Embracing the Challenge of a Challenge
Allison Schwartz muses on opportunities for self-improvement.
I love a good challenge. I love to put my abilities to the test, to defy the old, and to embrace the new. I crave the challenge of overcoming a massive blockade almost more than achieving the goal. But lately, in my classes and in life in general, I've noticed that I have been fixated on my obstacles—giving the struggle permission to completely engulf my thoughts. I have become so obsessed with the frustration to change old habits that I am hindering, instead of propelling, my growth. So how do I embrace the barricades as a means of improvement and not discouragement? This, my friends, presents the challenge of a challenge.
As artists, we strive to be stronger, more grounded, and more well rounded members of society. From sunrise to sunset, my day revolves around my thoughts of self-improvement and how I will execute those tasks. The embodiment of a specific dance style, an honest connection with a character, and even finding a sane way to live with 105 girls are all things that I obsess over daily. If I do not get a step right in dance class, I will drive myself crazy on the sides of the class meticulously repeating the sequence. In fact, they consume my thoughts so much that I am impeding the growing process, because I am harping so much on the frustration that I am losing sight of the triumph.
So, my challenge, for myself and for all of you, is to find the optimism in the gift of a challenge. Having something to work towards means that you are never settling for mediocre nor getting stuck in the past. I need to accept that being presented with a challenge means the finished product will only leave me in a more enriched state than before. When I stand in front of a mirror doing the same step time after time, I must wipe the salty sweat from my face and remind myself that these failures pave the way to triumph. The challenge of a challenge is not in the actual challenge, but how you handle that challenge (wow! That's a lot of challenges!). Channel positive energy and thoughts and be thankful you have the opportunity to better yourself. After all, sometimes our most discouraged, far out places lead us to discovering the beauty of who we really are.
Like my fellow blogger, DeAnna, I live for quotes. You should see my journals…they're full of them. I am going to leave you guys with some quotes I have collected through the years about embracing challenges. Sometimes the words of others will resonate with you in a different way, so I am just trying to spill inspiration onto you all.
"Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still."—Chinese Proverb
"The greater the obstacle the more glory in overcoming it."—Moliere
"Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's okay to fail. If you're not failing, you're not growing."—H. Stanley Judd
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."—Helen Keller
"Changes are inevitable and not always controllable. What can be controlled is how you manage, react to and work through the change process."—Kelly A. Morgan
"There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure."—Paulo Coelho