Challenges Love or Hate Them They Are Part of Life

Just think for a minute what does the word challenge mean to you?

What kind of feelings does it conjure up?

For me it used to conjure up an instant feeling of dread and failing.

And yet for many the word ‘challenge’ really motivates and inspires. They thrive on it.

I am always curious how differently we each experience an individual word and how one word can have such an impact on how people think and feel and ultimatly respond.

Summer 10,000 word writing challenge 2018

Having just finished this years Summer 10,000 word writing challenge I have been blown away by the results. And as expected many were inspired by the goal setting part of the challenge, for some the potential shame and guilt forced then to take action even when they didn’t want to and made them push through. For some no matter how much external stimuli/pressure or accountability it was not enough to make them write 10,000 words. It was also interesting to notice how many had actually written some words but would not acknowledge, saying they had cheated etc.

And that is the thing about words like challenges and competitions they don’t motivate everyone all of the time. And for the best part even those that love them, it is a state of high adrenaline and so it is often something that is not sustainable. That is why we run challenges and we run retreats. Sometimes we need fast intensive periods of work and sometimes we need to slow things down and reflect.

Challenges that are set or imposed force us to focus on something. The impact of that focus will often be determined by your own clarity of what you want to get from the process, your confidence to manage yourself through the challenge and your ability to measure and notice change will often determine your success and happiness.

Challenges can push us to do more of what we love and they ‘challenge’ us to get comfortable with uncomfortable and they encourage us to question our process and what is important and priorities.

I have come to realise that challenge is now a fun thing and I love a challenge. I no longer worry so much about how I look in the eyes of others. Instead I am focused on self improvement and noticing if I am better than the last time by my own measure.

I am also mindful of my own limit of how many challenges I can take in a certain period of time. Whilst I don’t mind setting the odd challenging deadline I am mindful that life can throw unpredictable challenges so it is important I have space and time to manage them too.


Understanding what kind of challenge works for you and why can ensure you set yourself up for success. And for some changing the word from challenge to something like ‘intention’ has a far more powerful impact. Whilst others change how the words makes them feel by changing the story and emotions associated with it. For example I can remember loving Cross Country at school so I have stories when challenge served me. It is my conscious decision to focus on that feeling of exhilaration rather than the stories that focus on disappointment and pain which make me want to avoid it.

This week I have been challenging myself to learn how to build an online programme.

Have you found yourself using the word challenge or challenged?

What does it mean to you?

Is that word and the story and emotions associated with it inspiring you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t?

Take a moment now to think or talk about what is working or has worked about challenges and notice what happens next?

Notice what happens to clarity confidence and what changes?

For those that have read my book Manage Your Critic – From Overwhelm to Clarity in 7 steps you will know the first step is curiosity.

Staying curious with the online training has been a life saver. Wow what I change!

I have had so much fun this week and despite potentially having to change software providers I absolutely do believe I can do this now.

If you know you need to Manage Your Critic and you want to learn how to gain clarity of what you want and generally be more playful and curious please sign up below and I will let you know when the programme is out.

If you are struggling with turning your dreams into reality, or you have lost the ability to even dream because you are lost in overwhelm and struggle, please know you are not alone and it doesn’t have to be that way. I am here and willing to listen as are many many other coaches who have trained to listen to ensure you really listen to your heart, mind and soul. You are so much wiser than you realise. That child like curiosity you were born with can be a source of so much joy if we only stop to listen.

The world is a beautiful place and it is possible to create peace inside and out. Sign up today if you want to be the first to trial my new online membership site.

Step by Step Listening
Supporting you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t

Please share below your thoughts as google likes to know you like me or join us for more private conversation in our closed Facebook group Manage your critic

If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will be happy set you up for success.

I might be part of the solution you need and I might not, but by the end of the call you will you know your next best step. Or you can thickpaperbackfront_Finalpurchase a copy of my book here if buying in the UK. Alternatively you can go to and purchase a copy here. If you don’t yet have your amazon associated with a charity I would love if you would support Square Pegs Charity. A local charity that I support as trustee and patron.








About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asking for support. In her book she describes the step by step journey she took to learn how to manage her critic turning her overwhelm into clarity in 7 steps.

Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.

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Published By

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening is well known for her fast speaking and highly motivational passion. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult when criticised even when she knew they meant well and found it difficult to respond rather than react. A series of 3 events in her personal life exaggerated her emotional overwhelm and forced her to address this problem and conquer her sensitivity to criticism. Today she shares every day stories of every day people and inspires you to discover ways to gain clarity and confidence to change the way feedback and criticism impacts your performance.

View all posts by Sheryl Andrews →
1st September 2018 Uncategorised
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2 responses to “Challenges Love or Hate Them They Are Part of Life”

  1. Linsey says:

    Great read. I had to go and start a document with ‘words that have a flip-side’ and put ‘Challenge’ at the top 🙂 I am a real ‘word’ person and often talk about their power when leading workshops/retreats. Self talk, for me, has changed so much with the realisation of it’s power. I did a 100 day Doodle challenge a couple of years ago and LOVED what appeared on the page. So much wisdom when we commit to our creativity. xx

    • Thanks Linsey I love the idea of a 100 day doodle challenge. I am interested in the fact I like the concept of the challenge but not sure about my committment to 100 days – that is curious…Especially as I am now writing about how our perceptions of time impact our decisions. thank you again for engaging with my blog x

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