Do challenges make us better?

It has been so long since I last wrote a blog. This is partly because I had so much going on: ideas reeling in my head and endless questions and anxieties. I‘m back stronger and ready for new challenges. 

I want to tell a story. So, as you know by now, I graduated university young. This is something that I used to not mention, and nobody would have guessed. ThenI went to an event once and my friend mentioned it to the person we were speaking to. He looked surprised and said to me ‘that is your unique selling factor, you need to talk about it more‘ Two years later, I am much more aware of my strengths and weaknesses. My weakness at that time was acknowledging that I was to an extent, a very capable candidate. I perhaps always will think that I am not good enough. Let me rephrase thatI always think I can be better so I know that I can be hard on myself. 

So why do I try to be hard on myself? The short answer will be because discomfort breeds innovation. I cannot expect comfort and innovative growth. What I have learned is to be comfortable with my journey, to be comfortable with my achievements thus far but recognise that I can do better. As always, striking the balance is quite a task. When I look back and reflect on all o\f the challenging moments that I had, I realise how much I have grown. The days when I doubt my academic abilities, the challenge of balancing work against my studies, the challenge of growing from rejections. It was hard for me at that moment in time to see the end of the tunnel, but I remind myself of the challenges that I have overcome to get over a new one. Challenges are meant to be conquered. 

It is important to set the bar high, to challenge yourself to the optimum level possible. I always think, imagine you wish to jump high. Thenyou aim for the ceiling in your room, if you do not touch the ceilingyou will come very close but you are only inches from the floor. Imagine aiming for the sky; you will even surpass the ceiling in your room because your vision is biggergreater.You have put in more effort, your effort surpasses what is needed to touch the ceiling. So, if you do not touch the sky, you will be pretty damn close. 

Out of challenges, we adapt. People ask ‘did you find being the youngest in your year a challenge?‘ and my answer remains the same ‘noI have done it since I was 9I did not recognise any difference until people pointed it out’ The challenge at that time seemed normal because I was used to it. It did not and still does not phase me to be put in a room with very smart people who are much older than me. Challenges give you faith in yourself. I say to myself ‘common Ebunyou have done this before, you can do it again!

So what if you fail a challenge? Failure can be defined in many ways. I always think, whatever the challenge, there is always something you can learn from the situation. Challenges are good and fun to think about only in retrospect. If you have financial worries, you will only cherish the value of money when you have an endless flow of cash in your account. If you are struggling to get the right grades, it makes it more meaningful when you walk across the stage graduating with a degree. If you are looking for a job, this challenge will only make sure that you really want this role. You might decide you do, or you might decide otherwise. Either way, the positive is that it gives you a sense of direction. What makes a challenge easy peasy is a positive mindset. Carry that along with you on this journey!

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