Challenges… We all experience some sort of challenge in our daily life regardless of who we are, what we do, our age, ethnicity, sexual preferences or religious beliefs. Sometimes what we perceive to be a challenge actually turns into a myriad of challenges. Nonetheless, one challenge or one hundred challenges, the end result should be the same, to “Overcome”.
When you speak to people who are challenge ridden, they all say one thing; “any particular challenge can be overwhelming until I give it a name and I accepted its existence, then I just knew how to overcome it”.
Confronting a challenge… Sometimes when a challenge arises we don’t want to look at it straight in the face, for many reasons. One reason could be that we are in denial, another reason is that we might be seeing it as a direct threat to our health, economic or social wellbeing, so we tend to turn our backs on the situation in hopes that it will go away. Guess what, It doesn’t! There are even religious based challenges, and those really mess with our minds. Not that I believe that religion messes with our minds, but the challenges that sometimes arise from our religious beliefs can really do a number on us.
Whatever the challenge, whatever the cause, we need to confront it, and we have to name it. Caution, in naming it you are not validating the challenge, you are merely identifying the challenge and letting it known that you are there, ready, willing and able to overcome it.
Embracing the challenge… The next step is to embrace it, make it yours, take ownership of the challenge. By taking ownership you are taking responsibility for cause and effect, and by taking responsibility of cause and effect you are able to find ways, that you never know existed, to overcome anything that may come your way.
I consider myself to be one of those challenge ridden people. It seems that at every turn in my life some sort of a wall (challenge) is waiting to smack me in the face, whether I created it or not, I hit it head on. In my younger years I would rationalize the challenge as being unbeatable, I would get upset at the challenge, I would most likely walk away from the challenge, in essence I would do everything but confront it. In all sincerity I didn’t know how to deal with those monsters; well, in some cases I did. There were some challenges, the easy ones, the meaningless ones, that I would immediately eliminate, and feel proud of my accomplishment after doing so. Yet the serious ones, the ones that could affect my life for its entirety, that one, I didn’t have an inkling on how to handle; therefore, I would walk away in hopes that it would somehow resolve itself. Is it beginning to sound like someone you know? Maybe even you?
It wasn’t until late in my life that I realized that not only do un-confronted challenges not go away, they grow exponentially until reaching a point where desperation seems to be the only way out. Yet, even at the point of desperation a challenge can be Confronted, Embraced and Overcome. As I later found out.
So how is it that I have managed to come to this overtly wise conclusion? Was it self-induced wisdom, religious belief, or the many times that I felt trapped, with no way out? What was it that brought me to this understanding that I now enjoy and can share with you? I think that it was a little bit of everything, although I really believe that age helps a whole lot. Mind you, not that I am that old, but I do have a few years of experience under my belt.
Here is the big secret to finding a solution to all challenges, according to me… When a challenge arises, which in my case could be a daily event, some days it’s an hour by hour event, I analyze the challenge and I try to figure out its cause. I have now Confronted. Upon finding out its cause I name it; Procrastination, lack of research, lack of preparation, illness, etc., or maybe, Life Just Happens. By naming the challenge I have Embraced it, in layman’s terms, I have taken responsibility. Once step one and two are complete I am now able to find solutions that will make the challenge dissipate, go away, or whatever you would like to call it. I like to call it “Overcoming”.
Finally… Wow, that certainly sounds easy!!! I am sure that’s what you’re thinking. I wish I could say that the solution to any challenge is as easy as my three step concept, I can’t even say that there is a level of difficulty, because it all depends on the challenge and how you work yourself through all of the three steps. What I can say is, that once you have confronted and embraced the challenge, the road to overcoming the challenge begins to widen, possible solutions begin to pour in, and all that you have to do is pick the right one for your particular case or situation. I know, it has worked for me!
Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask someone for help, or ask for advice, the person you reached out to may be the key to helping you Overcome your challenge.
I hope that this small piece of 5&10 wisdom will help you on your next challenge… hey, wait, here comes another one.
(For those too young to remember what a 5&10 was, here is the solution to that challenge. A 5&10 was a store similar to a Walgreens or CVS, where it had most of everything you could think of, but included some very inexpensive clothing items, and a Soda Fountain. The name 5&10 meant that everything in the store cost either a nickel or a dime. Please don’t make me explain the term Soda Fountain, Google it)