How to overcome challenges in 2021
They say that tough times don’t last, tough people do. Which is why the first step for any challenging situation is to be prepared for how to overcome challenges and find possible solutions.
Life’s challenges are many, whether they are personal challenges, work related challenges or financial difficulties.
More often than not, when faced with significant challenges we do the same thing hoping for a different result.
What is important is that when you are faced with them you are armed and ready with a positive attitude and the right mindset.
We have gathered 11 tips from successful people on how they deal with big challenges.
These principles can be applied to many different types of obstacles and if used properly will help you to think your way out of difficult situations.
If you want to find out more about your mindset then check out our growth mindset quiz.
Firstly, let’s take a look at types of challenges that we may be faced with.
Common challenges that we face in life
We each have our own challenges in life and everyone sees things from a different perspective.
However, when writing this article we have grouped together common challenges that each of us will probably face at one time or another.
Here they are:
External factors – These are life’s obstacles that are beyond our control. These could be anything from the economy to a political situation or even environmental obstacles like natural disasters.
Habitual obstacles – A habitual obstacle is one which is caused by your own mindset. These tend to be a personal problem and one which can only be addressed through personal growth beyond your comfort zone.
Examples of these could range from substance abuse to a fear of public speaking.
Internal factors – These challenges tend to be physical challenges that you encounter such as preparing for a new job, cash flow problems, resolving a dispute with a family member or dealing with toxic people.
Some challenges will cross over these categories and the solution may be multi-faceted.
If you want to change your life around then be sure to check out our article on life changing books for you 2021.
Now let’s take a look at the best ways to overcome challenges.
11 new ways to deal with the biggest challenges
1. Take responsibility for solving the problem
Accountability is a huge part of helping you grow into a better person, those who reflect on the experiences of failures, setbacks and mistakes tend to be more adaptable and embrace the idea that they haven’t arrived yet at where they want to be.
Taking responsibility for our previous actions is the first step towards reshaping our learning experience and a great way to help us prepare for the next step on the journey.
If we are able to learn from small problems then when we are faced with bigger challenges we have already built and prepared ourselves.
If we ignore small problems or blame others then we are simply avoiding personal obstacles and will never be in a position to deal with them.
This tip is especially important in dealing with habitual obstacles and the best thing to begin a cycle of continuous improvement.
2. Live for the small victories
The best way to approach any challenge is to break it down into mini-challenges and set goals for yourself.
Breaking a seemingly big problem into smaller pieces makes it much easier to achieve the overall goal and gives you the satisfaction of completing smaller tasks along the way.
If you are the kind of person who responds well to completing tasks then make sure you start setting yourself small, achievable tasks.
The best thing about this tip is that it can be applied to all potential obstacles, regardless of how big or small they are.
3. Bullet Journaling
The bullet journal, (or ‘bujo’) is a planner system devised by Ryder Carroll.
The term ‘bullet’ relates to the layout, planning and productivity methods used and ‘journal’ is more likely a term that you’ve come across before, being a daily record of news and events.
A bullet journal contains a combination of different elements. It’s basically a planner system and a fun way to plan for the future and track the past – capturing your thoughts and plan throughout the day.
The benefits of bullet journaling are many but in terms of overcoming challenges, the bullet journal helps by:
a) Showing your future challenges in a visual format which in turn will help you process them.
b) Acts as a to do list, supporting the ‘small victories’ tip.
c) Helps you see and reflect on the good things that you have in your life so you aren’t fixated on your negative emotions.
If you’d like some inspiration for setting mini-goals then check out our Bullet Journal articles.
4. Action Not Outcome
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
Another tip which complements the ‘smaller pieces’ approach. According to our research, a successful person with a growth mindset will focus on the action rather than the outcome.
This helps to break down small steps and concentrate on what is right in front of us rather than looking at the bigger problem and being overwhelmed.
The theory being that if we concentrate on completing the action then the outcome will take care of itself.
Practitioners of modern psychology such as sports psychologist Sam Kotadia support this notion. Using the analogy of focussing on set plays to score goals in a soccer match rather than trying to win the game without a planned pathway.
The important thing to remember is that when confronted by a challenge, in order to overcome it you must take action in some way, even if that action means walking away.
5. Move beyond your comfort zone
How we react to new and challenging circumstances says a lot about us as individuals.
Charles Darwin put it the best way:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most responsive to change.”
Many social obstacles present themselves when we refuse to adapt, this could be adapting to a new living environment, neighbourhood or person entering our lives.
The worst thing that you can do when confronted by change is to dig your heels in. Think of it as standing in the ocean and trying to push the water in the opposite direction, it’s an impossible task. Change is inevitable.
At some points in your life you may be facing a situation that at first appears like an obstacle but may in fact be an opportunity.
6. What’s the bigger picture?
It’s easy to panic and get bogged down in the details when you lose sight of the big picture.
Minor challenges such as an altercation on social media may seem like the worst thing in the world when viewed in isolation.
But giving yourself that breathing space to look at the long term goals you have can keep you on the right track.
7. Try different approaches
When we encounter a new challenge for the first time we tend to have a default setting for how we see things. This is called a conscious bias.
Having an open mind and taking time to look at the situation from an outside perspective may help in assessing the size of the challenge in front of you.
Often what we think are basic beliefs in the moment are actually emotional reactions and when the dust has settled we sometimes see things differently.
Taking time to react before we address a challenge can help us conquer them in a more meaningful way.
8. Ask advice from the right people
Seeking advice from people who have done things you wish to do is a great way of helping you get ahead.
If you are a leader then asking the advice of your team members can help you grow and improve in your role.
Regardless of the situation that you are faced with it is unlikely that you are alone. Speaking to helplines or close friends and family who may have been in similar circumstances before is one of the important steps in overcoming difficult times.
You can always go your own way afterwards but picking up a few helpful tips from those in the know is a lifeline that you should always use.
9. Know what you don’t know!
Going back to the first tip on acceptance, it is important to understand that you don’t know it all.
The good news is that in 2021 the world is literally at our fingertips.
With the internet ever present and advice from the most successful people in the world just a click away then there is no excuse not to consume knowledge.
The best way to overcome a challenge is to avoid encountering one in the first place! Consuming knowledge from books, youtube or google is going to increase your chances of learning how to avoid problems altogether.
The world’s most successful investor, Warren Buffett credits his success down to reading for 4 hours every day!
If you want to read some life changing knowledge then check out our 37 life changing books right here.
10. Take feedback on the chin
Lots of people find it difficult handling negative feedback or being given advice. Criticism, even when it’s meant to be helpful, can feel like a personal attack.
This is especially true if someone associates their abilities with a portion of their identity.
Next time someone gives you some constructive criticism (or otherwise), try following this process:
- Analyze the feedback- Take a step back and reflect on what they’ve said.
- Ask follow up questions- Where did they specifically think you could improve.
- Thank them- Acknowledge that you’re taking their input onboard.
- Strategize – Work out how you’re going to improve next time.
- Action – Get moving on a proactive response
This may feel tough as you’re letting your defenses down but repetition of this process will build strength of character.
If you want to push yourself forward and achieve career goals for example, then definitely take this tip on board.
11. Believe in yourself
Perhaps the most powerful thing of all, self-belief.
Whether you choose to use self affirmations to give you inspiration or if it is a pep talk in the car before work, self belief is very important, especially in the face of adversity.
Having confidence in the process that you’re undertaking and that your desire will see it through could be the difference between success and failure.