Updated: Dec 15, 2020
I am so over challenges, and I’m not talking about the type of challenges we face personally or in our careers, but challenges, as events or those that typically require group participation. You know, those weight loss or social media challenges to give examples.
Challenges are a popular method to engage participants for one of two reasons:
To help people change a habit with the ultimate goal of improving health, wealth, or overall well-being.
For a business to increase engagement that will hopefully result in more sales and clients.
Those really don’t sound so bad, do they? They're not. So why do I have such a problem with "challenges" and think you should avoid them? Let’s talk about it.
Definition of Challenge
First and foremost, my issue with challenges isn’t necessarily the content presented or the end-goal, but within the word itself. The definition of challenge according to Merriam-Webster is a summons…that is often threatening, provocative, stimulating, or inciting. Basically, a challenge implies something is difficult.
Most challenges have to do with being better at something with promises of exciting, desirable results if completed. But when you create or participate in a challenge around things like weight loss, business growth, or fundraising, you are essentially programming the minds of yourself and/or your participants that it is difficult to take part and succeed. Creating and accepting challenges in this form programs our minds to believe in the difficulty of achieving the goal which can absolutely set us up for failure before we even begin.
Another downfall of challenges is that some people never fully complete them. It’s the psychology and programming behind it. It’s difficult to lose weight, so you need a challenge to help you lose it. It’s difficult to grow your business, so you need a challenge to be better at it. You never think about philanthropy, so you need a challenge to do so. It’s all so ridiculous. It doesn't have to be difficult to take care of yourself, to be good at your job, or to be generous if you have necessary resources. Challenges would have you believe otherwise.
You are participating in the challenge because you desire the results being promised, which means you have not yet realized these results. The high of signing up for a challenge can quickly fade because you were programmed to fail from the beginning.
There’s more. Challenges are often held over an extended period of time, like weeks or months. It is unreasonable to expect people to dedicate their energy and resources and fully commit to something they have already been programmed to fail at.
Think about weight loss challenges. They usually last several weeks. People are super excited and committed at the beginning, but the appeal can wear off very quickly. One bad meal or one weigh-in falls short of expectations and the participant feels like a complete failure and gives up. Why? Because they were already told they would probably fail because making healthy decisions is challenging.
Referring to my number two at the beginning of this article, challenges are often hosted by businesses as a way to build a potential client base while adding value. First of all, there is nothing wrong with a business sharing their expertise to grow. What I have to say is this- if you are willing to take freebies from businesses, you should also be willing to pay businesses for their expertise.
Instead of participating in their free or low-cost challenges, pay for their individualized, professional services. Free challenges do not require any sort of commitment whatsoever. Add that to the low vibration the word "challenge" in this capacity holds and it will be a miracle if you reap the intended benefits of these types of challenges.
Bottom line, if you’d like to work with a business, see if they offer free consultations or actually pay them for their services and expertise.
What to Do Instead
Instead of jumping into another "challenge", think about what it is you truly are trying to achieve. Find the support and resources you need to make a lifestyle change or actualize your desires. Decide that it is easy for you and that doors will open when you need them to. If we can be consciously and unconsciously programmed to believe something is difficult, we can absolutely re-program ourselves to believe that which we desire is easy.
Words to Replace "Challenge"
What words or phrases do you find more empowering than "challenge"? Share in the comments below!
Be love. Be light. Just Be.
Sources: Merriam-Webster. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/challenge
About the Author: Serena James is a holistic healer and the author of Vibe Higher. She offers a variety of energy healing services and workshops to help individuals experience a life of love, abundance, and wellness as they were meant to.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease or illness. Any action you take as a result of this information is self-prescribed and your right to do so.