The Value In Challenging Yourself

Sometimes things can get a little boring (or a lot boring, in some cases). You get stuck in a routine, even though you didn’t try to create or maintain that routine. You are doing the same things over and over, and what was once interesting no longer interests you. Nothing is riveting about a status quo that has lived on longer than it should have.

Maybe I am talking about your work life. Alternatively, maybe you are reading this, and it calls some other part of your life to your mind’s eye. In some area, you have likely been lulled to sleep by comfort and competence, the combination that creates stasis in human beings. Comfort and competence are how one stops growing; you know how to do what you need to do, and you accept your current results.

Giving Up What You Know

But what if you were no longer competent? What if you raised the bar you set yourself higher than anyone else would dare to set it for you? What would you have to change to improve what you are doing so much that your current level of competence wasn’t good enough for the new standard you set for yourself?

What if the level of performance of which you are capable is so far beyond what you have accepted that it would be worth pursuing? Could you give up the comfort of your current state—and the greater comfort of your competence? Could you adopt the beginner’s mind and look at something with new eyes, accepting that you have to let go of what you have to have what comes next?

Post Traumatic Growth Syndrome

I believe in post-traumatic growth syndrome, the adversity that causes people to grow from the experiences and challenges that life throws at them. However, you don’t have to wait for adversity to find you. You can challenge yourself.

You can set new goals that require you to rethink and reimagine everything you know in order to produce results that are far greater than anything you have produced up until now. You can set new standards for yourself and your performance in some area where you lack the knowledge and skills and disciplines to reach that standard. You can challenge yourself, and in doing so, create your own adversity—the kind of adversity through which you transform into the better version of yourself, you 2.0, or 3.7, or 5.1, or whatever.

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