Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. They show up in our personal and professional lives at what often seems like the most inopportune times. While we generally cannot choose the challenges we face, we can choose how we respond to them, including reframing.
It’s not uncommon to view challenges as impediments to our progress or well-being. Life will be going along so smoothly and then — wham! — the unexpected problem shows up. In those moments, it’s far too easy to begin feeling angry, down, frustrated, dismayed, or some mix of all of these. However, by reframing the way we think about challenges, we can assuage those feelings and position ourselves to better handle challenging situations.
Challenges are growth opportunities.
I’ve run into very few people in life who have no desire to improve themselves in some way. While challenges can be frustrating, they can also help us grow in many ways. Every time we overcome adversity, we come out better equipped to handle similar situations in the future. Challenges often force us outside our comfort zones and cause us to develop new skills or expand our knowledge. They also cause us to be more resilient and to have greater confidence in our abilities.
Challenges are part of our purpose.
The work that I do is full of unique problems to solve. When it comes to endeavors like closing a sale with a new client, working through a delicate people issue, or planning a project kickoff, there is often not a simple, obvious path to success. But, that is, of course, why I am here. I was hired because of the fact that the work is challenging, and it is my purpose to create successful outcomes despite the challenges.
The same is true for most people. When we face challenges at work and we start to feel frustrated, reframing helps. We can remind ourselves that this is why we are here. We aren’t the victims. Instead, we are the special forces brought in to eliminate the threat.
Challenges are catalysts for strengthening relationships.
In collaborative environments, challenges often bring people together and unite them under a common goal. In many cases, when faced with a difficult task, we must rely on one another and work in concert in order to achieve a successful outcome. This process strengthens relationships and deepens trust.
When we overcome a challenge together, we also get the opportunity to celebrate together. These shared experiences create a greater sense of camaraderie.
Create better outcomes with reframing.
When faced with a challenge, if we allow the natural, negative emotions to take hold, we end up making it much more difficult to succeed. Whether we’re working alone or with others, the negative emotions only serve to cloud our thinking and detract from our ability to engage in creative problem-solving. However, if we combat those feelings by reminding ourselves that good things such as personal and professional growth, a feeling of fulfillment, and stronger relationships can be achieved, we position ourselves for greater and faster success.