No matter what anyone says, a challenge pushes and motivates people to be better. If you’re told you can’t do something, the majority of people will say “We’ll see about that!”
I believe that humans have an innate desire to prove to people that they are capable. Capable at what? Capable at whatever is relevant. If something seems difficult we want to try and accomplish the task and get past the difficulty. Why is that?
Think about it – every aspect of life in which humans are rewarded with something that makes them feel good or happy requires work of some kind. You want to buy a beer at the end of the day? You have to use money that you have left over after your bills that you earned. It took some sweat to earn all the money you have so you can buy that beer.
What about relationships? You want a fulfilling relationship with someone that you can trust and count on for the rest of your life? That definitely takes work. It is a 2 way street. So how do challenges actually help us to become better individuals? How do they make us more valuable in the marketplace?
Challenges help an individual grow and stretch their skills. Plain and simple. If you’re scared of something, challenge yourself to do what it is you’re scared of, and the next time won’t be so scary. Guess what? You just personally grew! Uncomfortable? The challenge here is to practice it until you are comfortable.
So how exactly can we make sure that we are constantly challenging ourselves?
#1 LOOK FOR A CHALLENGE:
This is one, that in my humble opinion, I excel at. I am always looking for something that I can dive into even if I know nothing about it because no matter how frustrating the process, in the end I will know what to do the next time.
It’s about getting out of your comfort zone. It’s about not caring about what others think about you trying. It’s about being okay with being reprimanded for ‘just trying.’ In your profession, in your relationships, in all areas of life; look for opportunities to attack a challenge.
This one is crucial. Not only to your physical health, but also to your mental health. Look, not everyone likes to work out, I get it. If you are wanting to commit yourself to developing who you are to your greatest potential, you’re going to need to learn how to exercise in one way or another.
Exercise is incredibly important to our mental health because it has a massive effect on our resiliency. Working out builds the habit of perseverance, determination, and improving – literally you can see physical improvements pretty quickly.
There’s different types of workouts you can tailor to your preference and experience, but what matters here is that you challenge yourself. Every time you break a barrier with one more lap, one more rep, one more squat, you are completing a challenge you had put on yourself and succeeding. The next time, that rep that was once so hard to complete will get easier and easier.
Subconsciously, all of these physical challenges will carry over into your professional life and personal life. Your ability to persevere in challenges, look for new challenges, and succeed in new challenges will skyrocket.
#3 NEVER SETTLE
There is a difference between being content and settling in life. I think it is pretty important to touch on this and how it is relevant to challenging yourself. The way I see it, being content is being happy throughout the process. Being content does not mean that we are not going to try and improve our situations, it just means that we can still be happy with where we’re at.
I believe happiness is a choice. You’re not going to be happy ONCE you attain something. Being content means that you are okay with where you’re currently at because you know that everything is a process – ALL OF LIFE IS A PROCESS.
Now, the real enemy is settling. This is where you believe that you can’t do anything about your situation so there you think there is no use in trying. Or you just don’t want to try because of the identity you’ve placed on yourself – this goes back to attitude and self-talk.
Settling is inhuman. Our world is what it is today because we as society’s refused to settle. We wanted bigger, better, and more enjoyment in our world – and look how far we’ve come. This sort of thinking reigns true in each of our individual personal and professional lives.
Not settling means never saying no to a challenge that is relevant to you. Make the decision to never settle, to challenge yourself, and to always learn and grow in every way possible.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy