I love good challenge! I think I have always been one to take one on and I have rarely thought of the bigger picture benefits.
A challenge always stretches you and teaches you about yourself. Whether you finish it or not. Because I am focused on resilience this month and I have also been doing a 10 day diet cleanse and movement challenge, a connection has become clear.Taking on challenges grows your resilience baseline by strengthening your mindset when faced with difficult challenges that come with everyday life. Your believe in yourself as a person who can do hard things expands with each challenge you do. Your depth of inner resources grows.
Every time you engage in a challenge you test your capabilities. You stretch yourself beyond where you previously were. You show yourself you are able to take on and accomplish more than you thought you could.
Maybe you set goals regularly. Think of challenges as the stretch goal. The goals we often set are things we already feel we can accomplish if we just apply ourselves. A challenge allows you to go deeper and really test your limits.
You will learn along the way no matter what. If you don’t finish a challenge, you have still likely gone beyond where you would have been had you not done it in the first place. If you take on a challenge that you don’t finish, make sure to stop and recognize your other wins.
Finishing the challenge is another thing- your brain gets messages: I can finish something, I finish what I start, I can do more than I thought I could, I am strong and a whole lot more.
Besides all of this- taking on a challenge is energizing, exciting and those feelings going on in your life will flow into all areas of your life, making it even easier to face those life challenges, the ones you don’t choose on purpose, with grace, power and clarity of mind.
There are so many challenges you can willingly take on. Some examples would be diet challenges, like the cleanse I just did removing certain foods from my body for 10 days. There are literally unlimited food related challenges you could choose to do.
The same with movement- things like the plank challenge, pushup challenge, walk everyday challenge or even running a marathon. Some movement challenges you could do are also attached to supporting charities, as well, make it is twice as sweet. My Nike Run Club app invites me to engage in challenges each month and gives me badges for reaching certain levels. I am all about the badges! Maybe you’ll climb a mountain.
I do a gratitude challenge each Thanksgiving as well as a yearly reading challenge which I use the Goodreads app to measure my progress along the way.
A challenge could be something you are afraid to do, learning something new like a language or a musical instrument, a new sport, ask for a raise or promotion.
Whatever you choose to do, whatever your results are, the real win is already yours just for doing it.
There is no comparing or judging your level of challenge against someone else’s. What might be a challenge for you may not be for someone else. I just throw that in as a reminder even though I know you know this!
The main thing- have FUN with this. You will learn a ton about yourself.
And feel free to make stuff up! My son just challenged me to see who can log the most miles on Nike Run Club before he leaves for school at the end of August. He set it up on the app and that’s what he named it. We are both competitive so we will have fun for the next several weeks doing this challenge. Just the ribbing and conversation it will bring between us will be the win for me.
Though make no mistake, I want to win!
Consistently take on challenges, and you do not have to think about what is happening to your level of resilience. The expanding will be happening, have no doubt. Being consistent is the key. Keep yourself challenged and growing. You’ll be happy to see your resilience kick in when you need it most.