Habit 12 from the 12 Habits of Resilient + Thriving People

Each week for 12 weeks, I’ll blog about one habit. And if you feel inclined, you can road test it for yourself. Habit 12 is about Enjoying Challenges.


Habit 12: Enjoys Challenges

Resilient and thriving people see challenges as a way to grow knowledge, skills, and self-confidence. They see challenges similar to the way they see goals in that the learning process is more important that the end result. It isn’t about winning, it is about growing. They prepare for challenges by having empowering beliefs, a well-crafted plan, and they put in persistent and consistent effort.


We know our mind is powerful.


It has the capacity to design and launch a telescope that travels around Earth at about 5 miles per second while taking beautiful pictures of planets, stars and galaxies. It has the capacity to write complex code that drives software such as IBM Watson, and to perform musical scores that are breathtaking and elaborate. At the same time, the mind can be a prison and hold us back from taking on new challenges, large and small. I had a conversation with a lovely young woman this week who is living in that prison. She had a breakthrough this week though. She went to the supermarket for the first time in five years. I can’t tell you how fantastic it was to hear this.


She gave herself that challenge and she achieved it. For her it was an enormous challenge. When we overcome any challenge, small or large, it feels like reaching the top of a mountain that once seemed impossible to reach. Instantly, a once-held belief of “impossible” has been changed to “possible” and future challenges will continue to strengthen that new belief.


Challenges help us learn, grow, and build our self-confidence. Achieving the challenges we set ourselves gives us evidence that we can draw on in the future.

“I did this in the past. This new challenge is really no different. I know it’s within my power and capability. I can do this.”


I did a paragliding course many years ago. My last solo flight was off the top of an 1800 feet mountain on the NSW north coast. With the help of a few thermals I reached approximately 4000 feet before landing safely in a cow paddock about 45 minutes later. I have drawn on this challenge, which was enormous for me, many times in my life. It helped me deal with difficult people (behaviours) in the workplace, giving me the confidence to have challenging conversations. I’ve drawn on it to say “yes” to other challenges that I’ve wanted to do but initially had the belief I wasn’t capable.


I teach people how to overcome their fears and anxieties so they build their resilience and learn how to thrive in life. Challenges are important in this process of change. Celebrating the achievement of challenges is just as important. For many of them, their self-esteem is low so even when a challenge is achieved, they’ll berate themselves with self-talk such as “big deal that I went to the supermarket, normal people do that all the time”. Comparing your challenges to someone else’s challenges is clearly not helpful. A favourite quote of mine is: 

“Only compare yourself to the person you were five minutes ago”


With everyone else’s assumed perfect lives on display every day on social media, it’s important to keep this quote in mind. Instead ask yourself “Am I growing? Am I learning? Is the journey I’m on now the one I want to be on?” If not, then set yourself a challenge, big or small, and enjoy the celebration when you achieve it. Then ask “what next?”

Habit 12: Road Test

Choose one challenge below that will be a challenge for you and “go for it” this week!

  1. No junk food
  2. Go for a run or walk at least three times for at least 30 minutes
  3. Catch yourself saying something negative, and find the positive
  4. Enrol in that class you’ve always wanted to do but have been afraid to do so
  5. Your choice!

I’d love to hear what challenge you choose.

Contact Michelle Carlyle to find out how Thought Ratio's programmes can teach you, or someone you know, how to build resilience to overcome fears and stress/anxieties. Our evidence-based programmes are innovative with proven successful outcomes.