Navigating Challenges

May 28, 2024
navigating challenges, challenges in life, persistence

Does it sometimes feel like there are more challenging days than easy days? And ever wonder when the challenges will stop?


If this resonates, then keep reading because today you're going to learn about emotional stamina and three steps for getting through challenges with more ease.


The truth is, challenges are part of life.  What's important is how you choose to experience challenges.  That's where emotional stamina makes a difference.


As the philosopher Friedrich Neitzsche said, “There will always be blocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones. It all depends on how you use them.”


Let’s look at challenges as stepping stones!


Here are three steps for developing emotional stamina to make it through those challenges: 


Step #1: Accept the Inevitable Truths About Life.


In the documentary, Stutz, psychiatrist Phil Stutz, explains that there are  "three aspects of reality that nobody gets to avoid:

1. pain

2. uncertainty

3. constant work." (1)


Accepting these truths is essential for developing emotional stamina.  Once you see these truths and accept them, you begin to transcend them.


Earlier in my life I constantly wondered, “Why do things have to be so hard?” This kept me in a struggle pattern, victim thinking and feeling like life was against me. When I began to accept the inevitable truths about life, I started thinking differently about challenges. Now I see how challenges have been my greatest teachers - pushing me to grow and become who I am today.


As Jim Rohn said, "Don't wish it were easier. Wish you were better."


Step #2: Commit to a Daily Mindset Practice.


One of the most important tools I teach my clients is to establish a daily mindset practice. And this is a priority in my own life. What's a daily mindset practice? It's time you set aside daily - ideally ocheck in with yourself. This is uninterrupted time to quiet your mind in meditation, visualization and/or prayer; align with your goals; and set yourself up for a productive day ahead or tomorrow (You can learn more here: What is a daily morning routine?).


But when challenges arise, people often stop their daily mindset practice. They make excuses like, “This week was so stressful, I don’t have time.” What happens is your paradigm - your subconscious mental programming - sabotages you.


But the challenging times are excactly when you must go deep on your daily practices! THAT'S developing emotional stamina.


Do not let your paradigm hijack you into thinking you shouldn't prioritize yourself while you are in the midst of challenges.


Step #3: Develop the Habit of Persistence.


In the book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill discusses the importance of persistence and the four steps to develop it. Napoleon Hill studied the lives of 500 highly effective individuals and summarized the common themes of their success into thirteen steps.  He describes persistence, the eighth step, as "sustained effort." (2)

Hill explains: "The necessary steps are:

1.  A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for it's fulfillment.

2.  A definite plan expressed in continuous action.

3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.

4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage you to follow through with both plan and purpose." (2)


Persistence is the stamina quality that will get you through challenges. And as you persist, you will strengthen your emotional stamina muscles.


Remember, in life you will face challenges. Make the decision to lean into your challenges. Turn them into stepping stones to become the next greatest version of yourself. Accept the inevitatble truths of life, commit to a daily mindset practice - especially during your stressful and challenging times - and build the habit of persistence.


And as you develop your emotional stamina muscles, it will feel like life gets easier - inspite of challenges. And you'll discover - as I have - that your challenges are your greatest teacher!


(1) Netflix Documentary - A Strong Baby Production: Stutz (directed by Jonah Hill - 2022).

(2) Hill, Napoleon / JMW Group, Inc (2003, 2005). Think and Grow Rich. Jeremy Tarcher Penguin.

Stephanie Hessler is a High Performance Coach. She helps high-achieving corporate leaders and business owners who want to rapidly advance their careers and create a vision others want to follow, but have hit a roadblock. Therefore, Stephanie guides her clients through a transformational coaching journey called the BLISS Accelerator to turn their goals and dreams into reality. Previously, she worked in the investment business, including on Wall Street, for sixteen years. She earned her MBA at The Wharton School and her BA at Wellesley College. 

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