Responding to Challenges with Grace

How Our Identity Shapes Our Perception of Challenges

This post is going to explore how our identity influences our mindset and approach to challenges in life.

It’s important to note that each of us tends to have a default identity and emotion. 

Our identity drives our perception and shapes our mindset. Life is unpredictable and our path is often filled with challenges and roadblocks. Our perception determines the meaning we give to challenges that arise on our path. 

When challenges arise, the questions you ask yourself will reveal your perception, identity, and the outcome you will achieve

I created this image to illustrate how two contrasting identities approach challenges as they arise.

Exploring Success vs. Failure Identity

Success Oriented Identity

The column on the left side illustrates the questions and perceptions of an identity that helps set us up for success.

This type of thinking focuses on finding a solution while recognizing a potential learning opportunity. They likely trust in their own abilities to resolve the issue, while expecting a positive result.

Failure Oriented Identity

The column on the right side illustrates the questions and perceptions of an identity that does not help set us up for success.

This type of thinking fails to focus on finding an immediate solution, which only makes the problem worse. They might position oneself as a victim and experience self-doubt, while expecting a negative result.

How to Develop Awareness Of Our Default Identity in Response to Challenges

  1. Do not judge yourself if you find that your default identity is setting you up for failure. In most cases, our identity has been programmed by our past experiences and our upbringing. It's important to note that often times this "programmed" identity may not serve us anymore. 

  2. Practice becoming aware of any conscious or subconscious thoughts or beliefs that may be running on autopilot.

  3. As you become aware of your thoughts and beliefs, begin to explore them and choose to change any thought or belief that does not set you up for success.

  4. Learn to look at your thoughts and feelings with the intention to explore your perception of every challenge you face. 

  5. When you notice that you are operating in failure identity mode, see if you can open up your perspective and reframe your questions to help support your success.

  6. Once we begin to change our perception, we create new life experiences. New experiences offer unlimited possibilities! 

Developing Grace

We develop grace as we're able to remain calm and clear while handling incredibly challenging life situations. Some might say, this is where the "real" yoga practice is. It's about finding balance and harmony within, both on and off the mat. 

I hope this article was helpful for you on your journey. Remember, the number one thing is love yourself. Love yourself for your imperfections and for your flaws. We are not expected to be perfect, but we can always strive to be a better person than we were yesterday. 

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