I went for a run today. Ran 5km! For me that is an achievement. I set myself a goal and boom – made it!
But that is not what this blog is about today. I just wanted you all to be impressed that I achieved my goal 😊 I’ll revisit goal setting again another day.
Now whilst I was running, I passed a few other runners – not overtook them, we just passed each other, they were coming my way. And you know what I noticed? They all had their heads down looking at the ground in front of them. Why? To avoid potholes? To avoid a crack in the pavement – or something even worse?
When I run, I run head up with a smile on my face and looking ahead (I hope people driving by wonder what I’m up to). No head down for me.
It got me thinking: that’s what a lot of people do, when running, or walking, or just moving in the direction of life – head down and concentrating on where to put their feet. But what does this achieve? Not much, except you’ve dodged the dog poo, or the pothole.
Honestly though, if you had your head up, and looked in front of where you are going (walking or running) you’d see the world around you, as well as that pothole, or crack, or poop that was coming up in front of you, and you’d be able to plan your steps accordingly.
Are you seeing where I’m going with this?
Do you look ahead with a smile on your face and look for challenges ahead so you can plan your journey? Or do you have your head down unaware of what is going on around you, or coming up, until you are right on top of it?
If this is you, you’ve probably left it way too late to be able to deal effectively with the presented challenges. When challenges jump at you, they are often met with surprise and a knee jerk reaction. And how effective is that? It’s not.
If your head has been up the whole way, and you saw the challenge coming, you can meet that challenge head on with a game plan.
Your ability to succeed when faced with a challenge, no matter how difficult, lies in your head space – your mental attitude. It’s often easy to have a positive approach to life when things are going well but you need to adopt the same principles when faced with adversity.
Here are a few hints that I have found to have helped me when I am faced with challenges.
- Remember head up – face it. Face the challenge and act. Putting off a challenge will not make it go away. In fact, it will only make it bigger. And this is true of big challenges, as well as the small ones. The most important thing you can do is face what’s in front of you head on.
- Look at the challenge, assess the situation, your resources, and your abilities, and then act. Your action may include enlisting help from others, but it will be your challenge to solve. The sooner you take up the challenge, the quicker it stops being a problem. Don’t look for the easy way out or some wise words that will show you the way. No one ever solves your problems for you, only you can decide for yourself how you will process the situation.
- Let go of the potential outcome, the stress of hanging on to the outcome is what turns a molehill into a mountain. Once you shift your focus to the thing you’re doing, instead of the result, the most intimidating parts of the challenge start to disappear.
- Most of all, learn to be grateful for the challenges in your life, because they make you stronger. They do, honestly. There is a reason why certain challenges seem hard to you whilst others breeze right through the same situations. Challenges are opportunities to grow. By facing your challenges—even if you fail—with full presence and awareness, you will find most challenges are not challenges at all. They are messages to help you learn and grow. And that is what we are put here on this earth to do – learn and grow.
So, keep your head up. Smile. See what’s ahead and organise your way to meet those potholes head on. And just keep running. Meet them head on.
Start kicking up your heels,