Do you shy from challenges that take you out of your comfort zone? How do you feel when you are challenged? I hope this blog will encourage you to conquer bigger challenges that create a more fulfilling life in 2016.
Choosing Fulfilling Challenges in 2016
As an adult, imagine sitting in a classroom and the teacher puts a set of test questions in front of you. He says, “On the back of the test are the answers. Use them or use your memory. The choice is yours.” Would you be the one to “take the challenge” of using your memory to answer the test questions? What would be the benefit to you of building your memory skills by taking the test without looking at the answers? Would you get a sense of fulfillment? What do you do to feel fulfilled when faced with a challenge?
What exactly IS a challenge?
According to common dictionary definitions of the word “challenge,” generally, a challenge is being invited to engage in a contest. When you enter into a contest, you feel like a winner when you win the contest on your own merits.
So, being invited to participate in a challenge is also an opportunity to take a chance at doing something new. It’s also a chance to think on your feet. When answering a challenge, you get to see how to use your wits to achieve an exciting goal in your life.
What mindset do you need to successfully conquer each challenge?
Back to our test-taking example…envision yourself sitting at that test, worrying and criticizing yourself. Your inner dialog is self-critical with remarks like, “Oh, I should have prepared better!” or some such irrelevant, unsupportive idea. Do you think worrying about what you don’t know helps you think of the answers to a test? No, it just keeps you mentally stuck.
A mindset of believing that you will do your best if you relax and focus WILL help. So, focus on the idea that staying calm and thinking things through helps you succeed at your test. The same mindset is true for any challenge. When you believe in yourself it’s amazing what you can achieve!
Test and challenges are not all created equal
A test is usually a series of questions designed to assess a certain skill level of the person taking the test. As already explained, a challenge may be different than a test to assess skills levels. Understanding the difference between the two can help you have some ideas about how to better prepare for them, first using your mindset!
With the right mindset, you can improvise how to better pass a test or conquer a challenge. And when you develop test-taking skills and challenging conquering skills, you also stretch your mind.
Benefits from being stretched past your mental comfort zone
Imagine being unable to tie your own shoes, brush your own teeth or dress yourself. At times when we resist developing self-reliance skills, we stay stuck in life. Such is the issue when it comes to choosing to be stretched past your mental comfort zones.
When you successfully past tests and achieve challenges, you move forward in life. You build your self esteem and build inner pride. All these things help you develop and mature into the person you really want to be.
When to say “no” to a challenge
In life there are two main types of risks; there are calculated risks and unnecessary risks. An unnecessary risk is one where you are asked to act recklessly in a manner that may wind up hurting you or others. But a calculated risk is one where you exert effort to achieve a goal knowing the chances are likely that some good will result because you decided to participate.
The time to say “no” to a challenge is during unnecessary risks. Often, an unnecessary risk is done to “prove” you are better than someone else, or, for self-serving gain. Unnecessary risks are usually just a bad idea because you often wind up being a loser as a result of being involved in it.
Do you find yourself feeling uncomfortably challenged with saying, NO? I have provided a link directly below with guidelines for helping you in this matter.
How to measure your progress on the journey
A simple and reliable way to measure your progress is to acknowledge the difference from when you first started to use skills to participate in it to where you currently are. For example, if you are golfing and noticing that you are struggling with putting, break down into simple steps exactly what is causing your putting to be poor. Write in a journal the individual steps you are taking to improve this skill. When you need less strokes in your game, you’ll know your methods are working. But, if you are still chalking up 6 or 7 strokes for one hole, it’s time to hire a coach or read a different book.
How you know when you have conquered the challenge
When you no longer feel stressed out and your performance has improved, you may see that you’ve conquered the challenge. However, sometimes, no matter how hard you work at something, your 10% improvement at that skill is all the better improvement you may ever attain. In a case like this, accept your limitations and remember there are so many other challenges in which to participate, it IS okay for you to be unable to be masterful at all things.
In this coming new year, set some realistic goals and challenges for yourself. Make them things you like to do but do not feel so overwhelmingly unable to do them that you want to never start doing them. An accountability partner can help you stick with your goals. This is a person who talks with you several times a week that helps you be accountable and really stick to your goals. You can be that other person’s accountability partner in return for this new year. It’s a great way to see that you CAN meet and exceed life challenges ahead.
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