The Creative Force of Challenges

June 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm

The Creative Force of Challenges

Yeah, you read the title correctly!  Although I quickly admit — remembering this is a tough one for me too.

Challenges simply exist.  Big ones — small ones — crazy ones — funny ones — scary ones. . .  I don’t think we get to be human beings without experiencing this thing we call challenge.

So why is that?  And perhaps more important – what do we DO with challenges???  I’ve invested a fair amount of time attempting to figure that out.  Now, I am not professing to have “the answer” here, and I think I’ve come up with some clues.

I notice that there are some times when we actually go out and seek challenges.  Like getting a new degree or certification; taking on more responsibility at work; learning a new language; or doing a really hard crossword puzzle!  I’ve observed that while these challenges might be tough or frustrating at times, we do it anyway — and often actually enjoy it.

This suggests that not all challenges are created equal.  Some are bigger or scarier than others.  Or rather, we as individuals perceive some challenges to be greater than others.  Like so many things, challenge seems to be in the eye of the beholder.  Have you ever had a friend be in total angst over something, and while s/he is sharing it with you, you’re thinking, “Huh?  What’s the big deal about that?”  Then you know what I’m talking about!

Now this actually gives me a certain amount of comfort.  Because if my experience of a challenge is (at least in part) my perception, I have some control over that.  I can shift my point of view, if I choose to do so.

And the degree to which we feel in control seems to be a key factor in whether we think a challenge is “big and scary” or “warm and fuzzy”.

In the Creativity Matrix™ division, we work with a dynamic tool called the Creative Gap™, which is a step by step process for bringing “right brain” and “left brain” skills together in a productive order and at the correct time.  (Watch for a tele-seminar on this!)  One of the distinct phases of the Creative Gap™ is what we refer to as “the circle of challenge”; and there we talk about challenge and perception.

When we are experiencing a challenge over which we feel we have little control, we tend to view it as a barrier:

Barrier [defined]:  something that obstructs or separates, often by emphasizing differences.

When, in fact, the actual dictionary definition of challenge is:

Challenge (defined]:  a test of someone’s abilities or a situation that tests somebody’s abilities in a stimulating way.

That’s a big difference – and it is where we can take some control over our perceptions.  From this perspective, a “challenge” is the essence or fiber of the creative process; the grist for growth and change.   When we can shift to view a challenge in this way, we become more intentional – and when we are intentional, we automatically have more control.

Then it becomes possible to see challenges as what move us, hone us, and ultimately help us make our vision a reality.  In fact, without challenges, it is possible that very few of our dreams would actually come true. . .

More on THAT in next month’s e-zine!

Want some help with your challenges?

The Pocket Creativity Coach™ is designed to bring “right brain” and “left brain” together in the creative process – and help you greet, engage and transform challenges.  Visually beautiful, thought provoking and action generating, this 38-card deck is a refreshing way to work with challenges.

Everyone can use a good coach from time to time.  This one fits in your pocket!

“Just a quick note to tell you I was studying my Creativity Matrix™ cards last Saturday before I went into a job interview. . .What an inspirational read to help turn my anxious energy into creative energy. The interview rocked!”
F. Adams
[P.S.: he got the job!]

Click here to learn more:

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