Tempered for challenges!

It has been a while since I posted a message on this blog and I sincerely apologise for the break. I encountered challenges and had to focus on other matters. An interesting thing I realised is that every challenge however ominous  has an expiry date. Upon expiry of the challenge; you will either emerge stronger and better or weaker and worse for wear. The choice is yours! This got me thinking about challenges in a different light.

Life is delightful, exciting, beautiful but fraught with challenges. The question is not whether one would undergo challenges but when.  A wise individual will therefore seek out how best to prepare for challenges. There are several ways to prepare but I would like to share two things that have helped me through my challenges and could help you prepare for challenges. They are; perspective and attitude.

Perspective is described as a way of regarding situations or facts and judging their particular importance; a proper accurate point of view or the ability to see things objectively. The key word here is objectivity!

Attitude can be described as manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation. In other words, the way a person tends to behave towards a thing. Would you agree therefore that your perspective towards a challenge could inform your behaviour or attitude towards the challenge.

 Having the right perspective on a challenge can help you approach the challenge with a different mind-set and the right attitude. I recall my experience during the weeks of challenges that I faced.  It was a very busy time of the year for me at work and I also had personal matters that concurrently demanded my attention. I felt pulled in several directions and expected the people in the various aspects of my life to understand my feelings and pressure. I was fortunate to have the foreknowledge  of some of the upcoming challenges e.g. my heavier than usual workload from the previous year  but not everything.  This helped to inform my decision to manage the situation differently and I was determined to emerge stronger and better. I must say that did not happen automatically; it required a re-orientation of my perspective on the matter and this helped me approach the challenge with the right attitude and avoid resentment. I had to remember that my life will continue at the expiration of the challenge and so would  present relationships/resources in my life. How often have we shut people out or reacted impulsively to challenges without an objective view of the challenge. We sometimes allow the circumstance and situation dictate our mood and reaction rather than the other way round. In my case, I chose to see the challenge as a stretch of my current capacity and an opportunity to increase in capacity. I saw the people around me as helpers rather than obstructors. I must confess that it was not always easy and one of the things that helped was a daily reminder of my conscious decision of objectivity . I can tell you that the results were worth the effort. My relationships waxed stronger and my resilience to tough situations increased. I was able to deal with difficult circumstances better.

I challenge you to consciously make objective evaluations when reacting to circumstances and challenges that you are faced with.  A practical suggestion would be to spend some time thinking about the different reactions that you could give and the likely outcomes of each one before reacting. This is a skill that can be developed through constant practice.  Your ability to overcome challenges is not the test of maturity, it is your ability to control your emotions and manage relationships to the best of balance through challenging situations.

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