Did you set a goal but personal challenges like cravings, overwhelm, or fear hold you back? Learn how you can prepare yourself for each challenge so you can overcome them. Follow this step by step guide, which is accompanied with a specific example, and succeed!
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What are challenges?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines a challenge as:
“(The situation of being faced with) something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person’s ability.”
This can relate to a task or situation. This article focuses on situations and the mental challenges which we encounter, when taking action towards a goal.
What are common personal challenges for specific endeavors?
Personal challenges when building a business
- Fear of failure
- No time
- Lack of energy
- Lack of confidence
- Lack of motivation
Personal challenges when losing weight
- No time or desire to work out
- Nothing seems to work
- Addictions to certain foods
- Lack of willpower
- Lack of motivation
- Old habits that are difficult to overcome
Personal challenges when quitting smoking
- Strong addiction
- Stress and the desire to relax with a cigarette
- Gaining weight
- Losing the bond to friends that are also smoking
- Old habits
Do you recognize a pattern from the examples above?
They have one special thing in common.
It’s a conflict.
Personal challenges are nothing less than conflicts between the desire to change something and negative short-term feelings that transformation creates. Think about it. Would you need to face a challenge if you did not want to lose weight?
That means our own desires create our personal challenges.
We want to, but we feel we can’t.
What can we do about it?
First of all, it is great to have a desire in the first place. We want to focus on this ambition because challenges will occur. That means we can do one important step beforehand, in order to overcome the challenge easily.
How can you prepare yourself for personal challenges?
The most important ingredient, in order to prepare effectively, is self-awareness. You need to know yourself, your patterns and your behavior in certain moments.
Steps one through three of the following how to instructions focus on self-awareness. The fourth step will strengthen your desire, and the steps five and six give you a plan that you can follow to prepare yourself for each challenge.
Step 1: What are your repeated personal challenges?
We all tend to have main personal challenges that occur time and time again. For some people it might be a lack of motivation, for other people it might be the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Be aware of what is holding you back.
Think back to a time, when you wanted to achieve something. Why did you quit? What was it that you had difficulties with?
The things you will come up with are the challenges you had.
Write them all down!
The list that you create is crucial, because you only can overcome your personal challenges when you know what they are.
Step 2: How did you overcome personal challenges last time?
We would not be where we are, if we hadn’t already overcome challenges in our lives before. Challenges are everywhere. Some days we overcome them and other days they overcome us.
We want to focus on the days when we overcame the obstacles. These successes give us clues about how to best face our personal challenges in the future.
Think deeply about a situation where you moved on despite the challenges. How did you do it? What did you do in this situation? What was different from other situations when you thought you couldn’t handle it?
Did you have different thoughts? Have you been distracted by something? Did you remind yourself of the desire you were after?
Write everything down that comes into your mind.
These items will help you massively when the next challenge hits.
Step 3: What drives you?
We all have things we love and things we don’t. In order to prepare us for hard times, we want to know what drives us in life.
As soon as we see a challenge comes closer, we can focus on the things we love. In other words, we can put an empowering meaning to the happening.
Achievers want a lot and there might come the point that they demand more from themselves than they can handle. They get overwhelmed and don’t know what they should do first. Achievers also have the desire to grow, learn and, develop. Now, they could focus on the things they need to do or on the things they will learn when doing them. When they focus on their personal growth, the chances are high, that they are much more motivated to move forward.
That means, in order to prepare yourself for challenges, know what moves you in life.
What drives you most? What are you excited about? What motivates you? What do you love? What fascinates you?
Step 4: Create a purpose!
Remember, your personal challenge occurs because you have the desire to change something in the first place.
If the desire is too weak, chances are high that the challenge will overcome you, instead of you overcoming the challenge.
The solution is to make your desire as strong as possible.
Create an empowering purpose for your endeavor.
Why did you start in the first place? Why do you want to achieve your goal? What will it give you?
Think about all areas of your life and the positive impact your endeavor will have. Create a huge list that excites you!
Step 5: Create a checklist!
The results of step one to four give you everything you need to create a powerful checklist, which will help you beat your personal challenge.
You know what holds you back and what has helped before. Additionally, you figured out what motivates you and you now know why you do what you do.
Merge your knowledge in one checklist!
This checklist is your treasure, when it comes to personal challenges.
What can the checklist include?
In general, everything that helps you.
- Questions you want to ask yourself, because they direct your focus to the positive.
- Things you want to do in order to come out of the negative state, like going out for a run, turning on some music, etc.
- Reminders of your purpose.
- Quotes, motivational videos, or pictures.
Be creative and put your list together!
Step 6: Follow your checklist!
As soon as you see a challenge comes closer, whip your checklist out and follow each step.
Do not let your emotions guide you!
We are all human and emotions are strong. There will be days where you don’t want to change your state. Do it anyway! You know it will help you in the end. You will get great pleasure out of it. So, do it! Give yourself that pleasure.
Specific checklist example: how to overcome the challenge of being overwhelmed
- Step back and visualize myself from an external view:
- How am I looking? Do I want to look like this?
- Do I want to be weak?
- Does this lead to anything?
- Ask effective questions:
- What will really matter 10 years from now?
- Do I need to do this all now?
- What is most important at that moment?
- Which tasks align with my greater vision and goals?
- What is most important in my life?
- Why am I doing all this? What is my purpose? What is it good for?
- Make a plan what needs to be done when and do each task by its time
- What is it exactly that overwhelms me? Visualize these things and within the visualization move them further away and make them as tiny as possible.
- Add pain to the situation. What will I miss out on when being in this state? What does it cost me in my life when I’m in this state? Will I move towards my goals?
- Go out for a run and listen to motivational audio speeches.
- Turn on my favorite music and dance.
- Do an emotional flood exercise (by Tony Robbins)
- Listen to motivational audio tapes, read motivational quotes, or repeat incantations:
- Incantation: I will get where I want to be when I keep going! I can make everything happen!
- Motivational YouTube video: Remember your dreams.
What are your main challenges and what do you do to overcome them? Leave a comment below and share your experiences.