Have you ever noticed how often the challenges we face also contains a blessing in disguise? If not, perhaps you haven’t been looking closely enough! Granted, life’s challenges usually seem like inconveniences when they interrupt our schedules, or get in the way of something we want to do. Isn’t that part of the reason we call them challenges?
When we’re working toward an important goal, the last thing we want is to face big, unexpected challenges or obstacles. When that happens, it usually means a major delay, added learning curve, greater expense, or some other unplanned complication. When we are focused on results it is hard to appreciate the detours caused by new challenges.
Everything changes when we learn to see life’s challenges in a whole new light. What if we could learn to see them as highly beneficial experiences, adventures in learning, or even as a blessing in disguise? Wouldn’t that be a welcome shift in perception?
The truth is, with the right mental attitude we can completely reframe the way we experience challenges. And asking the right questions is one of the most effective ways to do that. With a little practice we can come to view challenges as some of our most valuable life experiences.
5 questions you can ask yourself when facing challenges
- What can I learn from this? Too often we view a challenges as irritating annoyance, when in fact it may hold a great opportunity to learn and grow! If we start by asking ourselves, “what can I learn from this experience?” it immediately puts a more positive spin on the situation. It allows us to discover something worth appreciating about our experience. It makes it possible to recognize true value that might have gone unnoticed, and to see opportunity and possibility instead of inconvenience and annoyance.
- How can this strengthen me? One major reason why a challenge might intimidate us is because we don’t feel capable of handling it. We may have a limited perception of our own abilities, so we automatically believe that the challenge is bigger than we are. If we learn to see each challenge as an opportunity to become stronger and more capable, everything changes. We can use challenging situations to unlock our untapped strengths and abilities. Each time we do this it will increase our confidence until we begin to see most challenges as opportunities to harness our personal power to an even greater degree.
- How can I use this to my advantage? More often than not, we tend to view a challenge as a disadvantage – but is that necessarily true? When something gets in our way, what do we do? Don’t we start searching for a different strategy to accomplish our goal? The challenge may prove to be a blessing if it helps us discover a better way to do something. Thanks to the challenge, we may be able to replace a flawed strategy with one that works much better. Asking “how can I use this challenge to my advantage” opens our mind to alternatives that we never would have considered otherwise.
- How can I use this to help others? Even though we might believe that our goals only affect us personally, that is rarely the case. What we do, how we think and feel, and our course of action has an impact on the people around us. Not only do other people watch the things we do and how we live our life – they often model their own behavior after ours. If you refuse to let challenges intimidate you or slow you down, you just might inspire and motivate others to do the same when they face obstacles of their own. Anytime you experience personal growth, you help the people around you in some way.
- What would make this a worthwhile experience? Sometimes, just being willing to recognize that a challenge may not be such a bad thing can be enough to help you realize all kinds of wonderful benefits from it. This question does a couple of things: first, it helps you feel more empowered because it affirms that you always have a choice in how you react to any situation. Second, it reminds you that everychallenge holds the seeds for unlimited blessings and opportunities.
How you see them is up to you!
Challenging circumstances are part of life, that’s not going to change. However, that doesn’t mean that you are a victim of circumstances. Your attitude and perception are something that you create. They are not dictated by your circumstances. You always have a choice! So, the real question here is this, will you choose to look for a blessing in every challenge?