Even the most contented of people will still seek out a challenge or two…it’s human nature. It keeps the adrenalin going that a challenge creates. Sometimes it’s difficult to see what a challenge is though because what is very challenging to one person is a walk in the park to another! Does that make it any less of a challenge? No. A challenge is unique to the person who seeks it, to their set of desires, dreams, and aspirations.
The key here is not what constitutes a challenge but to know how far to stretch yourself so it remains a challenge and not a chore, something to fear or unsatisfying. Unfortunately, there is no quick cheat sheet on this point; you learn from trial and error. However, there is a significant point between comfortable and overstretched…and that is the zone you want to be in.
Feeling so overwhelmed that you can’t think straight? You are too overstretched. Acknowledge this and re-assess things so that you feel more aligned with your desired intention.
Feel the challenges are easy and quick to achieve? Well, you need to be a little bit honest with yourself and stretch a little more out of your comfort zone. You clearly have the desire to meet challenges…so push the boat out!
Sometimes challenges present themselves with you not seeking it at all. These can be hard and overwhelming because there is a feeling that you were not a part of that decision-making process so it’s out of your control. Whilst there is validity in this, it is important that you change the dynamics so that you do feel more in control of it. Embrace it.
What can you do to own this? You didn’t ask for the challenge but here it is anyway?
Consider seeing if you can break it down to smaller pieces. You don't consume a whole pizza in one go, do you? You cut it down into pieces but before you know it you’ve polished the whole lot off - challenge completed! It isn't exactly the kind of challenge accomplished idea I’m talking about but I’m sure you catch my drift. Another way of gaining control is to try to understand where this challenge has come from. If someone else has placed this challenge on you and you are in a position to speak with them about it, then ask them why they put this challenge to you. To be able to understand their perspective can help you evaluate how much of a stretch it really is and therefore the opportunity to achieve it.
Does all of this feel or seem that little bit too far out of reach for you to grab and work with it? Then Coaching can help you with that little step up, reaching out, or quite frankly taking another pathway to get to the point where you do feel like you can reach and embrace what is needed for you to work through the challenges – and you will have achieved it. A great Coach merely assists…but it is you that will have made it happen.
What is very important is that if you are feeling very overwhelmed no matter what the challenge, don’t let it just sit there. Reach out, talk to family, friends, and professionals. A challenge should never only be a one person’s thing. Make sure you let others in, even if it’s only for them to lend you an ear…
...that has immense power within itself.