How often do you rise to the challenge?

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When I am faced with a challenge, a part of me is excited with undertaking a new task and the other part worries whether I have the ability.  Like every other person, I do not like to fail.  Over the years I have realised it can take me a while to absorb information. As a result I give myself time to ensure I understand every step of the process.

There are subjects/tasks I will probably never excel in however determined I am. Mathematics being one of them! To this day I just cannot get my head around complex mathematics. I can however seek to improve my overall understanding of mathematics by attending an online or evening class.

Whilst studying for my Media Technology degree almost two decades ago, one of my modules was photography. I thoroughly enjoyed taking photographs but something went wrong when I stepped into the dark room to develop them. My peers were pleased with their developed pictures whilst my set did not develop well at all. I felt embarrassed and my tutor, the lovely man he was, advised me to retake some photographs. On developing my negatives the second time, again they failed to produce. 

I recall my appointment with my tutor; I asked if I could make up my grades elsewhere as this module was clearly not working. He told me, in a matter of fact way that I should not allow anything to defeat me, otherwise it would always hang over me. I reluctantly took my third set of photographs, developed my negatives and they came out exactly as intended.  I will never forget my tutor’s advice. 

It is easier doing what you have always done but this will only ever bring the same results. Your actions will determine whether you accomplish what you have always hoped and planned for. You have to move on from “talking” to “walking”.  It may well start with small steps but moving at all is a step in the right direction.  

How often do you step out of your comfort zone? 

What is stopping you?

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36 thoughts on “How often do you rise to the challenge?”

  1. Wow, I think it’s really important to step out of your comfort zone as often as possible. Like you, I’m not particularly fond of Mr. Math, but have to track expenses etc. as I’m self-employed. Fortunately, there are so many tech tools that can help on this front, like a simple Excel spreadsheet. And I remind myself, there are no mistakes, only lessons!

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  2. Really could relate to this blog. I used to be afraid to fail. However, due to the MS, everything is a challenge every day. It took developments of this disease to make me rise up! I’ve had to adjust to doing things differently instead of the way I used to do things. What I used to be able to do in an hour can take me several hours now, because I get fatigued quickly and easily so I can only work so long then I have to rest. I used to get so angry about this but with acceptance of having to make adjustments came new freedom and power! I’ve had MS 10 years. I still clean my own house. I take care of myself not a caregiver (it’s a job just taking care of me not counting everything else in my life). I exercise. I write not only my blog but articles for the local newspaper. I’m involved in church. I help take care of my grandkids when they come to see me and my husband. I paint and take pictures with my nice Cannon Rebel. Anyway, I’ve found that it’s all about my focus. My glass is now half full and the grass in my yard is greener. I focus on what I can do instead of what I can’t. It’s been a hard road but worth the lessons learned. Great post!

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    1. Tammie – you are a real trooper. I like your buzz and attitude! You acknowledge your limitations but will not allow them to take away your joy. You carry out more tasks than the average person – believe me.

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  3. In your photography module you got a hit in your third at-bat – not bad at all if you started from absolute scratch. So where are the photos, Phoenicia? When will you dazzle us with a display of your photographic prowess here at your blog?

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  4. Hi Phoenicia. As a self-employed freelance writer and self-piublished author, I have to continually step outside my comfort zone and approach new clients or contacts daily, as well as trying to get more publicity for my book and chocolate events. As an extrovert, I don’t mind the challenge, but you certainly have to have a thick skin!

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  5. Phoenicia — congratulations on finally succeeding with your photographs. I’m all thumbs when it comes to numbers, so I decided to challenge myself and take the introductory college course in basic accounting. It was a struggle but I earned an A! I was proud that I rose to the challenge. However, that ended my experiment in accounting!

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  6. Great and interesting post.
    I guess it is natural for us to gravitate towards something we like, such as for me it was history. And for us to repel against others. Perhaps this is why to get a degree you must include subjects outside that topic, to give us a good overall education, instead of a specific one.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

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    1. You are welcome William.

      Always better to have a broad knowledge however we will always gravitate to particular subjects due to having a deep rooted interest in them.

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  7. I had similar struggles in photography class as a kid. The visual arts never came easy to me. I gave up on photography, but as an adult I’ve taken on many hobbies that don’t fall in my comfort zone. I saw my father always afraid to try something new as a kid. He always did the few things in which he knew he would excel. And I felt like that was a trap. So I promised myself from a young age that I wouldn’t live within my comfort zone. Thanks for the reminder to rise to the challenge.

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  8. I tend to not step out of my comfort zone, but since I know that tendency, as I’ve aged I make more of an effort to do so. There’s no greater feeling than doing something you know will make you uncomfy, but yet knowing just doing it is half the battle.

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  9. “You have to move on from ‘talking’ to ‘walking.’ It may well start with small steps but moving at all is a step in the right direction.” I so agree with you.

    The bigger the challenge is for me, the more extreme my emotions can swing, particularly when it’s something I really want to do. I fill with exhilaration and excitement then before I know it, I’m scared out of my mind! I guess that’s normal. To bail out, I know, will leave me feeling super disappointed with myself. When it is something I really want, the courage to persevere seems to come from somewhere, thank goodness. When I have followed through,I’ve noticed an increase in confidence, also the satisfaction of knowing I didn’t let fear rule the day.

    What a blessing your tutor was.

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  10. I’m pushing my comfort zone pretty much every day, but a sudden unexpected drama has popped up in my life and it looks like I’ll be exploring new territory well beyond my comfort zone for the next few weeks. What an adventure! 🙂

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  11. I think it’s great that the tutor encouraged you to push through and gave you that chance to accomplish! It is hard to move to that next step sometimes, but after you do it, life is better! (Kind of like us surviving London. 🙂 0

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  12. I feel like this most of the time while I am working out of my comfort zone. It’s the only place I will grow and get better at what I do. Though I know sometimes I have to do the familiar to really see what I can expand on too. I just don’t do it for too long. =)

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  13. Very inspiring.
    I have exactly the same attitude as you describe.
    I am trying to step out of my comfort zone all the time, because only it can help us grow.

    Probably you know the famous concept of doing something small that scares you every day. For me, this is a great approach step by step to introduce this mentality to your life

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  14. Phoenicia, I stopped worrying about failing- well, at least 80% of the time – after reading this quote:
    “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Confucius

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  15. Almost always rise to the challenge even though the task at hand sometimes seems impossible. To stick to the known bores me so I pluck up the courage and attempt to handle whatever it is. It almost always works. Our lives have to be adventurous, exciting and challenging. The alternative is boredom. So if we don’t like to be bored we have no choice but to rise to challenges.

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    1. I agree. I easily tire of the mundane elements of life and welcome new tasks. Life would be extremely boring if I only participated in activities I am guaranteed to thrive in.

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  16. It’s reassuring when we have those informal mentors as you did with your tutor. Because I know I can become lazy and back down on certain challenges, though not all, I have to change up my environment or personal strategy to keep moving forward.

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  17. Phoenicia,
    Thank you for this story about your media class. I really liked your tutor’s advice, “Do not allow anything to defeat you.” I’m facing an issue right now that is threatening to defeat me! But having read your post, I feel energized to keep trying. Thank you!

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