Challenges, Schmallenges

What do you do in the face of a challenge? When you get bad news, or worse, you can “see” what’s coming (or think you can).

Most people I know go into the “talk-about-it” / “worry-about-it” zone. They worry about it when they’re not talking about it. Then they talk about it, which causes them to worry about it more. The Worry Zone is a potential death-trap and can not only paralyze you, it can stop progress being made on other projects or in other areas of your life.

The challenge with handling your challenges this way is that one tends to stay in that zone, versus getting “into the zone,” which I define as being “on a roll.” It is impossible to be a victor and at the same time a victim. You are either in charge of your challenge, or it’s in charge of you.

I can feel some of you saying, “Well, Honorée, you’ve never had my challenge.” Betcha $50 I have, and I’ve had bigger. Try me. While you’re having accounting cut me a check, try these:

Pay attention to what your focus rests on, what it keeps coming back to. If you have set powerful, excitement-inducing goals, and you consistently remind yourself of them, it is not possible to focus on your challenge.* These goals have got to be BHAGs: Big Hairy Audacious Goals. The kind that gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps you working late into the evening. (Note to my Type-A folks: downtime, people, downtime!) Very often, the achievement of your BHAGs will mitigate or eliminate your challenge(s) altogether.

Motion creates emotion. When you sit on the couch with a 6-pack of Krispy Kremes and watch TV, you’re going to feel even worse. When you sit around a table at lunch with your colleagues and co-workers and talk about how bad it is, you’re going to feel even worse. When you hear someone’s tough story and you try to make them feel better by telling them how bad it is for you, you’re going to feel even worse.

*You will need to address your challenge, without a doubt. Pretending it’s not there will most likely cause it to get bigger (penalties & interest, anyone?). Address it, get the help you need from the right folks, and take the necessary action steps to eliminate, change or accept it. Then get back to your BHAGs as quickly as possible.

Note: Don’t marinate in your bullshit. One effective way to address your challenge is to process it ~ meaning, talk about it with someone who will stay “in solution” with you. I’m always excited when my clients call me to talk through (vs. about) a challenge. We’re quickly able to drill down the challenge to its basic essence, make an assessment for what needs to be done to solve or eliminate it (including action steps) and get them in a better frame of mind. Make sure you have someone in your corner that will listen objectively and help you to move forward in the right direction as quickly as possible.

If you are concerned you won’t survive this particular challenge, you will. Don’t believe me? Just look back over your life and make a list of all the times you had major challenges. If you’re reading this, you’re still here. You’re capable of amazing things, so go for your BHAGs and let your challenges know who’s the boss!


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