“Times of stress and difficulty are seasons of opportunity when the seeds of progress are sown.”
Reframing challenges in times of stress and difficulty
You see when we change the way we think about things, we can change the way we see them, and this in turn can open up new possibilities for us.
At its core, reframing challenges is about thinking about the situation or circumstances we find ourselves in a different way. It’s about shifting our perspective on an issue, event or how we see ourselves. And when we can reframe our challenges from being problems to being invitations to grow, stretch and evolve we arouse our spirit of adventure and sow the seeds of new possibilities and progress.
This process often involves confronting our fears. There are a host of universal human fears we all grapple with including fear of not being enough, fear of the unknown, fear of being exposed, of being vulnerable, of not being accepted, as well as the fear of being ridiculed, of being judged unfairly, and of failing. If you feel any of these fears you are not alone. You are simple being human.
Feeling fear is a a very human thing. And we are not meant to live a life absent of fear. The role of fear is to keep us safe and alert us to danger.
However, if we don’t have the courage to acknowledge and look at our fears they can become invisible barriers we can’t get past, that limit our lives, our self-expression and our capacity for joy.
So with all of this in mind I encourage you to adopt a "Reframing Your Challenges and Fears" practice to engage with your fears, to take them by the hand and seek to understand them and how they are endeavoring to serve you. You can engage in this practice of reflection alone or with a professional coach.
Here are my favourite "Reframing Challenges and Fear" questions:
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
“Imagine that life is whispering yes. Yes to all beings, and yes to you. Even the things you’ve said no to are saying yes to you.”
When we are wanting to turn up more in our lives and embrace our own edge to expand what’s possible for us there are many places we can start. These places are where we can start to harness the power of saying “Yes” in our lives.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Want to learn more?
Here is what others have to say about being willing to say “Yes” and what that might mean for you and your life:
“The person who is willing to say yes to experience is the person who discovers new frontiers.”
“Yes, has magic within it. So often we are afraid of life - we fear failure, we anticipate the worst, we don't know what to expect. In doing so and often by saying "no" to opportunities, we reject many of life's brilliant chances.”
“Sometimes we receive the power to say yes to life. Then peace enters us and makes us whole."
“Saying yes means allowing room for opportunity. It means giving yourself permission to try and to fail, while knowing you’ll be changed afterwards having learned something new. Saying yes can be terrifying, but if you say yes, you might be surprised at what is possible.”
“A “Yes” lifts our spirits and enables us to go on, to take chances, to be bold and courageous. It inspires, energizes, invites collaboration and instils trust.”
In the end, saying yes is a choice. What will you say?
Want to learn more?
You may well ask, what does saying “Yes” actually mean? Here are some of my thoughts:
At its heart, saying “Yes” means that we are saying “Yes” to our lives and the circumstances we find ourselves in. We are accepting the facts and the situation as they are, rather than fighting them or resisting them emotionally. This in turn means we are saying “Yes: to all of life – the situation, our relationship, our history, our personality, our perceived shortcomings as well as our dreams, aspirations and hopes for the future, rather than just the parts of it we find acceptable.
Saying “Yes” also means making the most of every opportunity and encounter that comes our way. It means taking chances, stretching outside our comfort zone, acknowledging and owning our insecurities – even if we are working to overcome them; acknowledging and working with our fears; working through what we perceive as failures, criticisms, and rejection.
In short, saying “Yes” means turning up more in our lives, embracing all the good, the uncomfortable, the challenges. Saying “Yes” means expanding what might be possible.
Author: Maureen Owen
Maureen supports leaders and their teams to navigate and lead at the edge. Committed to genuine partnership, she encourages clients to use the challenges they face as catalysts for growth, and the opportunity to learn, to bring more of themselves, their gifts, their potential and humanity forward.