Now that we’re finally near the end of 2020, a few questions have drifted into my mind and stuck there: Is this a time to regret what you’ve experienced and the career opportunities you might have lost? Or should you regroup and somehow carve out a better future? In other words, will you grow through challenges or just surrender and let them steamroller you?
I’m not pretending these questions are easy. They’re not. I also won’t tell you I have all the answers. I don’t. On the other hand, I plan to keep looking for answers because I could use some myself!
First, do you actually believe they help you grow? If not, you won’t find this post useful. Regardless of the size of the challenges you have faced this year–and may face in the coming months–growth opportunities exist. Sometimes that means you must make a choice. How will you respond to those challenges?
Whether you like it or not, challenges WILL come. The whole year of 2020 has proved that beyond question! What’s more, you don’t necessarily get to refuse any of them. If you don’t handle them–and wisely–they will handle you.
Second, you can focus on the challenges that have or could have the greatest impact on your personal life, career success, relationships, and more. Some challenges might represent less negative impact, and you could try letting them slide a while. However, taking on challenges can promote your growth and increase your sense of self-worth. So don’t postpone dealing with them unless you need to.
An article in Fast Company offers some worthwhile suggestions on how to grow through challenges. It’s titled, “Why Challenges and Problems are Important in Life.” The following is just a part of the author’s thoughtful advice:
“Challenges and problems are important parts of life that give you experiences, make you learn and help you to become wiser and stronger. Problems make us grow and shape us. The biggest problem people have is that they hope for a life without problems. This is an impossible goal, and would lead to a boring life without character. We will all have problems – small or large – the difference is how we deal with the problems and challenges that occur.
“So don’t run away from the problems and challenges you are facing in life. Don’t ignore them or try to hide from them. Face them. Deal with them. The greatest growth in life and the most important lessons you will learn will come when you face and deal with a serious challenge or problem. Regardless of the result, value the experience and personal growth.”
If you have a lot of challenges hitting you each day, you’ll probably decide prioritizing is key. A few years ago, when I faced the challenge of moving myself, my adult son (who doesn’t drive), and two dogs across the country, I made a list of the essential tasks and those I could postpone. The must-do list was long! What’s more, I needed to accomplish my goal in as few days as possible. I didn’t have the luxury of putting off very much. The trip didn’t go without a hitch, but we did complete it in 8 days, which was my original target.
Corny as it might sound, I tried to view every challenge as an opportunity to move forward. I also believe in a higher power, and I did my best to lean on Him every day. Whatever your method of choice, the best time to start is now!