Challenging Yourself – The Right Way

It’s already familiar to us that real progress happens when we are prone to leaving our comfort zone. And challenging yourself to do that has become something of a set rule.

Wanting to believe this, we are getting in terms that it must be done.

But it’s not being out of your comfort zone that gives the results, it’s the length of the stretch you are about to make when out of it.

Challenging Yourself

And it soon becomes clear that only by challenging yourself, and making that stretch far and wide, can you achieve real success no matter what aspect of life involved.

Successful people always go for the next challenge, setting the bar higher than the one before. Many of them realized that it’s the only way to step out and make progress.

And the thing that I just recently realized is that this behavior didn’t happen overnight. It’s rather an act of persistence and habit.

They’ve trained their mind to constantly set challenges, and they’ve become good not only at picking the next challenge, but also completing it and growing alongside with it.

Challenging yourself the right way

The truth is that we all challenge ourselves from time to time. But that alone isn’t enough, you see.

Even from an early age we are being taught to set a realistic goals, challenge ourselves only to the extent of staying in our comfort zone.

And when realism and challenging yourself come together, we are very limited in what we can achieve.

Why is this so?

Challenging yourself only within the frame of what is achievable at this moment, will never make you change; for better or for worse.

What is real to you now in terms of goal setting, is only equivalent to your present capabilities. And setting your goals depending on present capabilities, means that you don’t intend to change, to improve.

Therefore, your challenges must by way out there, seemingly unrealistic at the time being. Only then you will step out of your comfort zone in a resolute manner, reaching further than you were used too.

So how should we challenge ourselves?

challenge yourself

This one is simple really. You just need to set the bar higher than what you usually prefer. Then we are talking about real progress.

I for example like to set goals for myself that seem pretty much unrealistic, as others would say. But then, knowing that “being realistic” is what gives birth to mediocrity, this shouldn’t bother you. It doesn’t bother me, at least.

And challenging myself only led to improvement.

Like for example, when I challenged myself to complete two months of the workout program Insanity; run the 5k under 20 minutes; write 5 guest posts in 5 days; get accepted to post on Problogger; get up early for a month; have abs like Ryan Reynolds; read two books a weak, and so on.

Did I achieve everything? – Of course not. At least Reynolds still has better looking abs than me, at the time of writing this post.

My point is, that challenging yourself to do more, you are only setting the bar higher – and the higher the bar, the wider the stretch. Therefore, bigger the improvement you get.

Setting higher standards means that you will push yourself more. Usain Bolt didn’t set the world record because he was going for a realistic time – but because he was aiming for the unachievable. It’s like that in many aspects of life.

Challenging yourself more will only reveal to you qualities you didn’t know you had.

Let the others be realistic, and you aim for what you think is the best for you, and see how things will turn out.

Other effects this will have on you

The good thing is that you will never be satisfied with mediocrity any more. And that alone is a huge success. It’s a shift of mindset, if you will, that changes everything, the whole game in fact.

Aiming to reach for more, will usually get you there.

Another thing that will radically change is your perception. Challenging yourself for more, will change the picture you have about yourself, and you will start to see yourself already there, already changed, for way better.

This will also give your self-esteem an injection similar to nothing before. Convincing yourself that you will conquer the challenge, will indeed make you believe it. And then your self-esteem and self-confidence will go through the roof.

Other people will also notice this and give you more respect since you have higher standards now. That’s something everyone admires. That’s why I say it proud that I’m a self-improvement junkie. You and I both know what that means.

We constantly challenge ourselves in everyday situations. But, it’s knowing where to set the bar that will improve our capacities.

Challenging yourself in what other people would consider unrealistic, will make you stretch more, making your way to better results.

Having Reynolds’s abs may never happen, but having that as a standard, you will work harder, be more persistent, and with it achieve better results and improvement.

The comment section is right below, so tell me what are the things for which you are challenging yourself?

4 opinions already. What's yours?

  1. harsh

    i challenge myself but then i give up that challenge very easily the next second and become lazy again. how can i always stay on track to complete the challenge ?

    • Slavko Desik

      It is normal to go back to your comfort zone, and that should never discourage you. However, after each set-back just try starting again, and starting small. Running each morning at five o’clock is hard to adopt as a habit altogether. But when you start small and condition yourself to get up early first, then condition yourself to run every day just a bit, you can start putting the habit together. It is like that with everything else.

  2. Subhash

    Many times I challenged myself for some thing to achieve what in my normal sense and even for others, as they used to express, was beyond my control. Best example is when I was diagnosed Leukemia in 2003. From docs to every one having given up the hope, I stood differently and said I will not die. I challenged myself. I had a very rigorous but successful and comfortable treatment and came out of it. Of course my wife also fully participated and we had together decided.

    What I realized, because I challenged myself I was fighting hard during my very difficult times of the treatment and took it positively. When some one is in a difficult situation not because he took it as a challenge, he or she finds it not acceptable. It makes him worried and a sense of rejection comes. A negative sense of approach creeps in. I saw it during my treatment for many other patients and it was also the reason that some of the very healthy physically strong patients could not survive even the very first kemo.

  3. Vitalik

    Thanks for amazing advices. I know what it feels like to challenge yourself and feel great achieving your goals, but there’s also might be a problem – you can, how to say, ‘work yourself to death’. Therefore one must find a balance between working and resting.
    Where are you from, Slavko? Sounds like a Slavic name


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