Challenges: They're fun!
This is Part 2 of the ‘This is really hard’ mini series - Click Here for the first post.
To start, let’s dive a little further into the paragraph I wrote in the previous post:
The most rewarding experiences or the most valuable, come from overcoming challenges. Whether these are physical, emotional, mental, you name it, when you come out on the other side, there is generally more confidence, resiliency, or a lesson whether you wanted it or not.
When starting something, we don’t think… I want to take up this hobby to learn resiliency! That sounds great! That actually sounds kind of stupid. Taking a step back even further, when starting something new, generally we think, this looks fun!
Here is where we’re laying the foundation. Why would I want things to be challenging? That sucks! I agree, sometimes it does. But what sucks more is when everything is always a piece of cake. Let’s use an example of one of my favorites hobbies, make puzzles! If every time I cracked open a puzzle, and got every single piece on the first time because ‘thank god it’s not hard’, that’s going to wear thin pretty quickly. Why? Because that’s boring.
Let’s say this were to actually happen - building a puzzle when every single time I picked up a piece, I put it in perfectly. Off the start, I’d feel pretty pleased with myself, a little pat on the back, a hair toss, but as piece after piece goes in on the first time every single time, it gets boring. The rush wears off, there’s no excitement, no challenge… oh look, I got the 416th piece again perfectly. Wow. How great. By the halfway point I just can’t wait until the 1,000 piece and I’m done because this feels like a waste of time. There’s no surprise, no challenge of not finding that damn piece (and if you love puzzles you know exactly what I’m talking about here!), nothing.
Brigitte, weird… I thought this was a blog for a pole, dance, and aerial studio… not puzzles. Ok, I will switch gears to make this analogy relevant (but seriously, I could talk about puzzles all day). Let’s cross this over for some real life examples:
You take a Barre class with Mel or Susan. You know every movement, nothing is hard. You feel no burn. Are you going to come back? You’d probably feet like you’re wasting your money.
You take Sarah’s Racy Russian Pole choreo class or Rachel’s chair dancing class. You get everything absolutely perfect the first time. No small details to clean up, nothing to try remember…. how many times will you continue to go back?
You take Lori’s pole combos class, or any of our fundamental classes and get every move absolutely perfectly the first time (as a reference point - I’ve done this for a long time and don’t think I’ve come close to getting any move perfectly ever). Will you keep signing up?
Again, will you keep at it? No. Shout it from the rooftops! Noooo!!
You won’t. Why? Because at some point, whether it’s early or not, you will realize you’re getting nothing out of it. You are wasting your time, energy and resources because you’re not bumping up against any walls. Nothing is physically, mentally or emotionally challenging. It’s just sort of nothing.
So why do we keep coming back to Barre when we’re not sure we can walk to our car after because our legs are shaking (I’m kidding… ok, only sort of), or why do we keep coming back to that fundamentals class for the 3rd time to try get those damn moves? Insert any example here. Why do we do it? Challenges are fun! Figuring things out while sometimes frustrating is awesome! Challenges make life interesting.
The next time you find yourself in a particularly challenging situation, you can always use the phrase, ‘Well, at least I’m not bored!’ to not only add some humor but to remind yourself why it’s worth it.