Turn your challenges to good!

We all face challenges in our lives, some more painful than others. Recently I reflected on how often we use our overcoming these challenges to encourage and inspire others. Challenges cannot be avoided but we can endeavour to learn something from them, to grow, to become that little bit more resilient. Though I know there is not always an explanation for what we go through and why we go through it, I struggle to accept that troubles come just because they do. I would rather it was because I had to endure in order to help those facing similar situations or to become more empathetic. I am definitely a person who likes to ask why, as far as I am concerned there must be a reason.  I am slowly learning that life is not so straight forward.

My past experiences have meant I am sensitive when in particular environments and in tune with peoples feelings. I have had the privilege of working alongside women as a mentor and confidante.  I have had the opportunity to share my experiences with women in the hope of offering encouragement.  This reminded me that the challenges I faced were not in vain.  I was able to use my past pain to help others overcome theirs. I found sharing my experiences to be incredibly liberating as choosing to disclose matters close to your heart is a sign it no longer has a hold over you. Making yourself vulnerable before others rids you of the shame, anger and guilt often associated with carrying things of the past. You are no longer bound which brings immediate freedom.

How can you grow in the midst of challenges?

1. Accept your past and embrace the present. You cannot change the past but you can decide how you want to be in the future.

2. Remind yourself there will be an end to the challenge and if not the the pain will ease over time.

3. Focus on how you can help others even in the midst of your own challenges. It will be a struggle but it does us good to take the focus off of self. Also there will rarely be a stage when we do not have a challenge so now is as good a time as any to reach out to others.

How have you turned your challenges to good?
Do you choose to learn from your challenges?

 

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21 thoughts on “Turn your challenges to good!”

  1. December is usually a challenging time of year for me. And not because of the holidays, but for other reasons. So it’s a nice reminder that this is temporary. And normal life will resume some day. It’s just too easy to let yourself get taken over by the moment.

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  2. I actually much prefer to believe that things DO NOT happen for a reason. There is no acceptable reason for some levels of suffering, no one deserves pain, and pain is not always helpful. Sometimes instead of being a wise lesson, a trauma is just a painful scar that doesn’t redeem itself. I recognize that my view is uncommon and unpopular, but I accept that bad things just happen to people, because they just exist. And that is enough to explain it. Of course I respect other opinions, but life so far has shown me that not everything is a lesson, or perhaps the learning isn’t worth the price paid for it.

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    1. I do feel people use the “everything happens for a reason” line as a way of consoling themselves. I struggled for years questioning why I was bullied almost all the way through high school. Was it my fault? Did I encourage it? I know it did not have to happen as many children go through school without being bullied. Somehow I have to live with this fact.

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  3. I’ve been told my many people I am strong, but also vulnerable. Given how the past year has gone I made the choice early in the year to share what I was going through with anyone who would read. It’s been incredibly freeing in so many ways. I’m continually trying to get better at living in the moment.

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    1. It is possible to be strong and vulnerable in the same breath. It is incredibly courageous of you to share your personal story and will no doubt encourage those going through personal chwllenges.

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  4. I think knowing your challenges is important, but also know if you have faced them. I have seen some motivational speakers, who speak about the challenges they face, but they never overcame them. Their opinion, as a “still being worked on” type of person is ok, but unless you can overcome the challenge, you do not have the credibility to discuss with others how to overcome theirs.

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  5. Such a great advice on overcoming challenges Phoenicia! These past few months have brought its own challenges for me since I started my new job. It was definitely a step outside my comfort zone. But I embraced those challenges and even though there were days I struggled, I think ultimately those challenges have made me become more competent in my job and I value them for that. Thanks for sharing =)

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  6. It isn’t always easy to reveal yourself and your vulnerabilities. We’re afraid people will think less of us. But we know who in our inner most circle we can trust and it is, as you say, truly liberating to share your challenges with someone else who may have faced the very same issues.

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    1. No, it is not easy at all but we must get to the stage where what we share has no hold over us. There is a risk of people viewing us differently once we share – we must then ask ourselves if we can deal with that fact.

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  7. Inspiring and important message Phoenicia! I had to smile as I read how you seek answers to life’s challenges because I’m the same way. For a couple of years, I was in a relationship with a Hawaiian man, a Kahunalaulapau – health and spiritual healer. Anyway, with his guidance, I learned a lot about the culture and various traditions and was forever questioning him about how and why things were done. Finally one day he sat me down and gave me a loving little lecture about the power of acceptance.

    As far as my response to challenges, I turned that into my life’s work by guiding others to build resilience and “accept” the power they have to create the quality and course of their own lives. Thanks for a great read!

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    1. Marquita – I am pleased you were inspired by my post. Wow – you once dated a Haiwaiin man. I have always wanted to visit Hawaii!

      There is an element of a need for acceptance tied up in wanting to know, who, why, where, when.

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