“The force isn’t ‘with’ you. It’s ‘in’ you.”
Challenge is the protein that fuels our life journey. When we add challenge to our diet, we build resilience muscle. We detox fear. And we enhance our ability to metabolize change. Of course, digesting challenge requires effort on our part. Sure, it almost always means that we need to push ourselves out of the comforts of the safe, the typical, and the expected and into the dreaded ‘uncomfortable zone’. And at times, rising to the challenge means feeling run down, fed up, and stressed out. Yet, lurking within the threat of every challenge we face is an empowering realization: Something stronger, wiser, bolder, and better arises every time we make a conscious decision to face and embrace challenge.
Can you guess what ‘it’ is?
Yep. It’s you. It’s me. It’s each and every one of us who says yes to the scary, anxiety inducing, and emotionally paralyzing stuff that inspires the best version of ourselves.
Like an obnoxiously intrusive crasher of the party that we’re hosting in our comfort zone, we view challenge as an unanticipated event, an obstruction to our flow, and, well, yeah — an uninvited ‘guest’. In fact, we tend to view any unforeseen obstacle on our path as something that messes with our mojo. But here’s the truth about challenge: When we avoid it, we miss out on opportunities. We stall progress. We inhibit the natural order of things because challenge is a normal byproduct of a life well-lived. And we decline an open invitation to elevate ourselves to the next level and further unlock our potential. However, when we wrap our loving arms around challenge, we defy self-doubt. We decimate fear. And we begin to believe that we are the “I” in “possible”.
As a disruption to our status quo, challenge forces us to think. It forces us to feel. And sometimes, it forces us to take the fall. But when we do, we rise up. We stand tall…and we learn from it all. Hide…or seek? Flee…or fight? Avoid…or invite? When we view every challenge as a golden opportunity to come one step closer to the person we’re meant to be, it seems that the choice has already been made for us.
No doubt, your choice to accept the challenge is empowering. But your willingness to embrace challenge as a force of positive change is transformative. So, go ahead and flex your challenge ‘muscles’. When you do, you’ll give yourself a chance to passionately apply the talents and skills that are uniquely yours. You’ll stop allowing fear to dictate your next move; instead, you’ll let your heart decide. And you’ll come to the bold realization that the stuff that throws you is actually the stuff that grows you.
About the Author: Joshua GARRIN is one of Your Monthly Mentors. He holds a Ph.D. in health psychology, an M.S. in cognitive psychology, and a B.S. in general psychology and journalism. He currently resides in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Following the completion of his doctorate in 2014, Joshua was the recipient of Walden University’s Harold L. Hodgkinson Award for Outstanding Dissertation Research for his inquiry on health beliefs, outcome expectancies, and stress appraisal in college seniors. Read More…