You’re here, you’ve made it, and welcome, Queen.
You’re at the fourth and final step of my 4-step value programme, Growth. This step is all about being who you are, to the MAXIMUM. It means going over the top, pushing the boundaries, and flying. And we’re kicking off our journey of Growth with this month’s theme, Challenge Yourself.
A few words of warning, though.
Discomfort, sometimes a lot of it, is a part of Challenging Yourself and more generally of Growth. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable this month, because as you’ll see in a minute, that uncomfortable territory is going to be our new home. It’s the zone where you maximise your learning potential, where you get familiar with navigating unfamiliar territory, and you learn to adapt to the unpredictable. And that means, well, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
But don’t get it twisted, I’m not leading you toward pain. Pain and discomfort are not the same. We all have different thresholds for pain, but there is a clear difference between pain and discomfort. Stay attuned to what you are feeling, and gauge how you feel.
Challenge Yourself is the level after Mastering Yourself. Like Self Mastery, Challenging Yourself does not mean walking on a bed of needles (lying on a bed of needles? Walking on coals? Whatever, you get it). Pain isn’t my thing, I can’t say this enough. Advil is my BFF when it comes to physical pain, and deep internal work when it comes to emotional pain. I take care of myself, on both levels, because I love myself, and my priority is making sure I’m healthy, happy, and fulfilled.
You need to have the same caring approach to yourself as well. If anything about prioritizing making sure you are in top shape isn’t gelling for you, that’s all right. Go back to the Choose Yourself and Love Yourself modules, and work through the exercises that tackle your sticking points. Or, talk to me, a member of the Confidence Queen’s Academy, a loved one. Unstick that point, and keep your wellbeing the first item on any list you make for yourself.
Beyond taking care of yourself, pain is a natural response to something that you need to pay attention to. You know how in yoga, they say if you feel pain, stop? The same applies to Challenging Yourself. If at any moment you feel pain, whether physical or emotion, it is NOT a sign for you to push through. It is your alarm bell to stop, assess, and if need be, reposition yourself so that you can go on without the pain.
To Challenge Yourself is not to throw yourself into an endeavour without the appropriate tools. We’re not looking to try to wrestle a lion with our bare hands with zero training time or information on how to do it. Whatever the Challenge you take on this month, make sure you’re equipping yourself appropriately. Whether that is taking a course, asking for help (as I’ll talk about below), getting a professional to assist you, finding a support group, make sure you’re equipped. It’s not a Challenge if you’re not equipped. It’s purely and simply self-sabotage and, to put it simply, I’m not about that life. ‘Nuff said.
All right, a final word about trying to go it alone. No. Just…no. No is the word.
No, because it’s much like holding in your feelings, depriving yourself, putting yourself through pain… putting yourself through loneliness and isolation and sticking the label of Growth on it. Have I said no? No. That’s not what Growth looks like. In fact, let me start off by saying it’s not what strength looks like. Being strong (as opposed to weak) does not mean cutting yourself off from valuable resources. A part of strength is being able to rely on yourself. And a HUGE part of being able to rely on yourself is being able to truly, honestly understand where you need help. Whether it’s because you don’t have specific tools, or the time and availability. Identifying that you need help and confidently reaching out for it is strength.
Now… on to the good part! The Challenge portion of Challenge Yourself.
A challenge is inherently personal. What one person finds challenging may not be challenging to someone else. You might be perfectly comfortable with public speaking, whereas another person will tremble at the very idea. This month, you’re creating your own challenge. In order to truly make the most out of this experience, you will need to commit to the challenge you set for yourself, and make it work for you. Step out of your comfort zone, and be mindful of the lessons you’re learning along the way.
For this week, I want you to pick one (if you’re really craving it, go ahead for more, but don’t try to overdo it please!) of the Challenges below, and give it a try.
1. Trash it. Pick something to declutter, and go ahead and… yeah, get rid of everything that’s not absolutely necessary. Holding on to stuff you don’t need gives a certain sense of (false) comfort. You’re surrounded by things, you know what they are, you can riffle through from time to time but you know in the back of your mind they’re always there. Also, if you’re holding on to stuff, it means you’re not making difficult decisions like parting ways with that thing someone gave you that one time a while back. And you don’t have to face that guilt of making decisions over what gets to go and what gets to stay, and why. You’ve been meaning to deal with the clutter for a while, but… it’s never happened. Now is the time.
Find a physical space that needs a good re-assessment, and dig in. I know this doesn’t sound like much of a challenge, but trust me, when you face the clutter, you’ll know why this has made the list of things that I’m recommending you do. It might not necessarily be clutter in the sense of heaps of stuff, if you’ve got an overflowing wardrobe… it doesn’t matter how neatly folded you’ve got everything, that’s still clutter. I can’t design this challenge for you, but this isn’t an I’ll pick what’s easiest. Assess which areas are the hardest for you. If it’s clothes, don’t go around decluttering the spice cabinet. Go for the clothes. If it’s volumes on volumes of papers and books and scraps… that’s where your attention needs to be.
If this is the right Challenge for you, but you don’t know how to get started, check out the Declutter MasterClass here which will give you all the tools you need to attack this Challenge with gusto!
2. Go crutch-less. Ok, admit it. You have a crutch, or at least something you reach out for to give you that boost you want, even though you know you shouldn’t. Whether it’s smoking, drinking, putting your hand over your mouth while you’re speaking or laughing, you go on shopping sprees. A crutch is something you draw support from in an excessive, unhealthy way. We. All. Have. Them. I’m not here to judge, I’m here to set a Challenge.
If you pick this as a Challenge, then take careful note of the things that you use to give you comfort, take down stress levels, give you outside reassurance, but that you know you want to get rid of, one day, sometime, just not now. But it is very far from impossible. It takes hard work, a dedication to your goals, and a commitment to see your Challenge through to the very end. It also requires a lot of support. If this is the Challenge for you, consider reaching out for support from family, loved ones, or a support group. Give yourself the tools that are appropriate to get rid of your dependency, and most of all, keep reminding yourself of why you’ve chosen to undertake this Challenge in the first place. Create an affirmation that reminds you that YOU are enough, you don’t need a crutch to make you feel enough. You are enough without it.
3. Get seen. This one is for my Queens who are in hiding. I see you. A lot of people are terrified of taking up too much of other people’s air time, and that fear gets kicked up three or three thousand notches when it’s about taking up the time of multiple people. So, here’s your Challenge, should you choose to accept it. Get up on a platform where you will be or could be seen by many people. If you want to, go ahead and organise an evening at home where you recite a monologue in front of a group of friends. Or, go techy with it and get an Instagram live going. Record a YouTube video and upload it to your channel. See if you can speak at an event near you, or an event online. Jump in the VIP Facebook group and do a live and tell us about your business, your hobby, your family.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, and a huge leap for almost anyone who’s not been in the public eye. As with the other Challenges, your tools will be incredibly important here. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success by taking time to plan out what you’re saying, picking an outfit you’ll be comfortable in (trust me, if you’re sat there with a collar choking the living daylights out of you the first time you’re undertaking public speaking, you’ll regret every second of it… been there!), and rehearsing. If you’re going techy, do your research on how to get proper lighting, how to go live, where to upload, etc.
Over to you, Queen. As always, you will find all the material you need for this month on the CQA platform HERE. If you’re looking for real-life inspiration on stepping out of your comfort zone and working your way up to a courageous act, you will find the perfect mini-course, The Courage Catalyst exercise, HERE.
Let me know which Challenge you pick or what you decide to create for yourself in the comments below, I’m very excited to see what you will be getting up to! All right, that’s it for me. It’s all you now, Queen.
Fix your crown.