Are you ready to identify your Life Challenge and rise from the ashes like a beautiful Phoenix?
I hope you are doing your end of year evaluation. By reading through your journals, you may see some patterns emerge that you want to change. Maybe you realize your soul is crying out to you to make some big changes for your true happiness.
Today is a great day to start choosing your Life instead of reacting to what happens.
Identifying and Accepting Your Challenge
This may seem a bit simplistic, but it’s true. The first step in overcoming a challenge is to accept the fact that you weren’t able to achieve the goal in the matter that you were hoping.
It’s possible that you needed more information.
Remember last week when we talked about how to make decisions? You make the best decision you can with the knowledge that you have.
Maybe it turns out you needed some additional information or some training.
It could just be the phase of life that you’re in, and you have a big Life Lesson that you’re working on.
What’s Holding You Back?
If you had enough information but you just weren’t able to push through and do what you need to do, then it’s time to own that.
We all have our blocks and blinders.
This is a good question to meditate upon or journal about. You may find some insights that will genuinely help you to grow.
If you’re finding yourself quite stuck, you may wish to talk to a professional. A close friend may not be as honest or objective as you need.
Facing Your Fears
Often, our fears are created in childhood. Sometimes we even pick up our parents’ fears and make them our own.
If you have fairly deep fears that are holding you back, you may wish to look into a support group to help you identify and push through these blocks.
It can often help us to see that others have had the same fears, and were able to move past them.
Be kind to yourself. Facing fears is a process that must be consistently worked at. And even when we think we have success, the fears can sometimes pop up at the worst times!
Come up with a plan. That is to say, think about some possible responses that you can do if you feel your fears taking over.
If your challenge is to eat healthy, then you can create a plan to bring a special dish to gatherings that you know matches your new dietary goals. You can plan to thank people who press food on you, and reassure them that you’re content.
You can also create a simple routine like tapping your palm and repeating “This fear is irrational and I am going to be ok.” This will help you disassociate from the rising panic.
Accepting Adversity as a Normal Part of Life
Life provides challenges to help us become better.
Did you know that if you help a butterfly out of its chrysalis that it won’t be able to fly properly?
The butterfly’s body and wings are still very soft, and you can accidentally damage them permanently in the effort to help them out.
The moral of the story is that sometimes we need to struggle to get through something in order to be able to fly properly.
It’s important to learn to accept adversity as something that is good for us instead of something to hate. This way you also reduce your stress and anxiety.
Stop Fearing the Future
Are you thinking that you’re going to keep screwing up and will never achieve your goal?
It could be your brain is trying to protect you because you’ve never achieved that goal before.
So it’s time to help your brain relax and embrace the changes you’re going to be making.
Changing Negative Thinking Patterns
The first step in changing anything is to accept that you have it. Then, it’s important to fully understand what it is your changing.
So if you want to change a negative thinking pattern, you need to accept that you have one.
Spend some time writing down your thoughts every ten to fifteen minutes. You can set a timer to help. Don’t try to record all of your thoughts. Just record what the thought was when the timer went off.
You may find that you’re a lot more negative than you want.
The next step is to understand what you want to change.
So instead of thinking, “Hoo boy, I screwed it up again,” decide to change that initial thought to something positive like, “Great! I’ve learned a valuable lesson.”
Remember to talk to yourself the way you would talk to a loved one. Be kind. Be caring.
View Mistakes as Opportunities
If you haven’t achieved your goal along the path that you thought you could, it’s time to take a step back.
Don’t be discouraged.
Instead, ask yourself if you didn’t achieve the goal because your method didn’t work or because you really don’t want to achieve it.
I’ve mentioned this in prior posts. If you don’t have a solid reason why you want to achieve a goal, you’re not going to achieve it. And you definitely need to get rid of things you’re trying to achieve for other people.
So use your mistake as an opportunity to find a new path towards your goal or towards a goal that’s important to you.
Surround Yourself with Moral Support
Support networks are important to have for many reasons.
First, it provides you with a group of people who are genuinely invested in your success. They’ll help you through the rough parts. They’ll help you brainstorm new ways of achieving things.
Also they can hold you accountable. Often we need someone to remind us where and why we’re going somewhere. It can give us the burst of motivation we need to push through our blocks.
And they can provide us with a breath of fresh air. Our friends and loved ones could be part of the moral support network. But sometimes they don’t see us how we want to be. They see us how we were.
So they may make comments that can be negative and not helpful. Or they may poke holes in your plan.
So be sure you have lots of moral support from a variety of places to help you keep going.
I think one of the biggest mistakes we make is comparing ourselves to others.
We need to accept that we are learning on our own time. Just because someone else achieved a similar goal sooner doesn’t mean anything.
They’re on a different journey.
Also, if someone else has a bigger house or better car, ask yourself if that’s really what you want.
Often, it isn’t.
And if it is, maybe that’s a hint that you need to get clearer in your objectives.
Journaling with Gratitude
When you have a setback, journal about it. Try to find the positive in the situation.
See if you can find times I the past where you did achieve a success and try to connect to that emotion.
I’ve mentioned before about having a journal just to list out things you’re grateful for.
Some days, it may flow. Some days, you may just be grateful for the roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in the house.
But do try to journal a few things you’re grateful for every day. It helps you obtain a positive mindset.
The Importance of Routine and Structure
Having structure can allow you to be more creative.
That may sound counter-intuitive, but stick with me.
Have you ever ended up at the end of a day wondering what you even did? Or the end of the week or month, and it’s discouraging because you weren’t able to make any progress on your goals.
If you schedule in the things that have to get done, and then do them, you have the peace of mind that comes when you achieve success.
Then you can fill in the rest of the time with more spontaneous and creative activities.
But if you know that you want to write a book or exercise regularly, schedule it and treat it like an appointment with the most important person. Because you really are the most important person.
My Final Thoughts
Change can be scary. Sometimes we need to change because we’re unhappy where we’re at. And other times, change is thrust upon us.
We get hung up on the idea of failure being bad. It’s important to remember that failing is a good thing. You’re continually learning and growing, and making mistakes is the key to that.
Sometimes the change we need to make seems huge. I don’t want to give examples because massive change is different for everyone. And I don’t want to put limits on the size and scope of the change you’re facing.
Plus, these skills will help you become a Change Master.
The first thing you need to do is stop feeling sorry for yourself. Turn those feelings into something positive that will motivate you forward.
You truly have the resilience within to achieve just about anything.