Everything Changes When You See Challenges as Blessings

see challenges as blessings

Have you ever noticed how often the challenges we face  also contains a blessing in disguise? If not, perhaps you haven’t been looking closely enough! Granted, life’s challenges usually seem like inconveniences when they interrupt our schedules, or get in the way of something we want to do. Isn’t that part of the reason we call them challenges?

When we’re working toward an important goal, the last thing we want is to face big, unexpected challenges or obstacles. When that happens, it usually means a major delay, added learning curve, greater expense, or some other unplanned complication. When we are focused on results it is hard to appreciate the detours caused by new challenges.

Reframing challenges

Everything changes when we learn to see life’s challenges in a whole new light. What if we could learn to see them as highly beneficial experiences, adventures in learning, or even as a blessing in disguise? Wouldn’t that be a welcome shift in perception?

The truth is, with the right mental attitude we can completely reframe the way we experience challenges. And asking the right questions is one of the most effective ways to do that. With a little practice we can come to view challenges as some of our most valuable life experiences.

5 questions you can ask yourself when facing challenges

1) What can I learn from this? Too often we view a challenges as irritating annoyance, when in fact it may hold a great opportunity to learn and grow! If we start by asking ourselves, “what can I learn from this experience?” it immediately puts a more positive spin on the situation. It allows us to discover something worth appreciating about our experience. It makes it possible to recognize true value that might have gone unnoticed, and to see opportunity and possibility instead of inconvenience and annoyance.

2) How can this strengthen me? One major reason why a challenge might intimidate us is because we don’t feel capable of handling it. We may have a limited perception of our own abilities, so we automatically believe that the challenge is bigger than we are. If we learn to see each challenge as an opportunity to become stronger and more capable, everything changes. We can use challenging situations to unlock our untapped strengths and abilities. Each time we do this it will increase our confidence until we begin to see most challenges as opportunities to harness our personal power to an even greater degree.

3) How can I use this to my advantage? More often than not, we tend to view a challenge as a disadvantage – but is that necessarily true? When something gets in our way, what do we do? Don’t we start searching for a different strategy to accomplish our goal? The challenge may prove to be a blessing if it helps us discover a better way to do something. Thanks to the challenge, we may be able to replace a flawed strategy with one that works much better. Asking “how can I use this challenge to my advantage” opens our mind to alternatives that we never would have considered otherwise.

4) How can I use this to help others? Even though we might believe that our goals only affect us personally, that is rarely the case. What we do, how we think and feel, and our course of action has an impact on the people around us. Not only do other people watch the things we do and how we live our life – they often model their own behavior after ours. If you refuse to let challenges intimidate you or slow you down, you just might inspire and motivate others to do the same when they face obstacles of their own. Anytime you experience personal growth, you help the people around you in some way.

5) What would make this a worthwhile experience? Sometimes, just being willing to recognize that a challenge may not be such a bad thing can be enough to help you realize all kinds of wonderful benefits from it. This question does a couple of things: first, it helps you feel more empowered because it affirms that you always have a choice in how you react to any situation. Second, it reminds you that every challenge holds the seeds for unlimited blessings and opportunities.

How you see them is up to you!

Challenging circumstances are part of life, that’s not going to change. However, that doesn’t mean that you are a victim of circumstances. Your attitude and perception are something that you create. They are not dictated by your circumstances. You always have a choice! So, the real question here is this, will you choose to look for a blessing in every challenge?

Have you had challenges turn out to be blessings?
Have you learned valuable lessons from challenging times?
The lines are open!

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  1. John Dalton June 8, 2010 Reply

    Another great article Jonathan, well done. I particularly like the, ‘What Would Make This a Worthwhile Experience?’ question. Asking that question can make all the difference.

    • Jonathan June 9, 2010 Reply

      Thanks John, I love what happens to our perspective of any situation when we start using the right questions. It gives direction to the mind.

  2. Dia June 8, 2010 Reply

    Very nice post Jonathan. We always have to appreciate the blessings we have in our lives. It is all about our attitude to what happens to us. Thanks for sharing

    • Jonathan June 9, 2010 Reply

      Hey Dia, yes indeed, learning to constantly and consistently “appreciate the blessings we have in our lives” is such a powerful life skill. Gratitude is attitude!

  3. Frank June 8, 2010 Reply

    “How can I use this to help others?” It is amazing how many doors and opportunities you can open up in your life by just being a blessing to others. You don’t just go through challenges so you can pat yourself on the back. These things are in your life so you can share your experiences and help yourself and others grow from them. Great Job again Jonathan.

    • Jonathan June 9, 2010 Reply

      Thank you Frank. Bringing others into the equation really does help us to maintain a balanced perspective. When we help ourselves it should be natural to extend that to those around us.

  4. ZuzannaM June 8, 2010 Reply

    Hello Jonathan,

    There are many opportunities in challenges; quote,” When one door closes the opportunity window opens.” This actually happens to me. My former employer laid me off. Was not sure where to go at first, but after rethinking the situation I found my way going back to college, graduating and having a diploma. In a mean time contacted my Union and explained the situation to the representative. [I forgot to mention that when a worker sustains injury on the job, and he or she is on Workers Compensation the employer has no right to lay the worker.] The employer made a mistake letting me go. Now, when I think back I feel happy having the skills and knowledge about computers and office work that enables to spend my time blogging, writing and surfing the net. Prior the accident at the work place there was no need for me to have those skills. For me the windows have open to more knowledge and better training. I thank you for the great post, I agree with you that there are always possibilities to change life for better but we need to look out for sources, perhaps some help from agencies. To regain and even get ahead in life with having those disabilities, I did!

    Thank you,

    • Jonathan June 9, 2010 Reply

      Hi Zuzanna, thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with us. You’ve got an excellent attitude in this area and I am glad you are in a position to recognize the blessings that grew out of such a challenging situation.

  5. Kate June 9, 2010 Reply

    Hello Jonathan,

    I like the idea of how our own challenges can help others……something I had never really considered before, but definitely will in the future.
    Many thanks,

    • Jonathan June 9, 2010 Reply

      Hi Kate, this is a perspective that really helped me to keep the “bigger picture” in mind. Helping others is such a rewarding mindset. For me, it really adds dimension and meaning to life. Thanks for joining the conversation Kate!

  6. Sandra Hendricks June 9, 2010 Reply

    “3) How can I use this to my advantage?”

    I like this portion Jonathan! Frequently, the easy way (the way we have always done something) is the most difficult. After we learn a different approach, a new way of doing something, only then, do we realize that we were limiting ourselves.

    • Jonathan June 16, 2010 Reply

      Hi Sandra, to me living and learning need to be synonymous. As long as I am alive I want to learn all I can from each and every experience. Simply put it’s LIVE, LEARN, ADJUST, LIVE BETTER. It’s a continuous process.

  7. This has happened to me on numerous occasions, Jonathan….When a VP promised me an assignment and then yanked it away without any reason, it forced me to leave a mediocre position for a fantastic one….When a colleague I knew and trusted betrayed me, I found another team where integrity is the #1 priority, and when my ex-boyfriend left, I found the love of my life in between tears and heart-break. All challenges can be turned into blessings, some turn into a miracle of a blessing really! Thank you for the reminder!

    • Jonathan June 16, 2010 Reply

      Farnoosh, I love this perspective: “All challenges can be turned into blessings, some turn into a miracle of a blessing.” That is the healthiest way to view challenges.

  8. Amit Sodha June 10, 2010 Reply

    After going through a very tough time in India trying to repatriate my sick mother I realized there was not a lot I couldn’t handle after being through something so traumatic.

    • Jonathan June 16, 2010 Reply

      Hey Amit, thanks for sharing your post (and the lessons it taught) with us. Challenges build up our emotional muscle the way lifting weights builds up our physical muscles. We get stronger every time we deal with challenges successfully.

  9. Ching Ya June 10, 2010 Reply

    Thank you for the enlightening read, Jonathan. This is why I enjoy reading self-development blogs. It always good to be reminded that we’re not alone and things will get better as time passes. It’s funny that we could grumble about the tough challenges we faced today; but then laugh it off after months time and grateful for the growth. That’s life. :)

    Social/Blogging Tracker

    • Jonathan June 16, 2010 Reply

      Hi Ching Ya, it’s always special when you stop by. I think there are many things we know but still need to be reminded of. It’s so easy to get off track and forget those important little (or big) steps that haven’t become a habit yet. By the way, I love your site, you do an amazing job.

  10. Ibrahim June 11, 2010 Reply

    I’ve always seen challenges as a way to grow and learn from a new perspective, and therefore have always treated them as blessings.

    It keeps the stress low as well. Great post!

    • Jonathan January 13, 2011 Reply

      So right Ibrahim about how our stress levels are related to our perception of any situation. Adjusting our perception to see blessings is challenges takes some effort, but it is certainly worth it.

  11. Walter June 12, 2010 Reply

    This is a nice perspective you have shared here. Actually, I believe that every experience we have in life has a reason, and such is to learn from it. Instead of resisting challenges, we should look at the other side of it. :-)

    • Jonathan January 13, 2011 Reply

      That’s a nice way to put it Walter, “look at the other side of it.” We definitely need the ability to see beyond what’s happening during challenging times.

  12. Sibyl Chavis June 13, 2010 Reply

    Jonathan: I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes what looks to be an inconvenient challenge is actually an opportunity to learn and grow enormously. It really is all about perspective and how you view things. I thought the tips you shared was great. Thanks for those.

    • Jonathan January 13, 2011 Reply

      Hi Sibyl, it’s sad that so many people never figure that they have control over their own perspective. Altering how we view things alters our reality.

  13. JM June 14, 2010 Reply

    Wonderful post, Jonathan. It’s all about seeing the glass half-full. If we focus on the positive aspects of our life, this would allow us to move toward our goals despite the obstacles along our way. I think obstacles help us gain a deeper perspective in life; it allows us to see things from a new perspective.

    • Jonathan January 13, 2011 Reply

      I totally agree JM, there is this tested quality that we gain with experience and that facilitates growth. Challenges are a major contributor to that.

  14. Nea June 15, 2010 Reply

    This is a great article, Jonathan. My thoughts are very much in alignment with yours on this. The challenges will come, but the quality of our lives has a lot to do with how we handle those challenges.

    Looking back, I’ve found myself in some tough situations. Sometimes I couldn’t imagine how I’d survive, but I made it through anyway. I came out of major situations with major life lessons. And for that I’m thankful.

    There’s value in pretty much everything, but we have to decide to see it.

    • Jonathan January 13, 2011 Reply

      Nea, I just love this: “There’s value in pretty much everything, but we have to decide to see it.” Beautifully said.

  15. Steve October 22, 2010 Reply

    Absolutely love this post, Jonathan. Challenges are opportunities in disguise. And our thought process behind how we respond to those challenges are key to how we come through them.

    • Jonathan January 13, 2011 Reply

      Hi Steve, “Challenges are opportunities in disguise.” That is a great way to view them. Sometimes we have to work pretty hard to get past the disguise, that when we find out what we are made of.

  16. I admire you August 7, 2011 Reply

    I love the contents! Thanks for sharing your perspective towards life’s challenges.. I know, many readers will appreciate this! Looking forward to read your other articles,blogs and etc. God bless you!

  17. MJ July 5, 2012 Reply

    Many challenges have faced me in my life from anterograde amnesia (that helped me leave behind a horrific past), to being a single parent (now with confidence I can do things on my own), a car accident while pregnant that left me unable to provide for my child and baby (I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought possible). From this I’ve learned self-reliance, thinking “outside the box” and even though I thought I was prepared, I know now one can never be prepared for everything. Therefore, you must believe in yourself and a higher power to succeed.

  18. Kevin Martin March 10, 2013 Reply

    I believe that challenges are virtuous because whether they end in success or in failure, they still take us forward as failure still causes a person to learn and grow.

  19. Kyle B March 1, 2014 Reply

    Great questions to ask yourself during a challenging situation! These will surely change your state and see things from a different perspective!

    Thanks for sharing!

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