our potential to become a better version of ourselves. You may discover a new and improved way of doing things. Use your challenges to be of assistance to others in some way.

I remember one performance appraisal I had when I was a new manager years ago. My boss had suggested that I develop my “people management skills” which meant I needed to start having some difficult conversations. I was to avoid them. At the same time, I also knew that if I avoided dealing with a problem it may only get bigger. At first, I scripted out what I wanted to say even though the conversations did not always go as planned. I reminded myself – it was only a conversation. If I stick to the facts, emotions can settle. One conversation at a time, I got better. I am not nearly as nervous as I once was.

Tackle the Challenge as Early as You Can. No one wants to experience a challenge longer than necessary so brainstorm or make a list of the actions that need to be taken to push through to the other side. Remember you do not have to face a challenge alone. Talk to someone you trust or someone who has been through what you are going through to hear their experience. Sitting around and doing nothing does not get you ahead.

Discover and embrace your challenges as gifts or blessings. When you start to do this, your world with change. Push through your challenges – who you become in the process will inspire you.

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DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com

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