This week, I am kicking off my very first on-line challenge with a staggering response. This has made me think just a bit more about the origin of the word challenge itself and why in the complex world in which we live,the concept of challenge has so much appeal. It’s a competition for sure, but who in this on-line challenge is actually being challenged, and why?
The answer is all of us!
Stepping into a more virtual presence in 2017 is actually my own challenge as a coach. I can tell you first hand that challenging oneself is sometimes one of the hardest things we can do as humans. We love and crave comfort, we are big on recycling what we already know to be true, and sometimes not so great at reaching beyond all of that to question and demand more of ourselves. Challenge implies taking a risk, playing with the possibilities, being in the moment, and being honest about the outcomes whether successful or not. Challenge can be frustrating, painful, exhilarating, intuitive and daring. Challenge can be laced with fear.
So, why do it? Why challenge our views and our thoughts? Why disrupt what we are already doing?
One word. Growth.
When we allow challenge into our lives, we also allow in uncertainty. Since most of us tend to be control freaks always wanting to know outcomes before action, challenging ourselves implies that we do not necessarily know the results, or if in fact there will be any. Yet, when we challenge ourselves, we are demanding growth anyway! Essentially, that growth comes from the process of allowing challenge and disruption of thought into our lives in the first place. When we grow, we not only challenge ourselves, but by default, we begin to challenge those around us as well. That’s why being a part of an on-line challenge community such as this is invigorating. We not only challenge each of ourselves to think, to reach, to imagine, and to change…but we also challenge each other. We become accountable not only to our own experience, but to the group experience as well.
Growth is magical. It restores our sense of purpose, stimulates our thinking, and dares us to move forward. Growth allows us to question ourselves, the methods we use, the beliefs we have, and even our own truth. Challenging ourselves is not just for sport. It is not just about “winning” or proving something. When we challenge ourselves it is about engaging and stimulating our own peoplehood in such a way that we question and test our perceptions and realities and essentially…we invite in change.
Change is what lives on the other side of challenge. Change is inspirational and it breeds more change. It is our reward for endurance, the validation for our hard work. Change is the stimulation we seek, the success we crave. Not all change unearths the outcomes we want, yet all change allows us to be curious, to try, to question and to take action. Change allows us to grow, to live, to embrace, to make a difference, to learn.
This week, whether you are taking my Reinvention Reboot Challenge or not, I invite you to demand something of yourself. I invite you to think just a bit differently about what you ask of yourself. Where do you allow in change? Where do you test and retest your abilities, your thoughts, and your actions?
How can 2017 be the year that you dare to be inspired?
Dare to ask more of yourself.
Dare to grow.
Dare to change.
Dare to challenge yourself and the world around you.