Here’s a quick repeat from yesterdays post . . .
“In life and business, challenges come our way and how we choose to deal with them inevitably leads to success or failure. If we decide that something can be done, it can be done. Looking at something negatively will not help to overcome the challenge because then it may consume us and lead to avoidance or quitting”.
Embrace Your Reality
It’s so easy to turn away from life’s challenges rather than toward them. Ask yourself this question:
Why do you avoid what you avoid?
Avoidance often acts as an emotion-focused coping tactic. Our super-computer minds are constantly working in the background to prevent the occurrence of things that are perceived to cause harm or stress. So, what do we do when something overly challenging to our experience or perceived well-being arises? We turn away rather than toward, because even though we may not be consciously aware, we are adept at avoidance and facing the reality of the challenge.
If we want to be present, enjoy life and be more successful, we must orientate ourselves toward facing reality. By doing that, we develop a deeper capacity to deal with life more effectively. Challenges remain challenging but they become easier to manage. What frightened us starts to feel familiar and once we see that we have grown stronger, we develop greater confidence and we can further expand our growth.
As I said, our thoughts are what consciously or unconsciously stop us from rising to the challenge. So how do we arrest and change these challenging thoughts? One of The Buddha’s teachings tells us that the secret to life is to want what you have and not be concerned with what you don’t have. To do that, we need to be present in the life we have right here, in this moment. If we can do that, we find freedom because valuing our experiences, mines the resources that are there for the taking. When we surrender to the truth of who we are, we give ourselves opportunities to do what we can do.
Flexible Not Rigid
Flexible thinking wins every time over rigid, can’t do thoughts. “I don’t know how to do this. No problem, I have The Internet . . . as a resource, the answers are out there, I can learn”. Similarly, when an old negative experience comes to mind because a familiar uncomfortable challenge arises, we can turn it around, “I don’t particularly enjoy having to do this yet dealing with it will bring reward and I can move on. It ceases to hold any power over me”. Simple mantras are powerful so long as we act.
Think for a moment about how often we blame. It’s in my genes, I will never be able to conquer this. I’m too old, not clever enough, not fit enough, I just can’t. Such rigid thinking is debilitating; flexibility can do.
Think Soft, Not Hard
“It’s OK to be concerned; not consumed”. If this challenge consumes me, it will continue to do so and will always be a challenge too far. On the other hand, if we allow ourselves to be concerned about how to deal with the problem and open our hearts to self-kindness, we will be more disposed to seek positive solutions. How can we be kind to other people and fail to be kind to ourselves?
Humility Not Egotism
Who or what decides that a challenge is too difficult? The ego; and it does so based on past experiences not present possibilities. When a difficult challenge arises, meet it with humility. Ouch this is difficult; what can I do to overcome it? Not, I failed last time, I will probably fail again! That’s ego speak.
The story of the tortoise and the hare tells us, slow and steady wins the race. We are more likely to rush through a repeated challenge to get it out of the way rather than take our time. Being in a hurry, can thwart our success because we get ahead of ourselves and make mistakes. Old challenges morph into something bigger. Slow, methodical, incremental growth is a positive approach that leads to lasting change.
It is easy to count the challenges we prefer to avoid rather than our blessings. Counting the negative challenges undermines our ability to draw from the good we have. Our experience is a gift and exceptional learning tool. Changing perspective can make huge differences. Recognizing the good and receiving with gratitude is positive for emotional health, well-being and success.
Practicing gratitude frequently has immense benefits on outlook.
During my daily mountain bike rides, I consciously give thanks for being able to ride as I do and for the beauty of my surroundings. I do this whatever the internal and external weather.
There is a mountain I see everyday called Bugarach, I marvel at it each time I see it and I am grateful it’s there. It never looks quite the same yet it’s always beautiful and inspiring. It positively affects how I think about everything and those thoughts of gratitude bring opportunity and possibility. It’s infectious and positively leaks into other areas of my life.
Against The Flow
“Some people choose to swim against the current and thrive in challenging situations”. They don’t have a superpower reserved especially for them. It’s something that takes time and effort to develop. Ask any successful person if their journey to success was entirely a walk in the park. If they’re honest with self and you, they will answer, “no”. Honesty with self is essential, dishonesty is worse than a lie.
Go With The Flow
If there is evidence that something works and you have honestly assessed that it could work for you, go with the flow. Otherwise, don’t drift downstream because you think a difficult past will repeat. Only dead fish drift with the current. Think and act in harmony with what you need in this moment and search for the peaceful solutions, leave the avoidance tactics out in the cold.
There are many ways to effectively explore and challenge your limits. We need a box of tools to challenge the boundaries and move forward toward success.
If you feel that you may benefit from help and have the drive for change, leave your contact details in the comments section below and you will be contacted by your preferred method. Please understand that your contact details will never be published, and your privacy is assured.
Comments and Questions
Please leave yours below. Your thoughts or questions may well ignite a positive spark in other readers thinking. You will always receive a prompt response to your questions and there is no such thing as a bad question; only the one that was never asked.
I bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy
and wish you a wonderful day.
Peace & Light
Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, friend and clinical psychologist, Leo Faerberg.