The things no one ever tells you about challenges – Part 1

Enablers and Interrupters.

Challenges are an inevitable part of life. They force us to grow in ways that make us more aware, evolved and enlightened. Accepting challenges, as a normal part of life, is not always easy. But they do sometimes bring benefits. I’ve listed some of them below:

  • boost our self-confidence
  • help us to exceed personal expectations
  • allow us to dispel self-limiting beliefs
  • move us away from out-dated beliefs and behaviours
  • conquer our fears
  • experience life in the present moment, and
  • help us to know more about who we are and what we are truly capable of.

On the upside, challenges enhance our experiences. On the downside, they can be downright disruptive to our daily routine. In life there are two types of challenges that coexist, they’re the ‘interrupters’ and the ‘enablers’. The interrupters are the nasty suckers that we don’t see coming. They have no shame or hesitation, in imposing themselves on us. These challenges are like uninvited guests. Who arrive at short notice and cause varying degrees of upheaval and disarray during their visit.

On the other hand, Enablers are the challenges we consciously choose to engage with. They bring us the greatest enjoyment, meaning, and personal fulfilment. These are the experiences we are more open to, because they give a sense of aliveness, connection and personal accomplishment. Without enablers, life would be routine, predictable and very boring.

Both interrupters and enablers provide the opportunity for us to stretch our limits, so we can learn more about who we are and what we are truly capable of. Regardless of the type of experience, both types of challenges are integral to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth and evolution. However, it’s the interrupters that cause unwanted disruption, and are the most difficult to deal with.

What do challenges have to teach us?

No one can tell us why challenges happen, that’s something we have to work out for ourselves. But we do need to acknowledge they serve a purpose. While challenges are not always welcome and are even sometimes uncomfortable, they could almost be forgiven for intruding, given they play such a major role in our personal growth and evolution. With every challenge, comes the opportunity for invaluable learning and personal growth.

Even though we perceive challenges to be disruptive forces with no purpose, there’s a lot more to be gained from effectively dealing with them than we realise. Each time we overcome a challenge, we become more resourceful, accepting, strong, resilient and self-assured. These are the qualities that you can’t buy or acquire unless you go through periods of pain, adversity, and/or hardship. Yet, these are the qualities we need to stand us in good stead, to help us become better equipped at handling life. So you see, while uninvited challenges can be difficult, and often unwelcome, they do have a lot to teach us. Especially if we step up to meet them. Of course, it goes without saying, that it’s the interrupters cause the most disruption and unease in our daily lives.

Interrupters: What do they bring into our lives?

Interrupters are better known as issues or obstacles. They are not necessarily the challenges we choose to have an experience with. Nor are they always exciting, pleasant or enjoyable. Yet, they still have something to teach us. These challenges have a nasty habit of arriving in unpleasant packages. The packages usually require the recipients’ attention, a level of problem solving, and creative ability to unpack. Once the contents are unpacked, the recipient feels a sense of personal accomplishment and achievement, often not available through other lived experiences.

The sheer nature of interrupters forces us to reconsider out-dated ways of thinking and behaving. In fact, we could be forgiven for believing that interrupters have a life of their own. The key thing to remember with these types of challenges is, we always have the option to choose how we want to respond. In general, our responses should be focused on staying calm, cool and collected if we want to have the best possible outcomes.

Interrupters will always be present in our lives, so perhaps if we viewed these challenges in a more positive light, then we might appreciate the valuable lessons that come our ongoing interactions with them.

Enablers: Why do we need more of them in our lives?

On the other hand, Enablers are intentional challenges we welcome. They give us the opportunity to purposely take ourselves out of our comfort zone, in a healthy way. The beauty of these experiences is that they enable us to interact with the deeper, more undisclosed sides of ourselves. These are the aspects of ourselves that we are not usually privy to unless we’ve already done the work.

Everyday provides the opportunity for us to try something different and new. By purposely introducing new challenges into our lives we have the opportunity to engage in activities that help us to build confidence, achieve new limits, regain our personal power, and gain a deeper understanding of what we are truly capable of. It’s the enablers that help us to live more authentically. They also give us something to look forward amongst the daily grind of life. And, we all need more of that.

Why it’s important to have both interrupters and enablers in your life.

There’s no doubt that interrupters and enablers are equally important in our lives. Sometimes we approach these challenges with confidence and gusto, and other times we struggle to overcome them. There are times where we go in search of them and times when we don’t. Either way, they will always be present in our lives. If you really want to rise to the challenge, the best way to do this is to:

  • focus on the challenge at hand
  • be in the present moment
  • stop, pause and then respond, and
  • practice self-awareness and self control.

Intentional actions will always result in better outcomes and that’s what we’re all aiming for. So next time you meet a challenge, don’t be in a rush to tackle it. Take you time, be open to the lessons and embrace the opportunity to learn more about yourself.

FEEL understands only too well the challenges that women face today. Come join our Collaborative. We offer you the space and means to help you find your way home.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

Eleanor Roosevelt


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