A health crisis. A marriage breakdown. A death of a close friend. A workplace crisis. A global pandemic. Life is no doubt full of life challenges. Challenges that are unexpected and hard to overcome.
Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them makes life meaningful.
It’s inevitable that you will experience adversity and challenges at some point in your life. They are not suppose to be paralysing to the point you can’t see beyond them. But they’re suppose to challenge you to help you discover who you are and let you grow as a person. They are an opportunity to be successful if approached with the right mindset.
If you ask any of your friends or family what are some challenges they are experiencing. People tend to be hesitant to respond as they don’t like to admit they are facing a roadblock in life. However, in reality we all need challenges. We need them to grow, to become resilient, to develop qualities and skills and to gain experience in areas of life otherwise we will never achieve progress in anything. When facing a challenge it can be hard to believe that in that moment, the pain and suffering you are experiencing can actually be of benefit to yourself. Later this month, there will be blog posts exploring the powerful role of challenges, the mindset needed to approach a challenge to be successful and what to do when facing overwhelming challenges.
To begin this month’s battle with challenges, here are some critical tips to remember when facing life challenges:
- Put on your ‘reality glasses’. According to Dr Stephen Williams. This is achieved by stopping and asking yourself these questions:
- Am I viewing this as it actually is?
- How big is this issue?
- Have I blown this out of proportion?
- Calm Yourself: During adversity and stressful times, we sometimes become overwhelmed and go into panic mode. Dr Stephen Williams, an organisational psychologist from the UK, has developed the ‘traffic light coping’ exercise to calm yourself when you are feeling stressed. When you begin to feel anxious and you start seeing ‘red’ on the traffic light, stop and relax. Breathe deeply. Calm your mind and visualise ‘green’.
- Start with a single, small step: When faced with a challenge, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps and focus on one step at a time.
- Take care of yourself: Prioritise yourself. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and have time for self-care.
- Acknowledge that you choose how you react and respond: You may not have control over what happens to yourself, but you do have control over how you react. You have the opportunity to reach out to others for support but in the end you will need to develop skills to confront the challenge.
- Let go of your anger and frustration: Feelings of anger will block you from moving forward and taking the first step to addressing the challenge. Let go of your negative feelings by writing them down somewhere then reflecting upon them.
This week, we encourage you to reflect on your past challenges. What was the most significant challenge you were faced? How did you approach it? What did you learn from it? Don’t ignore them or avoid them, face them and deal with them.
International Women’s Day #ChooseToChallenge
Furthermore, this month’s theme aligns with International Women’s Day on the 8th of March. #ChooseToChallenge is the 2021 theme. It expresses that a challenged world is an alert world, where change is born out of challenges. As individuals, we have the choice to challenge others, to challenge biases or to challenge inequalities. This campaign is encouraging all to choose to challenge this March. To be apart of the campaign, show your support by striking the #ChooseToChallenge pose and submit your pledge image.