Perception of Challenges and Opportunities

No more excuses—it’s time to face your fear and embrace a challenge. Whether it be a new job, a new class, or a new experience, waiting for anxiety to dissipate before embarking on your next challenge only prolongs that stress and worry.

Theorists believe that new experiences are often the only thing that help us challenge ourselves, understand ourselves, and grow. Being stuck in the same experiences day after day limits our ability to discover ourselves.

Here is the best part – perspective is key to propelling yourself to your destination. If instead of looking at a new experience as a frightening challenge, try to view that challenge as an opportunity. Vocabulary plays a large role on how we perceive situations and how we react to them. The term opportunity implies that it is something positive and to our benefit. This can both tempt and soothe us simultaneously.

Stephen Joseph Ph.D., a Professor of Psychology, Health, and Social Care at the University of Nottingham, explains that one cannot stay in a comfort zone and believe that one learns. Learning is an essential ingredient in the recipe of growth and development.

The down side, Dr. Joseph states, is that every challenge/opportunity, you face the possibility of failure. This is why most make excuses and rationalizations for why they should stay where they are instead of taking a risk towards something they actually want. We make ourselves believe it is better to stay than change to calm our fears. The only problem is that we do not feel comfortable; we feel more uncomfortable knowing that we are not in the place we are supposed to be, not leading the life we want. Being too afraid to go out and make our desired dreams into reality will plague us more so than just fighting the fear of enduring a new challenge.

Facing your fear allows you to face yourself, test yourself, and most importantly, discover yourself. How else will you discover your limits if you don’t test them until you find your ceiling? How else will you know what you like or dislike when you haven’t given yourself the opportunity to try many things that you can pick from? You are limiting your own knowledge about yourself. Authenticity makes people happy; so go out there and explore to truly find out!

In one respect, some people are lucky that it is easy for them to embrace challenges with enthusiasm without the greatest debilitating barrier: fear. On the other hand, some struggle to figure out how to move forward despite their fear. Don’t let fear stand in your way; if you need a little bit of help on how to get started, a talented psychotherapist can listen, validate you, then help you move past your fear and embrace new beginnings.

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