Plug in ‘challenge’ into a search engine and you’ll get challenge/obstacle porn like the image above.
Motivational quotes/posters to step up to the challenge. Face the obstacle. Grow through adversity.
“No pain, no gain”, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and all that.
It’s true. Challenges are a catalyst for growth.
Everyone nods their heads when they read this stuff. Might get motivated for a bit. Might even be tempted to glorify challenges/obstacles.
Until you actually face what doesn’t kill you.
Until you actually face something with one or more of emotional/material/mental pain, hardship, struggle, uncertainty.
“This is good for me”. Said no one ever at a time like this.
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
— Mike Tyson
Pain, struggle, hardship is never fun. No one wants to get punched in the face (metaphorically or literally).
But when you do, consider it an invitation.
An invitation to face something you’d rather not. Something you’ve probably tried to avoid.
Something you cannot avoid any longer. Because it’s now in your physical reality.
A difficult situation. A difficult relationship. Personal and/or professional.
No matter the who/what/why, it is an invitation. To face something in you. Yes, you.
This is difficult to accept. The reptilian fight or flight response is to lay blame elsewhere.
But to truly overcome the challenge, to truly grow from it, you have to get to the root cause.
You. Your emotions. Your beliefs.
If you face yourself, if you lean into the pain/struggle, if you feel your emotions, they will tell you a story. About a repeating (dysfunctional) behavioural pattern. Or a limiting belief, an insecurity, a fear, unhealed trauma, pain or baggage from the past.
This is not easy by any means. You can do this on your own or via professional help/guidance.
I’ve faced a challenge the past couple weeks.
I felt betrayed. I was hurt. I was angry. I was tempted to react.
Instead, I accepted the invitation. I faced myself.
Out poured a flood of emotions. A cocktail of guilt, pain, anger and fear. Revealing with it a set of self-limiting beliefs around my personal power, self-worth and self-esteem.
As the cocktail raced through my veins, the size of the obstacle and its power shrank. It taught me a little about me, and helped me shed parts of me that weren’t really me (just conditioned behaviours and beliefs from old fears and pain).
Now I know it’s going to be okay. I know this is already resolved. And I know I’ll know how and when to act, if needed.
If you intend to grow, if you intend to break old patterns, if you intend to break past old limits, you will be challenged.
Not because you don’t deserve growth and success.
But because you have to surface and face all the gunk (old beliefs, etc.) inside you that are keeping you from this growth and success.
This is the Universe’s way. It will demand this sacrifice. An invitation to shed the baggage.
Ultimately, you are lock and key.
Walk through that door.
Have a wonderful weekend,