Challenges don’t have to be big

Challenges don’t have to be big; they can also be small tasks. We all have our comfort zones, and everything that lies within its periphery is safe to try. Anything outside it is a challenge or a task to accomplish.

Years back, I remember we had a drawing competition in school. I was not ready to participate in it. Not that I doubted my capabilities but in my mind I was unprepared for the challenge. When I told my mom she asked me (not forced me) to participate. Getting past my (own self made) hesitations I participated and later received a bronze medal.

Before the drawing competition I thought about failing or someone laughing at me or how my drawing would not be up to the mark. But when I got started, I just focused on my work. I did my best. Once I had participated I already felt like I had achieved a target. There were drawings – some better, some good and some worse. Good ones did bother me for a moment but I was happy participating. I was not the winner till then, but I already felt like an achiever.

There were the if’s and but’s of why I should not have been participating rather than why I should have been a part of it. I had asked myself, “Do I want to do it?” And the answer was a yes. There could have been a straight no or a shaky maybe (but it was not). It only meant that I had convinced myself and had crossed that mental bridge of self doubt. As I stood on the other side of the bridge, I was ready for my journey. All the if’s that had stopped me earlier didn’t matter then.

The truth is even before I went for the drawing competition I knew I could draw. I didn’t know how good or bad… but I knew I had the ability to draw…something, at least. I mean what do you need other than a pencil, a few paint brushes and a whole set of colours. In the absence of this ability, convincing would not have played an active role. Just because it was there, I had the job of convincing, deciding and then crossing the mental bridge of resistance and doubt.

In the moment of flight, however, there was a fear of losing, a sense of insecurity as I stepped out of my comfort zone. But when I was on the other side of the bridge – it didn’t matter. That day’s challenge gave me the opportunity to draw. And by doing so I found out that I was not bad at it. I found a new quality in me which had been hidden till now.

There will always be a task. There will always be a question and an answer to go with it. There will be times to fly high and fall. All this would be guided by an inner strength. A flight would measure a distance but a fall would also measure some. What matters is the distance covered.

I terminated my doubts and was guided by an inner strength to meet a challenge (one that I was not ready for). There were moments of fall and flight but the journey was a helpful one to make me realize what I had and what could or could not be acquired in the process. In a desire to meet the challenge I discovered a hidden gem in me. I discovered something new in me.