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Emily Williams


How to Reap the Rewards of Challenge

Emily Williams

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We're a media, education and lifestyle company that supports you in elevating every area of your life. I started IHML in 2014 out of my own desire to love myself and my life. Welcome. We're glad you're here.
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I used to shy away from challenge. I wanted our business to keep going up, up, and up some more. (And to a certain extent, of course I still do.)

I didn’t want to have difficult conversations. I wanted everyone to like me.

I thought I could “positive think” myself to a place where challenge didn’t exist, and that I could navigate away from anything that would cause me emotional distress or harm.

But, as I soon realized, that wasn’t the case at all.

Over the past year, the challenges have been seemingly endless.

We’ve hired (and fired) new team members, dealt with major tech issues, retired our most popular courses and programs (all on behalf of realigning with the mission and getting clear about the direction we’re headed in as a company, but never-the-less, challenging).

We literally broke down our business in many ways so we could rebuild it again.

Rebuild it stronger. And there was nothing easy about it.

But, now, safely on the other side, I’m starting to see the power in the rebirth — and even more surprisingly, in challenge itself.

Yes, I’m a new believer in challenge. I’ve been converted.

And in fact, I now know that challenge was there for me, not as a deterrent to my dreams, but to help me grow stronger and to better prepare me for everything I desire.

And it’s the same for you.

Our challenges are necessary, and frankly, we shouldn’t be that surprised when they occur. (No matter how heavily meditated or aligned in purpose we are.)

Challenge is natural. It’s meant to occur.

As Iyanla Vanzant says in her book Trust: ‘Each season supports a purpose that advances life.’

When you’re going through a challenging time, that’s all it is: a season.

Think about it like this; the planet doesn’t question when the leaves fall or when animals go into hibernation. That’s part of the experience of life!

Yet, we question our own Winter. The brown leaves we experience. The weeds that sprout instead of the flowers.

But the truth is, you’re being prepared for something – something new is on its way, there’s about to be a rebirth, a seed has been planted.

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And in fact, the greater the challenge, the greater the reward!

I love the quote at the beginning of this chapter by Napoleon Hill, from his book Grow Rich! With Peace of Mind: ‘Every adversity has a seed of either equal or greater value or benefit.’

‘Every adversity has a seed of either equal or greater value or benefit.’

Read that again: ‘Every adversity has a seed of either equal or greater value or benefit.’

The most difficult moments are literally setting you up for growth.

You may not see it just yet, but on the other side of the struggle there’s something even greater about to sprout up – huge breakthroughs, major lessons, massive clarity: all right beneath the ground.

And if you’re not aware of this happening, you may miss the lesson.

You may struggle, stay in denial or avoid what you’re being shown — or even worse, dig up the seed.

It’s up to you to face challenge head on — be strong and resilient in it’s presence — but also be vulnerable enough to really get the lesson and allow it the space to help you transform into the next version of you.

Relish in the beauty that is the seasons of your life. And in those moments when you feel like you’re being given far more than you can chew, repeat after me…

The bigger the challenge, the greater reward.

The bigger the challenge, the greater reward.

The bigger the challenge, the greater reward.

Start to see your challenge in that way. Start to associate challenge with benefit; the greater the challenge, the greater the benefit.

Look for the silver lining amidst the challenge. It’s there. There’s a reason. There’s always a reason. And by the way, you’ve got this.

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