Are there days when the problems you’re facing make you want to stay in bed, cover your head with the blankets, and wish they would go away? I’ve felt like this before, and it isn’t a good feeling!
How Can You Benefit From Overcoming Challenges?
When you ignore a problem, you often feel miserable every time thoughts of it creep into your mind. After the challenge looms over your head for a while, either you choose to dig in and handle the issue, or you’re forced to deal with the incident.
Either way, you get the chore done, usually feel good about doing it, and often wish you had done the job sooner.
You gain many great advantages when you overcome your challenges. Every benefit gained multiplies into additional rewards.
3 Benefits Gained through Overcoming Challenges
1. Overcoming Challenges Feels Good
You need challenges. You thrive with the right amount of challenge and stimulation.
Even handling hardships that come with unexpected stressful situations can bring uplifting feelings of accomplishment and exhilaration.
Personal Story of Feeling Good While Overcoming Challenges
When my mom’s husband unexpectedly fell outside their apartment, an ambulance took him to the hospital. This emergency started a storm of events that I needed to handle immediately. Overcoming these difficulties seemed impossible.
I live an hour away and have MS. These made handling the hardships even more daunting. Taking a flurry of steps, I moved my mom to a care center because she had dementia, found a home for her dog, and gutted her apartment that also served as her storage unit.
I had to move quickly through the maze of obstacles. The apartment had to be completely overhauled to avoid eviction. The manager had scheduled an inspection within the week. I desperately wanted their home in good standing.
I left my house first thing in the morning and didn’t return until late at night, so I was exhausted and my body ached constantly.
Although I felt emotionally and physically depleted, I felt relief as I finished each task. Finally, after a couple of weeks, I had completed the urgent demands.
As I was driving home, I passed Mount Timpanogos, a magnificent mountain located halfway between Salt Lake and Provo.
At the same moment I was marveling at the beautiful mountain, I spontaneously felt exhilaration.
I had overcome enormous unexpected obstacles over the past couple of weeks. Feelings of self-love and appreciation washed over me.
The positive feelings that permeated through me are hard to put into words. The experience was intense. Having the positive feelings come during such a challenging time felt strangely out of place.
I had similar feelings in the past as a single mom handling the surgeries and care of my disabled kids. I experienced feelings of self-satisfaction, appreciation, fulfillment, accomplishment, and relief.
When we accept the challenges before us and handle them, we suffer less and gain multiple benefits.
You think it’s your problems that are creating your suffering, but it is your resistance to the challenges that are causing your unhappiness. Hence the saying,
By accepting and surrendering to what is happening, instead of resisting it, overcoming challenges is easier. The experience goes smoother.
I love the word, surrender. When I am facing chores, I don’t want to do, or when I’m engaged in challenging tasks and feeling myself resisting, I say to myself, “surrender.” Immediately, my shoulders relax, and I sigh with a big breath.
Even though your challenges may look different from other people’s problems, you often feel the same feelings while you’re going through them. A loss feels like a loss no matter how it looks. It’s the same with disappointment, anger, and sadness.
You are not as alone as you feel you are.
Overcoming my hardships hasn’t been easy. Some of my challenges include: raising two children with the rare condition, Miller syndrome, which causes multiple disabilities, as well as a separate lung disease and autism.
Overcoming MS isn’t easy either, however, as I overcome each obstacle I feel relief.
I even experience moments of feeling good during the challenging events as I described in my earlier story.
It might be hard to believe that we can feel positive in the middle of a problem but it is possible!
The rewards you receive from overcoming challenges enhance the positive experience of feeling good.
Feeling Good Brings Rewards of Joy, Love, and Peace
As you overcome your challenges and feel good, you are also able to experience more joy in your life.
You gain an appreciation for doing ordinary chores like washing the dishes, grocery shopping, and cleaning the house. You’re also more likely to do them with an underlying feeling of happiness, or joy, instead of resistance and stress.
Often, when I’ve been avoiding doing tasks that need doing, and they’ve piled up, I don’t want to wake up.
Sometimes my office gets cluttered with piles of paperwork on my desk and drying racks filled with clean clothes waiting for me to put them away. At the same time, there can be piles of dirty clothes in my closet and the shelves on in my refrigerator are bare. Ugh!
Do you recognize this scenario? Chores can certainly feel like challenges sometimes.
Avoiding your chores can diminish your motivation to do anything. Denial creates a dark cloud to hang over your head all day. Unfinished business depresses you and keeps you from doing things you enjoy.
No matter why you finally do your chores, you’ll feel better afterward. You will even wonder why you waited so long.
Feeling more love for our family and friends, and most importantly our self-empowers us to create a life we’re more excited to live.
As you experience love, you grow a sense of inner peace.
Build Personal Strength Through Overcoming Challenges
Overcoming hardships makes you stronger. When facing a problem early on, you often wonder how you’ll overcome it. After succeeding, you gain strength and confidence that you can overcome anything.
In my book, Eight Fingers and Eight Toes, I wrote about many of my challenges as I was facing them with fear and uncertainty. My readers walk with me from these moments of self-doubt through my journey to becoming a stronger and more confident person.
During one of the stories in my book, I was describing to one of my customers how good I was feeling after a challenging run with multiple problems.
I feel like I’m floating. I feel light and unburdened from worries at the moment. It feels similar to enjoying a ray of sunshine. I know the warmth and brightness from the ray that is momentarily coming through the clouds will not last, so I am soaking it up while it is here, enjoying it, relishing how it feels. ~Debbie Jorde, Eight Fingers and Eight Toes
I was able to feel incredible joy, even though minutes after that conversation, I received a phone call from my son, Logan, who was in trouble and needed my help.
Feeling joy between challenges is a reward you gain from overcoming the difficulties as you face them.
Handling the problems you can do something about, and accepting the ones you can’t change, creates room for more happiness.
The more joy you feel, the stronger you feel. The more powerful you feel, the more you gain additional rewards.
Having Strength Brings Additional Rewards
Attributes of a person’s character include mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual, such as integrity, loyalty, courage, fortitude, and honesty.
You build character in many ways:
- Hard work
- Solving problems
Within each of these roles are opportunities to overcome difficulties and build character.
Here’s a personal story my husband told me. At that time, we had recently met and gone on a couple of dates. During the same time, he had gone out a few times with a woman who was a Miss America Runner-up and attending college.
While on a plane, my husband told a man sitting next to him about the two women he was dating. He asked the man who he would date: Debbie, the self-employed hair stylist who didn’t graduate from college and was the mother of two disabled children or the woman who was the Miss America runner-up and attending college.
The man’s answer surprised me. At the time I didn’t have much self-confidence in a lot of areas. Having never attended college and not liking my body very much, I didn’t feel smart or beautiful.
I hadn’t yet learned that by overcoming my challenges, I was building strength and character.
After hearing more details about personalities the man said, “I would date Debbie because it sounds like she has a lot of character.”
Boy did hearing this story build my self-confidence and help me appreciate my experiences of overcoming many hardships.
When you feel stronger and more confident, especially in controlling your life and claiming your rights, you feel empowered. You feel more like you have influence and can make an impact.
Feeling empowered, you’re more engaged in all areas of your life.
You Feel Motivated when You Feel Strong
Feeling stronger benefits you by giving you the motivation to take action. Motivated action creates results.
When you’re motivated to do something you feel the excitement to move forward in your life. When you’re excited about your goals, doing what you need to do to achieve them seems easier, and you can produce the results you desire.
The more desired results you produce, the more you believe in yourself and gain self-trust.
3. Gain Self-Trust When You Overcome Challenges
Having self-trust means that you believe you can take care of your personal needs and safety. Most importantly, it means that as you face situations in your life, you trust yourself to handle them.
After my daughter Heather was born with visible and multiple disabilities, my first reaction was, “I don’t know how to take care of a baby like this.” I didn’t trust myself even to know where to start.
Heather was in intensive care for two weeks. Therefore, I visited her every day. After watching the nurses care for her, all I wanted to do was take her home and be her mother. I no longer cared what was wrong with her.
The doctors said I had to learn to tube-feed her if I wanted to take her home. The idea of intubating Heather scared me.
If I accidentally put the tube in her lungs instead of her stomach, I risked pouring formula into her lungs. This result would give her pneumonia, and she could die.
The nurse showed me how to intubate her, so I tried it myself. I succeeded! I began to trust myself. With every new experience and challenge I overcame, my self-trust grew.
With each challenge you overcome, your self-confidence grows.
One of the benefits of having more self-trust is you have confidence in yourself to handle future challenges. This result has a snowball effect.
Experiencing these positive effects and successes blow-up old beliefs and self-doubts about what you previously thought you could handle. As your old beliefs fade, you form new beliefs.
My son Logan, was born three years after Heather on April Fool’s Day with the same rare syndrome and also a lung disease.
After overcoming many challenges surrounding my children’s births and infancies, as well as, overcoming divorce, I had so much confidence and self-trust that I thought I could handle anything.
When Heather was 6, she had a bad case of pneumonia so I took her to the doctor’s office. Alone and feeling invincible, I was surprised by my reaction to what the doctor told me.
The doctor said, “The lower right lobe in Heather’s lungs isn’t functioning anymore because it’s full of infection. This infection is spilling over into the rest of her lungs, infecting them too.”
He went on to say he was putting her on antibiotics to treat the infection.
I asked him, “What if the antibiotics don’t work?”
He said, “Then they would have to remove the lower right lobe so it couldn’t keep infecting the rest of her lungs.”
I asked, “What if the surgery doesn’t stop the infection?”
He said, “Then it will take her life.”
I lost all my thoughts, perception and logic. My mind went blank with shock when I heard this.
What was I going to do? How was I going to handle this? I didn’t know.
After asking my doctor for help, she prescribed a medication to help me during that difficult situation. I made it through that hardship. I overcame a challenge I didn’t believe I could overcome at the time it was happening.
The moral of this story is that I was confident that I could handle anything because I had overcome so many previous challenges.
Self-Confidence Builds Self-Esteem
Having self-trust and confidence results in having higher self-esteem.
When you value yourself and have healthy self-esteem, you feel secure and worthwhile. You are more optimistic about life and experience positive relationships with others. Also, you feel confident about your abilities.
You’re also open to learning new information and receiving feedback, which can help you acquire and master new skills.
This article provided a lot of information to read and learn, so I’ll summarize the steps below.
3 Benefits Gained from Overcoming Your Challenges
- You Feel Good: Joy, Love, Peace
- Build Personal Strength: Character, Empowerment, Motivation
- Gain Self-Trust: Builds Self-Confidence and High Self-esteem
Learn more about accepting and overcoming challenges:
3 Great Ways to Accept and Overcome Challenges