Challenges can be a real bummer. I once finished a 6-month project and felt very good about myself only to discover much of what I worked on was obsolete and needed to be redone.
At the time I was already looking forward to some exciting new ventures and was mentally calculating the potential profits my completed project would bring in. So this challenge felt like a punch to the gut which put me in a funk for a couple of days.
Needless to say, my disappointment was all-consuming and made me rather unproductive. But, suddenly, I was able to snap out of it with a single thought and refocus my attention to updating my work.
The simple thought that brought me back was “Everything happens for a reason.”
If you’re an optimist like me, then you’ve probably reflected on your past mistakes or on a situation that seemed catastrophic when it happened, and found a positive reason why they occurred precisely when they did.
And if you haven’t, do it now. I’m sure you’ll find a silver lining in a bad experience from your past that led to something wonderful you would have never experienced without it.
In my previous example, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and refocused on the project. However, some challenges are so great that they may be a signal for you to cut ties altogether and start anew.
It’s difficult to know how to read the signs sometimes especially since all challenges can be painful. This dilemma reminds me of something one of my coaches said when we were in pain, “Are you hurt, or are you injured?”
If you’re hurt but you can still suit up, then game on. If you’re injured, however, you may have to lick your wounds and rehabilitate your plans.
There have been many projects and partners that I had to cut ties with because I was too injured to continue playing. Put another way, the challenge(s) were an obvious sign to move on.
But ultimately, it was always for the best and led me to even better opportunities that I would have surely missed had I fought through those challenges.
Time and time again this has occurred in my life to reinforce my resolve that every challenge serves a purpose. Although the pain of the initial setback blinded me for a couple of days, my resolve returned even stronger when my project turned out far better than its previous version, above and beyond the necessary updates.
What’s more, some of the challenges for the upcoming projects I had been looking forward to had worked themselves out during the time it took me to update my older work.
So the next time you’re faced with a setback, remember that everything happens for a reason. If you can’t immediately identify the reason, then try to determine if you’re hurt or injured.
Finally, keep moving forward in the direction that your intuition tells you and something great will be waiting for you just beyond the roadblock.
J.P. Hicks is an entrepreneur, info-activist, pro blogger, editor of Blog Tips and author of a book about blogging. Follow @ Twitter, or like on Facebook.
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