Deal with Your Challenges before They Arise

Welcome them if you can’t.

Imagine you enter a pub, and ten tough guys are sitting at the bar. You can choose one of them and charge him. Otherwise, one or more of them will charge you later.

If you make the first move, you have the choice, and you have to deal with one man. If you don’t make the first move, you lose the choice of opponent, and you might have to deal with more than one man.

Now, I don’t suggest you go to a bar and start a fight. On the contrary, I advise against that. This is just a simple story to illustrate the challenges of life.

Life has some challenges in store for all of us. At any time, we have the choice to pick one of them and start working on it. If we don’t do that at our own pace, we’ll experience one or more of them in the future. We won’t have a choice then.

You’re Most Vulnerable in Your Comfort Zone.

Our default behavior is to stay in our comfort zone and to avoid challenges. However, our comfort zone isn’t immune to challenges.

If we don’t get out of our comfort zone and face challenges, challenges come and find us in our comfort zone. And the results are usually uglier.

Progress = Pain + Reflection

In his book, Principles, Ray Dalio defines the formula of progress as “pain + reflection.” Our default behavior is to avoid pain. By avoiding pain, we also avoid progress.

Again, I don’t suggest harming yourself just to make progress. I recommend you don’t avoid getting out of your comfort zone just to avoid pain.

Avoiding pain is avoiding progress.

You Can’t Solve Your Challenges by Escaping Them.

There are more and more people who want to start their own business and be their own boss. If you want to do that, just ask yourself the following question.

What’s your motivation to start your own business?

  • Is it to get rich?
  • Is it to exploit an opportunity in the market?
  • Is it to create a better life for yourself and your loved ones?
  • Is it to produce more value?
  • Is it to realize your full potential?

Or

  • Is it to escape your problems in your current job?
  • Is it to avoid the unpleasant relationships with your boss and colleagues?
  • Is it to have a lighter workload?

If your motivation is one or more of the first set of questions, then you have a healthy way of approaching life. If your motivation is one or more of the second set of questions, I have bad news for you.

Your challenges are mostly the products of your default programming.

The problems you face in your life are an excellent opportunity to look at your default programming and to fix it.

If you don’t change your default programming, you’ll likely bump against the same challenges in your next business, in your next job, and in your next relationship.

Instead of quitting your job or your relationship just because you face challenges, treat those challenges as growth opportunities.

Solve your problems in your current job or relationship before moving on to the next one. Otherwise, you’ll create the same problems in your next job or relationship, and you’ll wonder why.

Conclusion

None of us is immune to the challenges of life. If we don’t get out of our comfort zone and seek out challenges, they’ll find us in our comfort zone and cause greater damage.

Avoiding pain is also avoiding progress. In a constantly evolving world, staying where you are is falling back.

Our problems are products of our default programming. We can’t solve our problems by changing jobs or starting a new relationship. We can only solve them by changing our programming.

Burak Bilgin
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.