“Times of stress and difficulty are seasons of opportunity when the seeds of progress are sown.” - Thomas F. Woddlock
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.”
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.
How we respond to whatever is unfolding in our lives is critical. I've found that wonderful things can happen when I have the courage to say "Yes" to those unexpected invitations that emerge at the edge of new beginnings. I see this unfold in my clients lives as well when they are brave enough to step up and say "Yes".
“Say yes to everything you're excited about or afraid of.” - Chris Guillebeau
You see, I believe, that life is constantly inviting us to dive deeper, inviting us to grow and evolve, to connect at deeper levels to what is evolving for us. It’s nudging us to take stock, to look at what is unfolding and ask ourselves:
So invite you to say "Yes" more often to whatever is unfolding in your life. "Yes" to what matters most to you; "Yes", to showing up more and more in your fullness; "Yes" to your life; "Yes" to diving deeper and "Yes" to inquiring more deeply into the things that matter most to you. By changing this one thing, you change everything.
Remember: How we respond is a choice.
In this year of unprecedented challenge and disruption, as new beginnings emerge for you, how will you choose to respond? Will you be brave enough to say "Yes"?
Struggling to bounce back from setbacks and stay optimistic in the face of on-going challenges? Feel like your confidence has taken a beating lately? It may be your negative self-talk around a new challenge in your life.
You see when we take on a new challenge or step into a new leadership role we can often find ourselves running headlong into a series of unanticipated challenges. And this where our confidence can take a beating and where we start to doubt ourselves.
Here are a few facts about confidence, from current research, to help you bounce back and stay optimistic in the face of these types of challenges.
Things that POSITIVELY Impact your Confidence:
And things that NEGATIVELY Impact your Confidence:
Furthermore, confidence is linked to being able to quickly assess, learn from and move past failures, to leaning into mastery rather than perfectionism, and to fostering a positive self-concept of our capabilities even when challenged.
The current research also points to the fact that confidence is strongly linked to doing. The best doing is taking action - and learning from the outcomes.
The research also shows that whatever you put your attention on grows, so consider how you can focus your thinking on factors that will positively impact your confidence.
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.