From the moment we are born, life starts to present us with what we perceive as challenges. We perceive them as such because humans at their core, like for things to remain at the status quo. It is wired into our DNA, from the moment we are born. We like things to stay as they are, in order to maintain a certain comfort level. However, we live in a world – whether by our own design, or that of a higher power, is designed to propel us forward, prodding, pushing and pulling us into new experiences. Those experiences sometimes present themselves as unwanted, painful situations that seem to be forcing us to adapt to a new way of being. Here is what I learned through many challenges and how you can use them as opportunities to thrive.
1. Change how you view the word “challenge”. What I mean by this is that we are programmed to think of the word challenge as a negative, versus one that we need to embrace. A challenge is a chance to push yourself beyond where you are today. It is an opportunity to evolve. The evolution is the tricky part, because we humans love comfort, but comfort doesn’t allow for transformation into your best self.
2. Consider that it might do your higher self some good. Consider the fact that your higher self wants this to better you. If left to our own devices, we wouldn’t push ourselves. Our spiritual selves know that on a higher level, we can do better, and our higher self wants to get us there. Do you ever regret it when you’ve grown to the next best level of yourself? I’m sure that the answer is “no”. So, remind yourself that this is all good!
3. Imagine what you might lose if you stay here. No one ever regretted being stagnant. By staying stuck, you’re losing out on amazing things that could be part of your future. When I went through breast cancer, I was terrified. I was hurt when some people I loved didn’t show up for me in the way I expected. But, the person I became and the way my life evolved was more amazing than I could have imagined. My soul knew what I needed and life had to push me there.
4. Consider the alternative. The alternative to change and avoiding challenges is not cool. Think back to the person you were five or ten years ago. While you might have love and compassion for your younger self, would you really want to hold some of the beliefs you held at that time or behave the way you did? Think about what exists in your world now, and what you didn’t think was possible then? Look at the gems of wisdom, and the roses that have blossomed during the time when your life seemed filled with thorns. When you’re struggling, close your eyes and try to imagine your future and how amazing it will be when you get there, while at the same time, being present with whatever challenge you’re dealing with now.
5. Embrace the means as much as the end. It occurred to me that everyone likes the word “warrior”, but a warrior’s path is not smooth. To become a brave and victorious individual, you must embrace not just the accolades, but the “opportunities” and struggle that got you there. At the end of the day; however, realize that there is not “end”. We are always on a journey, in human form in this life, and even as we transition to the next, so instead of putting your attention on the finish line, embrace your turmoil as your teacher.