5 Ways To Move Through Challenges With Grace
Life is full of challenges. Some people seem to meet those challenges with ease and confidence, while many of us struggle to face them. Like any muscle in our body, it takes practice and patience to get to the other side.
Challenges are opportunities to grow, and the most effective tool toward that growth is through trial and error. Or experience, as we call it. As creators of our lives, we have the ability to get through the hardships thrown our way.
Whatever storm decides to meet you on that late night bridge, here are some ways to better accept and meet your personal challenges, whatever they may be.
1. Release Resistance
Fighting against the current is futile. We can kick and scream, but we're not going to stop the sun from coming up. Instead of running from the discomfort, prepare for it. Lean into it and let yourself experience it fully. Once we let go of the fight, we are moved into a whole new way of thinking, greater possibilities, and a new wave of acceptance washes over us.
Think of the last time you let something go because clinging was harder. Do you remember when you suddenly started to feel lighter? That's because once you released the resistance, you opened yourself up to the growth and change wanting to take place in you. Holding on so hard stifles and simply doesn't serve us.
2. Get Real
We are the masters of avoidance. "If I ignore this long enough, it might go away." "If I don't look at this, I don't have to deal with it." This attitude leaves an inevitable heaviness in the pits our of stomach, because underneath all the excuses we know something is lurking around the corner.
Instead, by coming to reality with what we're facing, we can take the driver's seat and formulate strategies to effectively deal with what comes our way. This puts us in the position of driver, rather than victim of circumstance.
3. Don't Cut Corners
Discomfort is one of those things we want to dash through. Like a racing car speeding on a highway, we don't want to see all the buildings, people and scenery on the way to our destination. We just want to get to there and win. But life isn't like that. Cutting corners makes us lose sight of the lessons we can't avoid.
Instead, trust that life has placed you where you are for your own good, and allow yourself to take a minute to smell the roses. Bypassing the lessons we're meant to learn invites them to come back bigger and more exaggerated until we accept and learn from them.
[Related: The Gift of Discomfort]
Recognize that it's temporary and draw from your strength. You have inner resources waiting to be tapped into. Life can be a great companion, so be open to what it has to teach you.
4. Ask New Questions
The questions we ask shape our experiences. Questions can either be beneficial doorways or hinder our path. Door opening questions are fresh questions that give us a new perspective and, again, is accompanied by a willingness to be open. When we are rigid, it's often hard to see past our feelings.
For example: "Why is the happening to me?" holds no value. Instead, ask, "What is this challenge wanting to show me?" or, "What can I learn about myself from this mess?" One is fruitless and ineffective. The other is productive and affects change.
[Related read: Five Questions To Move You From Helpless To Beneficial]
Enough stress from challenging situations can impact our emotional and physical health. Exercise is one of the best ways to deal with it, as it not only reduces the body's stress hormones, but cultivates an environment of calm and presence. It grounds us and increases our overall self esteem.
Getting a workout doesn't have to be vigorous. It can be as simple as going for a walk to clear your head. Your emotions and mental faculties will benefit either way.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. Your loved ones won't always know what you need unless you tell them. Some challenges seem enormous and harsh, but if you remain centered and full of awareness, no challenge is too big to meet with power and grace.
And don't forget, be gentle with yourself.
If you found this post helpful, please share it with someone who may benefit from it. Thank you for your support! I would love to hear from you in the comments.