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Challenges

June 26, 2017 — Leave a comment

So many people wish life was easier, with less challenges and obstacles but without challenges, life becomes stagnant and we stop growing.  Challenges help us uncover who we are and it allows us to become better people.

Let’s examine a very simple 4-step method to overcoming challenges.

First, state the problem clearly.  When we are faced with challenges, we tend to avoid the issue and run the other way burying our heads in the sand hoping it goes away.  Or we may say – ok, there is an obstacle, instead of heading right to it and plowing through, I am going to look for another path and even though that is not the way I want to go – it looks easier… less headache… but rarely does that work out.  When we avoid or go out of our way, we cause more headache in the end.  It takes more of our time, it takes more of our energy and we don’t get the end result we are looking for.  So take this time to understand what the challenge is.  Ask yourself what is the question, what is asked of me, what is the main goal? Write this down on paper.

Second, identify what you have at your disposal – what resources are available to you to work through this challenge? List all of these resources out.  These should include things such as tangible assets – money, computer, books, etc.  And then what skills you have, what are your strengths to work through this?  Don’t forget others – what access do you have to others that can help?

Third, design the strategy to overcome this challenge.  Utilize all your assets to create a plan of action.  You may find this plan will need to be tweaked as you execute and that is ok.  Keep at it.

Lastly, execute the strategy with effort and determination.  Do your very best with all you have to overcome your challenge.

If you find that you still cannot overcome a challenge, then re-evaluate.  If your strategy just won’t work because it isn’t viable or effective then change it. If your strategy doesn’t work because you didn’t execute it well enough, be persistent and tweak your efforts, giving it more.

Practice this method on small challenges and see how easy it is to overcome.  Then try it on the big rocks!

As you pursue your dreams, you are going to have obstacles and challenges. How you handle them makes all the difference. 

victory

Here are 6 thoughts on how to handle crisis: 

Expect them. You’re either in the middle of a crisis, just came through one or are about to head into one. That’s just the way it is. Overcoming crisis is required for success. 

A positive attitude is the difference maker. According to Zig Ziglar, “An optimist is someone who goes after Moby Dick in a row-boat and takes the tartar sauce with him.” Don’t be intimidated by it, attack it with whatever you have, even when what you have doesn’t appear to be adequate. 

Place your focus on the potential added value that overcoming the challenge brings, rather than on the challenge itself. Often times your greatest opportunities come disguised as your greatest challenge. 

Lead by example as you go through the crisis. People will watch and follow your lead. And after you get through it, become a guide to those who face similar challenges. John Maxwell says it best, “Leaders know the way, go the way and show the way.”  

Envision and experience victory before you actually achieve it. While facing crisis, do your best to taste and experience the feeling of victory even before you are victorious. Experience the joy and satisfaction and sense of purpose that you will feel as a result of persevering to the end. Remember champions aren’t made in the ring, they are revealed there. 

Stay connected to your why and allow the crisis to shape you into becoming the person capable of accomplishing your dreams.  

A family cruise taken a few years ago was not a major crisis but the challenges we faced provide for a good illustration. One of the ports, Ocho Rios, gave us the opportunity to visit my brother, Andrew who lived there at the time. We had arranged for him to pick us up at the pier and after waiting for almost two hours under the hot sun, we were sweaty, worried and agitated, he finally showed up. He planned on taking us to Dunn’s River Falls, a popular destination, but because of time constraints he decided to take us to a supposedly similar private beach. Everybody was disappointed because we were looking forward to climbing the famous falls. 

It was worth it

To get to this beach was quite the event, we had to walk thru an open field under the blistering sun, carefully climb through a hole in a barbed wired fence, walk through a cow pasture and come across a man with a machete, who we were sure was coming after us for trespassing. We were ready to give up but Andrew kept pointing us to our destination and telling us that it would be worth it and encouraged us to hang in there.

After walking for what seemed to be miles we finally arrived at our destination and WOW, it was breath-taking! It was a smaller version of Dunn’s River Falls without the crowd. In fact we had it all to ourselves, the refreshing, cool river rushing down to join the warm, crystal-clear ocean, surrounded by mountains, colorful trees and shrubs. Andrew knew that all the hassle, walking, climbing and sweating would be worth it and he was right! It turned out to be an amazing day that we will never forget. 

Obstacles can make the victory sweeter, it’s your choice.