Tag: stretching

Challenging Myself

I think I see the most growth when I attempt to do something difficult. I don’t want it to be too difficult, because then it’s just frustrating and I avoid it. But something that makes me stretch just a bit, especially if it’s something that I can do consistently over a period of time, is wonderful for helping me improve.

Challenges can come from many different places. Sometimes I pick the challenge, as I do with what I post on this website, or the resolutions and goals I set for myself. Other times I am given a challenge by someone else, such as a request for a drawing or an article for a newsletter. And sometimes I join in on someone else’s challenge, such as Nanowrimo or Inktober.

All are valuable learning experiences. The last type is especially fun, because then you can compare notes with other people doing the same thing. This is my first year joining in on Inktober, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing how other people interpret the prompts. (See here for rules/prompts: https://inktober.com/rules) An extra challenge with joining in with others can be to keep going if the people you are working with stop.

I usually try to seek out challenges in areas where I need growth. But, opportunities to grow often come unexpectedly. The trick is to enjoy them and keep going as much as possible. It’s also important to recognize the times when it’s too much and you need to edit your list and do less.

Life can be a balancing act. Sometimes things are really hard, and sometimes it’s not so bad. Growth is like that too. I just tell myself to do my best during the hard times, and whatever I can do is good enough. I think that’s when I grow the most.

Do you try to challenge yourself by setting goals and resolutions? Have you been given challenges by other people? Have you joined in on a challenge? What was your experience?

Stretching

I’m back from the writing conference. It was stressful to interact with so many people for several days in a row away from my usual support system. However, I had a lot of fun.

Three years ago when I attended the same conference, I cried in my room every night because it was so stressful. This time, there weren’t any tears. It’s moments like this, where I can look back to a similar situation and see how much better I handled it, that I can see how much growing I’m doing.

As an adult, I think we think less about our growth. It isn’t as visible as it was when we were younger. When everything is new, we grow in all directions.

As a child, the challenges are built in. We learn to walk, talk, and eat with a spoon. When we’re older, we choose a lot of our challenges. Not all of them, though. Sometimes they sneak up on us and there isn’t much we can do to avoid them.

We all eventually have to deal with hard things that we wouldn’t have chosen. It’s a part of life. Luckily, there is a silver lining. Hard things can be a source of learning and growth.

I say can be, because we don’t have to grow from challenges. We can refuse to face them or hand them off to someone else. While this may be the appropriate response for some challenges, it would not be good for us to handle every challenge this way.

We grow when we accept challenges and attempt to meet them. Success or failure doesn’t matter as much as whether or not we stretch to meet a goal. It’s how we keep the skills we have and gain new ones. It is stressful and difficult, but at the end, there is a lot of satisfaction that we did all we could and made it through the challenge to the other side.

As it says in Psalm 30:5, “ …weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

I will continue to find challenges. Life is like that. I can already see some heading this way. I hope that I continue to stretch and learn and grow. I’d like to find joy in the morning.

As you look back and see how much you’ve grown, what have you learned? Are there any challenges that you’ve chosen that you are excited about?

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