How to cope with challenges?

How to cope with challenges?

Practical, psychological and mindful perspective.

A challenge could be anything in your professional or personal life which surprises you on your way to progress with your tasks, goals and plans.

It creates a back-lock and becomes a difficulty that has to be dealt with. Such as task that was supposed to be easy-to-solve but is in fact taking too much time to be completed and you should already be doing something else, or failing to find an important document when you need it or loosing an important file you just completed but the internet goes down or your child erroneously deletes it and you can’t retrieve the work back, only start from the scratch. Or the delivery you’re awaiting that has numerous other activities tied to it but it’s been delayed for days and impacts all your other work. It can also be being ‘’this close’’ to closing a new deal but because of something unexpected and unforeseen (such as Covid), customer pulls back and you’re back at the beginning. The list could be endless.

What’s important to know is that you can’t foresee and avoid challenges to happen as they do. They won’t stop coming. But one thing you can surely do is to change your reaction towards them to create a different outcome. How? Continue reading.

1. Accept

There’s no other way to conquer a problem than to first acknowledge that there indeed is a problem. Why am I saying this? Because it comes quite naturally and instinctively to us humans to do just the very opposite as a reaction – rejection.

We reject what is happening to us because it is frustrating having to deal with issues and yes, therefore it’s perfectly natural to feel negative about it. However, rejecting the problem and our participation on it, putting ourselves to a victim ‘’Why me?’’ mode, doesn't make it go away. It again, naturally, starts a whole chain of reactions – blaming, anger, shaming. which only prevents us from accessing a solution.

Instead, if we take time, through deep breathing and moments of silence to acknowledge our situation, the inner state - our feelings first, without straight-away jumping to a reaction mode and conclusions, this enables us to clear out the heavy emotions (anger, frustration) and calm the ego that’d otherwise take the lead and get all over the place reacting without purpose. Accept that this is precisely where you are now, it's not great, you'd rather not be there, but accept.

2. Remember - ‘’Life is not linear, it’s organic’’

...and that is actually why these situations happen, to remind us about the duality of life. Even that experiencing easiness feels incomparably better, it’s not granted to us at all times and we need to accept it. For our life to be worth-while, we all need an equal amount of easy and difficult aspects, that’s what keeps us alive, drives us, shapes us and makes us grow. We all know what would happen if it was a straight line.

Also, everything that happens to us, good and the bad, happens for a reason. We often forget that accepting the difficult is equally important as accepting the good. When we face the easy heart-warming aspects, we’re all thrilled and don’t want it to end. However, it has to end to be renewed again. We’ve not trained our minds to approach challenges the same way - by appreciating them as well. The fact is, there’s diamonds-worth learning and our potential hidden in the difficulties (personal or professional) we face. Essentially, if we don’t allow ourselves to be challenged, we miss knowing our potential, the unique, strong, courageous and talented parts of us that only manifest through them.

Learning to appreciate all experiences we are given, the easy as well as the difficult, by losing our judgment towards them and our ego-preoccupation with reacting, we suddenly become more balanced, aligned, settled, productive and successful in our lives.

3. Action

When acceptance and our understanding of the purpose for the challenge is established, we’re ready to look the challenge in the eye. Most the time with the smile on our face and warming inner peace. And that’s an ideal position to access solutions from.

See it as a neutral rather than a negative experience. Imagine that this is just a game of finding a diamond in a rye. So, there’s surely a diamond somewhere in this experience and all you have to do is it go through it, carefully and properly, without resistance, and find it.

Allow yourself to get excited by what you’re going to gain by going through this. It’s a journey, a learning process. Approach it from this perspective. Anticipate that something great is eventually coming out of this. Because, it is. Smile at it. You’ll gain a lot. It will transform you.

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