We all encounter a degree of resistance in life, it’s simply unavoidable. But does it seem to you like life has been getting more difficult lately? Do you find that it takes more effort to accomplish things that used to be simple?
Isn’t technology supposed to make life easier, more affordable, and less complicated? Theoretically, life should be getting easier, not more difficult. Has that been your experience, or is the exact opposite true?
The ability to cope…
There seems to be something about technological advancement that makes certain specific tasks easier, while simultaneously making life as a whole more challenging.
A quick glance at the increase in prescriptions for antidepressant and anti-anxiety meds makes one fact crystal clear. People on average are losing their ability to cope with the challenges of life.
How do you cope with challenges?
Everyone develops their own ways of coping with challenges. Some of them are productive, some are neutral, and some are destructive. How we choose to cope with life’s challenges will eventually define the direction of our personal growth and development.
If we use happy hour, drugs, anger, or depression as a coping mechanism, what will be the long-term effect on our personal development? And yet, for a growing number of people, these are common responses to challenging situations.
The positive side of coping
We all have the ability to turn challenges into motivation and opportunity. If we learn to view each and every challenge as an opportunity for personal growth, we will be much more inclined to choose productive ways to meet those challenges.
The more you learn to embrace the idea of personal growth, the more you will appreciate the life lessons that come from successfully meeting new challenges. Oddly enough, many of the most valuable lessons we will ever learn are the byproduct of challenging situations.
You can run, but you cannot hide!
Life will always present us with challenges, it’s up to us to decide whether that is a good thing, or a bummer. Our perception will determine our response, and ultimately our attitude toward life in general.
Do we see our circumstances as positive, or negative? Do we see insurmountable obstacles, or new and exciting opportunities? Do we welcome the chance to grow, or do we just want to avoid anything that requires effort? Your answers to those questions will form the framework of your life.
The springboard approach
The two most powerful forces for change are moving away from pain, and moving toward pleasure. When some situation in life makes us uncomfortable, why not harness that energy and use it as a springboard for positive action.
Discomfort is a signal that some area of life needs our attention. If we complain about it, or try to hide from it, the discomfort increases. If we analyze the situation, and then take decisive action, the discomfort motivates us to move away from pain, and toward pleasure. Discomfort is a source of energy that we can use in a positive way.
How I use discomfort to create motivation
When I become aware that something in my life is causing discomfort, here’s how I create a springboard. First I agitate the discomfort by looking at the negative ways I am experiencing it. Then I acknowledge the direction I need to go in order to move toward a solution. Finally, I challenge myself, make a commitment, and use the discomfort as rocket fuel to accomplish my new goal.
I especially like to do this with fitness goals. While many people are content to allow their level of fitness to decline after the pass a certain age, the very thought creates adequate discomfort to keep me motivated. As a result, my continued progress has added to my motivation and determination. You see, with the right coping skills, discomfort really does become a source of energy that we can harness and use in a positive way.
Choose positive coping skills
To some degree we can work to simplify our lives and reduce the number of challenges we are exposed to. This can make a significant difference in our quality of life, but we will still face challenges! In the long run, adopting positive and productive methods for meeting those challenges is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
Are you finding life to be increasingly more challenging?
What are your favorite ways of coping with challenges?
The lines are open!
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