Welcoming the Challenge

I’ve heard so many people say that they’re thankful when rejection or challenge hits, but it takes months or years until they get that perspective.

“Getting hacked was the best thing for me. I’ve learned so much about security since then.”

“Getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to me. I started my own business and now I have the freedom to do what I want.”

“I’m so glad that girl dumped me. I would have been miserable with her, and I’m so much happier now.”

There has been a lot of talk about rejection, conflict, and trauma lately. Everyone I know is going through some kind of challenge requiring them to think differently about their life.

It can send us into emotion turmoil when our vision of what we want doesn’t line up with the reality of the situation. And yet, within the push for something else, there is also a bit of a pull.

Where is this change trying to take you? You may feel “pushed out” of the past. Can you focus on the pull from your future?

Does this push present as true obstacle? Or is it just making the journey a little more interesting? What story are you telling yourself (and others) about the challenges in your life?

I’ve always believed that in every “negative” there is a positive you could have never seen had you not gone through the rough stuff. Even the absolutely roughest stuff prepares you for the journey in ways you cannot see when you’re soaking in it.

And sometimes, the rough stuff shows up just so you re-affirm your commitment to where you are and where you’re going. Nothing makes us re-commit to our journey like someone saying you can’t do it.

“Oh yeah?” You might say, as you affirm that: “I’ll show them.”

Can you make it a game? You can both play with what the challenge means to you by reframing how you talk to yourself about it. You can also delve deep into your competitive spirit and imagine yourself proving the others wrong.

How can you continue to focus on the end goal and still enjoy the journey of getting there? Finding a way to make the journey fun, more interesting, more humorous always helps.

Do you still have your sense of humor? Because if you’re not here for the lulz, you’re missing out.

No matter what path we choose to honor, there will be conflict to negotiate. If we choose to avoid conflict with others, we will eventually breed a poisonous conflict within ourselves. Likewise, if we manage to attend to our inner lives, who we are will – sooner or later – create some discord with those who would rather have us be doing something else.”

Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Conflict is a part of life. So many of us avoid it, and that ends up creating even more conflict. You’ve got to find a way to get comfortable with conflict, adversity, and rejection. It’s a part of life, much like a landslide is a part of living in the mountains. If you’re in the mountains, you’ve set your goals to climb higher. That means you’re set out to change. And when the outside world is changing, just maybe it’s reorganizing itself to create bigger stepping stones to rise to new heights.

We’re all on our way to somewhere else, and we get to frame the journey. Don’t lose sight of where you’re going just because the journey wasn’t exactly what you thought it would be. Sometimes as chess pieces on the board of life, we can’t fully see the game.