Since we are not all the same, human beings face both positive and negative vicissitudes associated with the challenges they face daily, whether at work or in any other field, in different ways. In other words, what does not change is that it is impossible not to be subject to certain obligations and responsibilities, and what does change is how we manage those experiences.
For example, while some people adopt a pessimistic and self-sabotaging mindset in the face of day-to-day difficulties, others adopt a proactive, problem-solving mindset, a key difference that, given the same resources and level of technical skills, you can make two people get very different results.
Thus, how we perceive tasks or obligations has a notable influence on the chances of success, and this is a fundamental principle that psychologists take into account in all psychotherapy processes. But… How do transform obligations into challenges?
The value of the challenge
The perceived obligations can make us work with less enthusiasm and generate a state of discomfort when we feel that what we do has nothing to do with us or that it does not fulfill us in our lives.
On the contrary, by turning those daily obligations in our professional or private life into challenges that motivate us and to which we are 100% committed, we will be able to achieve our goals more efficiently and more likely to do it well.
A personal challenge, contrary to an obligation, is experienced with greater interest and involvement, allowing us to be constant and move towards the long-awaited goal with greater intensity and desire.
In addition to that, the challenges allow, in general, to be more methodical and conscious when considering how we will achieve the objectives, and they invite us to dose our forces and work with more energy and vitality.
Strategies to transform obligations into challenges
These are the most important tips you should keep in mind to turn obligations into, from your point of view, motivating challenges.
1. Seek motivation from self-knowledge
Motivation is essential to achieve any goal in life and is one of the most important elements in challenges. But to connect with those sources of motivation, we must know each other; know both our values and our interests.
A challenge is a bet with ourselves, a future promise of success in any area of life and in every task we undertake, which is motivating in itself.
Our job is to find different sources of motivation in each challenge we undertake, something that will make our work easier and allow us to complete the challenges with greater success and speed.
2. Chop up tasks
A good way to motivate ourselves can be to set small short-term goals during our challenge; In this way, we will find motivating milestones every so often and we will always have the feeling that we can feel good about ourselves simply by dedicating ourselves to a task for a few minutes or a couple of hours.
3. Avoid procrastination
Procrastination is the tendency to leave any work we have to do for later, a habit that many people put into practice in their daily lives and that has very specific psychological causes.
Some of these causes can be low self-esteem, a lack of motivation, or simply the fear of failing in any task in which one participates.
Procrastination can cause real problems in the personal and professional life of any individual since it causes an accumulation of work not done, which in turn can seriously affect the emotional health of the person.
That is why, to overcome procrastination, we must always keep in mind that a challenge is much more attractive than an obligation and that we must move forward with motivation, diligence, perseverance, and tenacity.
4. Commit to the challenge by talking about it with others
Being committed to the challenge is one of the most crucial elements for its correct development and, without a doubt, what will help us to be constant and pursue the achievement of our goal at all times of the process.
A person is committed to the challenge that he faces when he assumes as his own all the problems or errors that may arise during the work, when he spares no resources, and when he gives 100% of his effort without negotiating the least bit of each step taken.
Feeling that what we do contributes positively to ourselves and that it is a foreign task will allow us to work with more determination, commitment, motivation, and perseverance.
5. Technique for detecting and coping with the feared consequence
One of the main techniques that we can apply in our daily lives to turn obligations into personal challenges of which we feel part is the technique of detecting and coping with the feared consequence.
This technique consists of daring to face any challenge and working to achieve it with the permanent conviction that each error or problem that we find along the way is a logical consequence of the same challenge to which we have committed ourselves.
In other words, it is not worth complaining when things go wrong, but rather every mistake is an opportunity to learn and to reflect and reconfigure our action plan in search of ultimate success.
Finally, it is important to point out that this technique is based on dealing with the frustration generated by any treatment or error made, and if the challenge is too ambitious, we can change it to a more concrete and realistic one.
- Benjamin Lowry, Paul; Gaskin, James; Twyman, Nathan W.; Hammer, Bryan; Roberts, Tom L. (2013). Taking ‘fun and games seriously: Proposing the hedonic-motivation system adoption model (HMSAM). Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 14(11): pp. 617 – 671.
- Gollwitzer, Peter & Brandstätter, Veronika. (1997). Implementation Intentions and Effective Goal Pursuit. First publ. in: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 73 (1997), 1, pp. 186-199. 73. 10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.199.