Defining a challenge = defining success

This year I’ve challenged myself in many ways. My focus for 2022 was to enjoy myself and trust myself again, but I did end up tagging on a little extra in that I wanted to challenge myself quarterly (at least). And I’ve done that well so far; in fact I’ve challenged myself quite a lot in the last 3 months.

But these “challenges” are only challenges for me.

Here’s a list of challenges I’ve completed or started this year so far:

  • My first curly hair cut and I got rid of quite a lot
  • Murder Mystery night when I acted my ass off as a posh CEO!
  • Golf driving range (very fun and therapeutic!)
  • Read more difficult books / classics
  • Painting by numbers
  • Jogged 2.5km
  • Started doing strength workouts
  • A week of meat-less meals
  • Uploaded a short story online
  • Uploading my middle grade story online weekly
  • Interviewed for a new job and got it (but declined it)

Most of these things people would say are easy. The thing is, they’re not (or weren’t necessarily at the time) easy for me.

So what is a challenge? What makes something challenging?

A challenge is putting yourself out there. Being open and vulnerable in front of others where you can be judged or rejected or criticised or seen to fail.

A challenge is doing something new. Even if it’s something relatively simple or easy, if it’s new to you then that’s still challenging.

A challenge is doing something, or starting to do something, that you know is hard. It’s choosing to take the step even though you know it will be uncomfortable or difficult for you.

A challenge is being resilient or persevering through things you’re finding difficult because there is something better at the end. Choosing the vision and faith in the outcome over the temporary discomfort.

Starting these challenges is a success. It makes you braver than many who never challenge themselves. Completing these challenges is an even bigger success, because many don’t see things through to the end.

Success is not how it turned out. It’s not getting the job or taking the job, it’s interviewing for it and giving it your all. It’s not running your best race or winning it, it’s doing the damn thing.

Success like all things is is a spectrum. Not from failure on one side and success on the other. But a small success up to a massive success. From mini success to medium success to huge success!

Why not?! Who said there has to be some other way? Why not this way? Why not your own way that suits you and feels good for your needs?

So today I encourage you to define what is challenging for you and what success would look like this year. Get a list together and slowly tick things off for having tried it, no matter how it went.

I feel immense this year so far because I can look at these challenges and know I’m growing in little ways and enjoying myself on the journey. You deserve that, too.


S. xx

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