In this series, I challenge you on a fortnightly basis to look at something in your life from a different perspective.
Challenge is one of those words that will bring up different feelings in people. Some when they hear the word challenge they will get uncomfortable, feel frustrated or pressure. Some will be excited, passionate or driven.
The dictionary definition of challenge in the Cambridge English Dictionary is:
“(the situation of being faced with) something that needs significant mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person’s ability”
Is challenge bad? Is it beneficial for us to challenge ourselves? One way to consider this is by looking at Mental Wellbeing.
Wellbeing describes your mental state – How you feel and how you can cope with your day to day life.
“Mental wellbeing is essential for me to function and be happy.”
The “Five Ways to Mental Wellbeing” developed by the UK Government considered how to improve everyone’s mental capital and mental wellbeing through life. There is evidence that suggests that a small improvement in wellbeing can help to decrease some mental health problems and also help people to flourish.
The 5 actions to develop Well Being are:
- Be active
- Take notice
- Keep learning
The part that I shall focus on for this blog is the “Keep learning”. We often have the assumption that learning is something we do when younger, such as college or university. We finish our education, and that is it done surely? Well no we continue as we grow older to conceive and try new things unless we find that this is outside our comfort zone. As a species, we will often stick to our comfort zones because it is where we feel safe. If we try new things, It will push us outside that comfort zone and into our panic zone. We end up spending most of our energy in panic mode and not learning from the experience. Between these two zones is the learning zone where we are pushing our boundaries and experimenting but no so much that we are in “Panic mode”.
“Set yourself a challenge: Find something you like doing and do more of it.”
We all have different comfort zones, and one thing which for me is the most natural thing in the world for you will be entirely outside that zone. For example, I have never skydived, and maybe never will. It is outside my comfort zone, and the thought of doing it feels me with panic. So what about people that do skydive? For them, it is further In or entirely in their comfort zone. They were not born like that and learned how to overcome that challenge and push themselves to new heights.
The website for Mind, the mental health charity have an excellent source regarding well – being and I shall highlight some parts here:
You could take up a hobby, join a class or volunteer your time for something you feel passionate about.
At times it can be hard to find the motivation to set goals for yourself, especially when you do not feel confident or worry about what other people may think. However, it does not have to be something big.
Making small goals such as trying a recipe or learning the days of the week in a new language can help you to feel more positive about yourself.
“Focus on ‘small wins’ don’t chase big achievements. Do the little things and use it as a springboard whatever you can do be proud of it!”
My challenge to you for the next two weeks is to consider your comfort zone.
- What did you used to find harder to do but pushed yourself to explore and experiment with?
- What at the moment do you feel is too big a challenge and would like to move closer to your comfort zone?