We all know that in order to grow, we need to do things we haven’t done before, or that we’re not entirely comfortable with. But when does a challenge become a problem? And what’s the difference between the two?
Often when we’re faced with a challenge, we see it as a barrier or a problem which is going to stop us moving forwards. If we’re setting out to achieve a goal, then we’ve usually planned our route and have an idea of where we want to be to, and how we’re going to get there.
But things are rarely that straightforward. Life happens, and other things get in the way. We might need to make a detour, or rethink our plans.
This much is fairly inevitable. Think about some of the biggest achievements that you’ve experienced. Would to say it was an easy and effortless journey? Or did you need to make some adjustments?
And when you think about that achievement, would it have still felt as special if you hadn’t been tested, or overcome things that you encountered on the way? I’m guessing not.
And if you have had an experience like this, then it may well have changed your opinion about how you feel about challenges. Because the more challenges we experience and overcome, the more confident we feel about starting new things.
And we are far more likely to appreciate those things we had to work for, than those which didn’t take as much effort.
But what about problems? A problem is also something that can cause a barrier or blockage in our progress. But the real difference between a challenge and a problem is our mindset towards it.
Often when we’re faced with something we perceive to be a problem, we become far more despondent about it. A problem can involve situations or issues which are outside of our control, as opposed to a challenge which might be calling on us to stretch our own abilities.
Or perhaps we have become so rigid in our thinking that we struggle to see a way around the problem, because we’re lacking in the creativity we need to change course.
When we are active participants in our self development, then challenges are vital in providing us with opportunities to develop new skills and build our inner strength. It also helps us to be a more open thinker, and helps us to consider the various routes to meeting an outcome, rather than focusing on one sole possibility.
If you find that you get easily put off when things don’t go to plan, or you find it difficult to see how you can overcome issues, then taking some steps introduce challenges into your life can help you to work on growing your confidence.
The more we seek to actively welcome challenges, the more used to them we become. And we become more aware of our limitations and our potential.
Be willing to take that first step and embrace challenge, and you’ll gain far more than you could by staying where you are.
Photo credit: Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash