Happy Sunday to you all!

We are nearing the end of the summer….honestly, fall is my favorite season, and I love the cooler mornings!

I was thinking about challenges this week.

What are your challenges?

What challenges you?

It was a physically challenging week this week. I never know when the physical ailments of the car accident Thomas & I survived 8 years ago will scream a little. This week, they screamed loudly. I pushed through. I still do my body work weekly with a therapist, and daily on my own. Some weeks, it’s a challenge. It’s exhausting; it’s debilitating; it’s uncomfortable; it’s depressing; it’s all the things…

I can push through (yes, I do that) but it doesn’t make it easier. It simply red flags me to become present. It’s not going away, so what am I going to do about it?

How does the challenge, challenge me?

How does the challenge, challenge YOU?

Finding yourself in those moments of pain, frustration, exhaustion - physical, mental, emotional - whatever they are for you - is so crucial.

How do you challenge the challenge?

Acknowledgement. It’s there. So what are you gonna do about it?

It could be a physical challenge; it could be a business challenge; it could be a craft challenge; it could be a money challenge.

Whatever that challenge, acknowledge it. Give it permission to just be there. We sometimes forget that those challenges want to simply be seen and recognized.

Then what?

Permission to ask. Ask why now? Ask what it wants. What am I supposed to see in order to create an action beyond it?

Sound a little woo-woo? It’s not. It keeps us present and keeps us active at the same time.

Is the challenge procrastination? What are we not facing? Ask. Is it getting back into the craft - classes, lessons? Is it getting back into the audition room? Is it getting updates done on your website? Your media?

So often, we go straight past go and begin to trash talk ourselves. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just get this together? Why does this always happen to me?

There’s the loop, I think. Challenges happen. They just do. They challenge us to make another choice. Choice doesn’t have to be good or bad; it just has to be different. If it’s not working, then we make another choice. The choice leads us to another action.

See where I am going with this?

Sometimes challenges just simply slow us down. Stop us. So we can be present in the moment and see what is right in front of us.

Sitting with discomfort, sitting with a challenge allows us to see it for what it is: a moment we can claim and learn from.

So, give that challenge a name. How does it make you feel? Why do you suppose it’s there? What could you do, or better yet, NOT do, to relieve the anxiety around it?

What is your default response? Is that serving you? Is that getting in the way?

Challenge that challenge with a new way of approaching it.

What are some of your unique characteristics that can approach that challenge that you haven’t thought of or used in a while?

What is one thing that would give you joy/contentment/energy in relationship to that challenge?

Start this new week with a renewed commitment to challenge your challenges. You are strong enough. Stay present in that challenge. Look it straight in the eye. A challenge loves a challenge!

You are stronger than you think. Strength doesn’t always mean that you go after it. Strength also means to acknowledge when you sit down or take a nap.

Acknowledge. Respond. Stay present.

Exhale. Then inhale again.

You got this.

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

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