Five Ways To Challenge Yourself
The purpose of life is to live it. And taking risks is part of living to the fullest. Life would be pretty boring without challenges. Doing things builds confidence.
A ship is safe at dock, but if it spends too long there, the bottom rots out.
If we let Anxiety immobilize us and keep us home it becomes a cycle that increases our anxiety. The less we do, the less we believe in our self. The more unfamiliar we are with doing things and the scarier they become. The suffering increases. If we don't live, we often want to die.
Here are some ways to challenge yourself and stop the cycle of Anxiety's growth.
Five Ways To Challenge Yourself:
- Create something - Humans are made made to create. When we are not in any kind of creative process, our souls begin to wither. Our unoccupied brain has time to delve into negative emotions like anxiety and guilt, and we can get immobilized. The fastest way to jump start any healing is to be creative. This could mean crafts, but it doesn’t just mean crafts. Creating is any kind of problem solving endeavor. You create a resolution. You use your brain to figure out how you are going to do something. Your brain is making decisions to create the best possible result. Here are some examples, organize an event, find something you are looking for, make art or crafts, clean out a closet, remake furniture, redecorate a room, fix something, write, cook, etc.
- Be flexible- A tree that is straight and tall has to fight the hardest to get to the light. But plants are flexible. They rarely grow in a straight line. They bend and twist to reach the pockets of light that comes through other branches. It might be a challenge to be flexible, but you can reach the light faster. Sometimes we fight against our self when we have unbendable expectations. Stop fighting, dance and bend and reach what you want in a different direction.
- Listen without giving advice- Sometimes people just want to be listened to and feel their words being received by someone’s heart. This is one of the best gifts you can give to someone. All too often we feel like when people need us, we have to fix things for them. But unsolicited advise can feel like a judgment. And they might not have asked for that in the first place. Challenge yourself to listen without giving advice, unless they beg you for it, and then do so gently with hesitation. Buddhist say don’t give advice until you are asked three times. (I myself have to remember this better.) Being there for someone else can help you get out of obsessive thinking in your own head.
- Give without resentment and say no without guilt. If you do something and feel resentful that you have to, or say no and feel guilty, you'll find that you have no place to stand outside of blame. This is the rut people often get into. Make sure you can tell the difference between what you don’t want to and what you don’t have to do. Sometimes we think we have to do things that we don’t have to do. (You know who you are.) Be able to distinguish this. Just ask yourself why you need to do it and see if that answer is good enough. Say no to things that you do not feel passionate about. If you know in your heart that is NOT your life purpose, say no without feeling a guilt like a ton of bricks fall on your head. If you choose to do something because you want to, choose it consciously and make that your choice wholeheartedly.
- Try something new. Go one step past you comfort zone in at least one arena. It doesn’t matter if it is calling for pizza when you hate using the phone. Anything. Challenging yourself by trying little and big new activities frequently and regularly. It will keep you feeling young and vibrant. It can give you a sense of accomplishment and increase your self esteem and self confidence. We can all use this!
Do you challenge yourself? And in what kind of ways?
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LCSW-R, J. (2013, August 21). Five Ways To Challenge Yourself, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2013/08/five-ways-to-challenge-yourself