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             20 September, 2019
 

    
Category:  Articles » Self Improvement » Stress-Management

 

Unexpected Challenges and Opportunities Create Chances to Learn About Yourself

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2008-09-10 04:13:06     
Article by Linda Pucci

The older I get, the more I am struck by how life surprises us. So often, we'll be going along, living life, when something comes along that was totally unexpected. And everything changes. Sometimes the surprises are fun and exciting--like a job offer when you aren't looking for a new job. Sometimes it's an unexpected challenge--like when you find out that someone you had trusted betrayed you. I've been in both positions, and I'd bet most of us have.

Some people love the happy surprises and hate the unhappy surprises; others just don't like anything that disrupts the plans they had for their lives. But, as that famous British philosopher, John Lennon reportedly said, "Life is what happens when you were making other plans." Those unexpected challenges, both good and bad, are part of life.

And while most of us don't really welcome those negative challenges, they ARE opportunities. When you are pushed up against your limits, when you have to face your fears, your worst nightmares, you have the opportunity to dig down deep and learn what you are made of. Facing unexpected challenges really demands that you rely on your inner strengths and resources.

You typically don't have time to prepare extensively; something just happens and you are left to cope as best you can. During those times, you get to know yourself better than you can under calmer circumstances.

You learn about your courage. You learn about integrity. You learn about your persistence, or stubbornness or stamina. You learn about your abilities to creatively problem solve. Usually this learning isn't particularly comfortable.

You also learn about support. Sometimes you learn that the people you'd thought were your support system aren't really there for you. Sometimes you learn that you have to ask. I've learned that as tough as it may be to ask for support, there's ALWAYS someone out there willing to help. They may not be the ones you thought would always be there for you. But there are unexpected resources for support as well.

I've concluded that those unexpected challenges really provide opportunities for growth. Although we wouldn't ask for such challenges, we almost always benefit from facing them and moving through them. We learn about ourselves. And while we NEVER handle those situations perfectly, we get through them and learn that we are capable of handling tough times. That's a very valuable lesson. In fact, I think it is most valuable BECAUSE we don't handle the situation perfectly. If we did, what would we learn?

I think one of the most valuable lessons life can teach you is that you can survive adversity, that you can meet an unexpected challenge. You are capable of handling what life throws at you. You may not like it, but you can handle it. That's a confidence born of the experience of challenging yourself when you least want to handle the challenge. That's the confidence that gets you through any rough times--knowing you can do it!

Opportunities and challenges give us a chance to learn valuable lessons about ourselves and our capabilities. This learning helps us not only survive, but thrive. While we might not have asked for learning this way, it helps us become better human beings.

(c) 2008 Linda Pucci, Ph.D.

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a psychologist, life coach, trainer and owner of Inner Resource Center, LLC. She has 30 years of experience helping people overcome obstacles, change their lives, and reach goals they had not thought possible using her solution focused approach. She specializes in helping people get unstuck from negative emotions and limiting beliefs that sabotage their success. Get additional free tips and challenges for getting unstuck from her Inner Resources report. Or contact her for a free 20 minute consultation about how to turn your unexpected challenges into positive opportunities by going to http://www.InnerResourceCenter.com

Specialized in: Unexpected Challenges - Opportunities Create Chances
URL: http://www.innerresourcecenter.com
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