There are many obstacles in life that can challenge you on a daily basis.
This article describes a method that you can use to overcome any challenge, no matter how big or small. By planning and taking action you could improve your life dramatically, becoming happier and more successful.
Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition - such as lifting weights - we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.
- Stephen Covey
Every person goes through many challenges throughout their life.
These challenges come in many forms. It could be anything from financial challenges, relationship breakdown, losing your job or the death of a friend or family member.
Here we'll walk you through the various steps necessary so that you can cope with and overcome any challenge that crosses your path.
The first step is to face your fear.
Every challenge that we encounter provides us with an opportunity to face, within that challenge, something we fear.
During my divorce, one of the biggest fears I found within myself was that I didn't want to be alone. It took me a couple of years to figure out how to function on a high level on my own. This was okay. Now that I have done a lot of personal development, when I face a challenge I automatically figure out why that challenge has come into my life.
By focusing first on the fear, overcoming that fear and turning it into love of the opportunity, I built within myself a very rapid way of beginning the process of overcoming that challenge.
A unique step in my program is that you turn fear into love. Learn that it is first okay to fear. Second, take that fear and make it into a love so you can face that fear as an opportunity.
Once you have accomplished this the next step is simply to get excited.
I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
- Rosa Parks
If you really want to get excited, find why you want to overcome your challenge.
'Why' is one of the biggest questions that will help bring you through the obstacles on the way to defeating your challenge.
One exercise you can use to find your 'why' is to first ask why you want to overcome this challenge. After you have answered that ask yourself why again. Why do you want that answer in your life? Do this a number of times to get to the core reason you want to overcome the challenge. If you want an instant sense of gratification, get on YouTube and look up a motivational video. There are thousands to choose from and they will get you excited right away to give you time to find your why so that you can make it to the next level of defeating the challenge.
Now you will want to plan what to do next. Planning should be written out. I prefer to use a pen and paper because I believe that when you write, and not just type, your plan affects your internal mechanisms more deeply.
Write down your why. Then write down resources you can use to help you through this obstacle.
Some resources you may consider are groups like MeetUp or any other meeting website that will allow you to find groups around your area. When you find a group, sign up immediately. This will give you an instant sense of action and it can go into your plan and schedule.
After you have made a plan it becomes an outline of the steps you will take to overcome that challenge. Make it part of your life plan. I call this building your life map. When a pirate has a map with an X on it, he knows exactly where he's going. A pirate will follow their map with such an obsessive attitude that they refuse to let anything get in their way - you should do the same with your life map.
Do not let storms or anyone tell you that you cannot do something in your life that you want to accomplish. This is what dreams are made of. Although it may be a cliche it really is true that you can achieve whatever you want in life if you put your mind to it. Positive thinking and self-motivation are key skills here.
Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.
- Winston Churchill
The last few steps here are key.
The first part of finalizing your plan is to take action.
Setting up a meeting with a group was one small action. Take it to the next level. Make five calls that will improve your chances of overcoming your challenge. If it is relationship-based, call the person with whom you want to build a relationship, perhaps a loved one or a family member.
Or your action could be calling different banks or talking to an accountant about something to do with your finances. Take steps to start educating yourself and looking for potential solutions.
After you have placed some action steps and taken those steps, stop. You read that right. Stop and watch the results of your actions.
Analyze those actions. What actions seemed to benefit you? What actions didn't yield any results? Each action will have evidence that gives you information on how well those actions have helped you through your challenge.
By analyzing the evidence you can then determine which action steps are worth keeping in your life map and which others that you will want to discard.
It takes time to learn but it will benefit you to follow actions that are bringing the results that you want to take with you into the future.
Every person has a unique perspective. You are no different. Use that perspective to take additional actions after you have discarded those that did not work. You will do this by adding to those actions that are already working.
Call similar places. Take part in other groups that have similar benefits. Volunteer your time to help others overcome the same challenge that you are currently going through.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Understand and Manage Stress in Your Life
Learn more about the nature of stress and how you can effectively cope with stress at work, at home and in life generally. The Skills You Need Guide to Stress and Stress Management eBook covers all you need to know to help you through those stressful times and become more resilient.
As we grow older we realize what works in our lives and what doesn't.
I believe that within each person there is an inner power with an infinite will to overcome any challenge. By making challenges into loving opportunities, planning your life to improve upon those opportunities and by taking action steps, any challenge can be overcome.
There are no excuses once you get to the point of having to change. If you are capable of this and you should try to get ahead of the game. Look at your life. Start working on the challenges that are most affecting you in life right at this moment. You will begin to get ahead of the game of life.
Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.
- Anthony Robbins
We get this one chance to grow and become better humans.
I believe that by bettering those around me, volunteering to help others first, even in a challenge I am currently going through, life only gets better.
The more you put service into those around you, the more benefit you will have internally.
About the Author
Matthew Collinson has produced a series of 'Defeat Challenges' videos that you can watch on YouTube.