How to change Challenges into Opportunity for Growth
Is your life a little like mine, a bit of an emotional roller coaster?
Life gives us it’s earthquakes and its sunny days, and we don’t have a lot of control over the process. All I have is how I can bring myself to these challenging times, the habits I have put in place to support me and the people I surround myself with, and the support I can find in difficult places.
I’ve had times in my life which were terribly dark. When I just couldn’t seem to put a step right or make any forward moment to help myself. They were often unpredictable and came after periods of great growth, adventure and excitement. Or they came on the heels of a difficult event, illness, death, failure.
Sometimes the darkness and chaos has been overwhelming and paralysing, tragic things have happened and I have been left to deal with the consequences and move forward as best I can.
During these times I tend to isolate and implode, energy is sucked out of me and the world appears dark, unfriendly and troublesome. It is hard to see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel and depression can easily set in, or not, depending on how I choose to react.
So how can you and I turn these challenges into opportunity for growth, so that we can move forward, become bigger vessels with wisdom and equanimity?
How can you go from hating our spouse who left, to understanding the growth that is being asked of you to embrace freedom, live differently and rise up?
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.”-Pema Chodron
It’s about getting comfortable being uncomfortable. And supporting yourself to rise to the challenge.
Who knows what dormant skills and capacities you have, just waiting to be called into service.
One thing is for sure, nothing magic happens in your comfort zone.
It’s been a slow process for me, but I’ve started to think of it as the place between what was and what will be, instead of a falling apart.
Now dark times are the time just before things come together in a new way.
Just as with decluttering your house, psychologically things need to fall apart so that we can move on and become the next version of ourselves. Deeper, wiser, calmer and more connected to what truly matters in life.
It never stops.
The real challenge is to create room in yourself for the feelings that arise, the misery, grief, anger or joy. This way they can change you in ways you never predicted.
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” Shakespeare
What are your beliefs about the situation you find yourself in?
Do you torment yourself with beliefs about why things are working out a certain way? This is what the buddhists call throwing further arrows of suffering.
See, the first arrow is what happens, the other arrows we throw ourselves by creating meaning from the situation such as, ‘Bad things happen to bad people’ or ‘things never work out for me’.
The situation just is. When I can accept that without my layers of meaning making I stop needlessly suffering.
So what is the overall point of all this rising to challenge and finding the good in the challenges I face?
Maslow coined the term self actualisation for the very top of his hierarchy of needs. It corresponds with Erickson’s final stage of development which is either ego integrity or despair.
It is about becoming the best version of yourself in your own unique way. Fulfilling your own unique potential. Who doesn’t want that!?
It involves experiencing creative growth, finding meaning in life, self acceptance, problem solving, autonomy, living in the moment instead of the present or past, with an ability to appreciate the generous present moment.
I think it’s a worthwhile goal, don’t you?
If you would like to work with me to change challenge into growth, send me an email below.
I love supporting you towards you full, beautiful potential.