Challenges. How to make them work for you.

Depending on how you look at challenges, they could in fact be an advantage to you. Perhaps not immediately as you are dealing with one or more of them, but eventually you will figure out a way to either live with, master or perhaps get beyond your single or list of challenges.

Since it is difficult to appreciate the level of difficulty someone else is having in their life related to a challenge they may be having, we potentially might assume our own challenges are unique. Perhaps more difficult than someone else’s. In both cases you may be right, but I guarantee you that another person has a far more serious one than you are experiencing.

Sure, hearing that others have far greater challenges than you do, doesn’t make you feel any better to hear this. It’s not intended to. What I do want you to think about is perspective. The type of perspective that you either will, or should have to help you to face whatever challenge you are experiencing.

Here’s another way to think about a challenge you are facing. Consider it to be either a puzzle or a mystery that needs to be solved. Thinking about your challenge from an entirely different perspective is going to be helpful in numerous ways. The first way is that it will help to unlock your mind from dwelling on and focusing perhaps on only the downsides to the challenge you are facing right now. Have you considered that there might actually be an upside to what you are contending with?  

When I personally started looking at my own challenges from a different perspective, it was an enormous epiphany for me. One that literally changed the trajectory and outcome towards one I wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish. For context, my challenge began when I was quite young, but it wasn’t properly recognized or addressed until multiple decades later. When my challenge was finally addressed, I found out that I was Dyslexic. Knowing this brought into perspective why all my years of educationally struggling made sense.

Finding out I was Dyslexic was also a huge gift, instead of being a burden. Why, because this determination allowed me to take a slightly different, yet enormously impactful educational path. The alternative path wasn’t to stop pursuing my college education, but to instead be able to take different courses in place of having to take a foreign language. By my college allowing me to instead focus on courses I could be set-up to be successful in, and exempted from having to take classes I would have severely struggled in, I was able to obtain my bachelor’s degree on time.

What was significant about the challenge I was facing prior to becoming exempt from having to take a foreign language, was that at the time this occurred, there was only one other person who had been granted a foreign language exemption. So, at that time, the challenge I faced was proving that I in fact had a learning disability. Sparing you from the details of accomplishing this, I became the first female in the university’s history to do so. So, in essence, with my own personal challenge of having a learning disability, and being able to pave the way for future students with disabilities to become exempt from having to take a foreign language to graduate, is one of my proudest early memories of overcoming a challenge.

Now, let’s have you think about a challenge you are facing. Or, perhaps helping someone with. Have you considered that getting past or overcoming it might in fact provide you with great pride? Perhaps a sense of accomplishment? Yes, I appreciate the concern you have that when you are in the middle of the challenge, it might feel overwhelming and beyond your comprehension of it being something you will have behind you. However, I also want you to consider the benefits of having to think through coming up with potential solutions to any challenge you face.

With few exceptions, there are usually multiple ways to overcome a challenge. Even some of the most difficult ones you may be currently facing. Or, will be in the future. Given this reality, below are some suggestions to help you consider overcoming your current or future challenges.

  • Most challenges have been faced by another person. Who do you know that has faced your challenge? If you know someone who has, ask them if you could talk to them about how they are handling, or have handled your similar challenge.
  • If you don’t know someone who has faced your challenge, ask someone close to you to help you find another person they know who has been in your situation, and then apply the advice from the bullet above.
  • Don’t limit your solutions to the conventional solution approaches. Yes, some of them will be helpful to consider, and you shouldn’t discount them, but don’t solely rely upon traditional challenge solutions.
  • Each of us was born with the ability to be imaginative. When we are faced with a challenge, perhaps multiple ones, this is an ideal time to apply your creative mind to come up with potential solutions. You might want to “warm-up” your mind to get your creative ideas flowing, but when you do, I promise you will be pleasantly surprised by the results of your ideas. Even better? Have someone you trust go through this process with you.
  • Be honest. Is the situation you are in due to circumstances you caused, or are they beyond your control? In either scenario, put the “pity party” and feeling sorry for yourself behind you. It won’t serve you well, and the sooner you get past feeling like you don’t have any solution options, the sooner you can begin thinking more clearly. When you can think more clearly, you will be able to come up with some solutions to the challenge you are facing.
  • As you are in the middle of sorting out your challenge, and eventually getting through it, you are learning extremely valuable approaches you will be able to apply to numerous other similar challenges you will inevitably be facing.

Although when you are in the midst of handling your challenges, and you are gaining valuable problem solving and coping skills, it will likely feel overwhelming. However, I can guarantee you this feeling and experience will serve you extraordinary well as a skillset to be able to count on for years to come. I can also promise you, that with each subsequent challenge you face, the next one will seem slightly less burdensome than the previous ones. In other words, challenges can be looked at as some of the best experience providers, considering the perspective of looking at them as purely learning opportunities.

TAGS: #Challenges #Overcomingchallenges #Leadership #Personaldevelopment #Business #Awareness #Selfawarenessb #Management #Dyslexic #Dyslexia #Dyslexicthinking

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