The challenges we face are not barriers

A time of change is bound to bring challenges.

Sometimes, in frustration, we might wish those problems would go away. But in our work, the challenges we face are not a barrier to our job, they are our job: resolving them is what we are paid to do. And in our personal lives, the challenges we face are not a barrier to our growth, they are exactly the situations that we can gain most by learning to handle: they show us our best current opportunity for personal growth.

This means the first step to addressing any challenge is to ask ourselves what is the opportunity that this ‘problem’ brings?

The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity and. there are ten types of opportunity that every ‘problem’ might contain. We get to choose which one we prefer.

Seeing issues as opportunities in this way makes us much more likely to create the outcomes we want.

This is how we become antifragile.

And the bottom line is this: we are not just human beings we are human becomings. We don’t grow when things are easy: we grow when we face and overcome challenges. And as Steve Jobs showed, the greatest opportunity in any challenging situation is to use it to find what you truly love.

What challenges are you currently facing? Do you see them as problems to make go away — or as opportunities towards helping you create what you most want in the world?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also need to practice.)

Photo By Neil Young via

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