Many beliefs I had in the past about life challenges convey the difficulty, discomfort or fear behind the struggle of embracing them. What if we could find enjoyment in challenges?
How would this change our perception on our approach of situations that require our problem solving or focused attention to navigate through?
In the past few years I have decided to adopt various methods that help me find enjoyment in challenges. I would like to share some in hopes they may help others find enjoyment in challenges as well.
Some methods to find enjoyment in challenges
The most used method of mine is re-framing. This is a broad statement as there are many different ways to re-frame a challenge.
Rational thinking may guide us towards weighing our options of a particular situation or creating a positive/negative outcome list.
- Focusing on what we can do instead of what we can’t is often an ideal place to start.
This has helped me change my perspective on many things in my life and even things I never realized that I was capable of. Why? Because I was focusing on things that were either out of my control or placing my focused energy on the things I couldn’t do at that time. What if I chose to focus my energy on the things that I could control or the things that I could do at that time? It would have made the process of solving my challenge more enjoyable most likely.
- View the experience as something that will eventually lead to an outcome that will get me through this challenge.
It may mean encountering another challenge, but progress is measured in the steps we take, no matter what direction or size.
- Breaking something down into smaller steps or pieces.
Breaking something down into smaller steps may not only reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed, but also more than likely will allow us to create momentum.
- Learning to ask great questions.
This is a method I enjoy using often. It helps to infuse creativity into the challenges I face and create better choices for the solutions I am seeking. Recently I was facing a decision to pursue a path of becoming a health coach. I needed to decide what course and from where I wanted to take it. Asking great questions helped me narrow down my decision and give me confidence in my choice. My inner dialogue looked like this:
“Do I want to enroll in the cheapest course? Not necessarily. Why? I want to enroll in a course that gives me the best value and opportunity to be a great health coach. What options are out there that seem reputable? What are others saying about them? How long are the courses to complete? What is involved? How do I become a certified health coach? Why do I want to become a health coach? What makes each learning institution different from each other? What are the curriculum details? When does the course start? What opportunities do I have as a health coach? …and the questions keep formulating until I have confidence in my choice and decision to move forward. Asking great questions can be applied to most situations to produce a choice in direction to proceed.
- Change the label of how we think of “challenge.”
Instead of thinking of a challenge as an obstacle, why not label it as “opportunity?” The word challenge tends to create a negative connotation which may create resistance. By changing how we label it, it then becomes instantly more welcoming and we are accepting of it.
- Having gratitude.
With gratitude there seems to be more calmness to how we approach our “challenges.” We can be thankful that we have them. Gratitude comes from the simplest of things in our life. Having gratitude brings an abundant appreciation that the challenge we are facing is a blessing because it is an opportunity. We have the opportunity to embrace it.
- Expect the learning opportunities in our challenges.
This transforms it into something positive. It helps us to extract lessons and wisdom gained from the experience. We can then be more aware of the flow within the challenges.
- Own it.
Accept and embrace accountability of it. This makes it easier to focus on the task at hand as opposed to avoiding or creating fear because of the circumstance that is presented before us.
- Refrain from viewing the challenge from a success/failure point of view.
Accept that something will be learned from the experience and it is a simply a step in our journey. Whatever the outcome, it will be a result we can gain wisdom, knowledge and insight from moving forward.
- Become more comfortable with the uncomfortable.
This may help to reduce the hesitation and help to immerse ourselves into the opportunities that a challenge presents. Continually trying new things or allowing for the possibility of new challenges in our life.
- Create an atmosphere for enjoyment.
Create the conditions of enjoyment that can be had in situations of difficulty. We can do this by utilizing our talents/strengths to maneuver in those situations in our own way. This will give us the opportunity to solve challenges in our own creative way.
- Mindful of our language.
Being mindful of our negative terminology. Including how we talk about ourselves and to others. This can affect how we are connecting with others by having better dialogue and eliminating assumptions/generalizations. ie. everyone, they, “should”……
Having others who are willing to support you, inspire you during the moments that require us to broaden our reach from our everyday normality. I have noticed that this really adds an enjoyment factor in the opportunistic hurdles faced along the personal journey.
It feels refreshing to reflect on the many methods of how to find enjoyment in challenges. The overall task does not feel as daunting or obstruct a barrier to view up close.
The perspective to which a challenge is viewed is dependent upon the way it is perceived by the embraced optic method” – Kristin Larsen