Build A Hardy Personality: Challenge

written by Roger Carr on May 11, 2013 in Avoiding Burnout with 2 comments">2 comments

A hardy person has a personality that exhibits a sense of commitment, control, and challenge. These tendencies help a person resist the negative impact stressful events can unleash. They help a person avoid burnout.

mountain climbing challenge

Photo credit: Leonardo Pallotta

Sense of Challenge

They [people strong in a sense of challenge] see life as strenuous but exciting.”

— Salvatore R. Maddi and Suzanne C. Kobasa in The Hardy Executive: Health Under Stress

People who have a strong sense of challenge aren’t threatened as problems and changes come their way. They see overcoming these problems and changes as a challenge. They see life as exciting. They see getting through these bumps of life as part of a journey to becoming a better person.

Build Your Sense of Challenge

You can learn to increase your sense of challenge. Here are a few ways that I recommend you put into practice so you embrace life’s challenges and become a more hardy person.

Surround Yourself With the Right People

If you spend time with people who have a strong sense of challenge, you will change your mindset to see life as an exciting journey and see challenges as your road to being the best you can be. When you share a challenge with your friends, would you rather have them tell you all the ways your could be defeated or encourage you to find a way to get through it for the potential benefits on the other side of the challenge? I will go for the later option! Don’t forget to encourage them as well.

Challenge Yourself

When you catch yourself only thinking about how a problem or change will defeat you, STOP!

  1. Challenge yourself to develop a list of ways this problem or change could give you or someone else a lift in life when you get through the challenge.
  2. Come up with ways you can influence the outcome and ensure you change for the better as you go through this rough patch. Be creative. Ask mentors and friends for ideas. Focus on those things you can influence or control.
  3. Decide how you want to get started with tackling this problem or change.
  4. Take action. This can be the hardest step, so don’t procrastinate. Get started now.
  5. Be flexible. Many problems and changes are complicated. Unexpected things will happen that may require you to repeat these steps again.

Following these steps does not mean it will be easy and the outcome will be exactly as you expected. You may experience disappointment or pain. You may get pushed well outside your comfort zone. These are all things that are required to change us for the better. So don’t give up. The important thing is that you are an active participant.

Have you been able to develop a sense of challenge? Share your experience by leaving a comment here.