We all have them, challenges in our lives that feel as big as a mountain. Sometimes the only way to face the challenges in our lives is to climb the mountain! But HOW do we cope with challenges in our lives? Are we able to rise to the occasion or do we crumble, frozen in fear and unable to cope?
If you have a life devoid of challenges, I would wonder if you are indeed living life to its fullest. Almost all of us experiences challenges of some sort. The measure of our character is determined not by the amount of challenges in our lives, but by the strength of our morals when we react to the challenges that present themselves in our lives. Do you find that you view life’s trials with a healthy attitude? Is your cup half empty or half full?
I find that the attitude I bring to the challenges and trials I face in life creates and reinforces a response cycle in my life If I have a negative feeling towards challenges, I will not behave positively when trials arise. Perhaps I will be grumpy, irritable, and mean. This will affect the reactions of those around me. Their reactions to my bad attitude will probably not be favorable. These people will respond to me in a negative way, reinforcing my belief that challenges are HORRID.
Conversely, if I have a wonderful attitude towards challenges and trials and I believe they are a great opportunity for personal growth and reflection, the cycle changes. My positive attitude towards these moments of adversity are met with excitement. I understand that the trials are a great opportunity for collaboration and growth. I reach out to my colleagues for genuine engagement in order to creatively and effectively address the issues. We work together to find appropriate solutions. When we are finished, we have a strongly bonded group of people who are proud of our accomplishments. This reinforces to me that challenges are good.
I have attached a visual representation of the cycle: Attitude Cycle.
Ultimately, we are all in control of the way we respond when we are asked to climb mountains. Often we unwittingly make our mountains larger by responding in negative ways to the challenge of the climb. When we take a moment to pause and change our attitude towards the challenge of the climb we have allowed ourselves to dramatically alter the outcome our response naturally breeds. Our positive attitude will result in positive personal growth.
Today, 337 days ’til 40 I will strive to remind myself that the mountains we have to climb are NOT the hardest challenges in our lives. The hardest challenge is our personal reactions towards trials and adversity. I will work to climb the mountains of my life with an attitude of acceptance, understanding, and a thirst for deeper knowledge of myself and others. I will remind myself that when I accept and embrace challenges with excitement and anticipation I am rewarded with the gift of personal growth.
May all of the challenging mountains in your life crumble into small mole hills as you smile and celebrate the learning opportunities. :)