As humans, we all seek to feel good and find happiness in our lives. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying some relaxation time or indulging in our favorite activities, true fulfillment often comes from confronting and conquering challenges head-on. It’s through these trials that we grow, evolve, and become stronger individuals.
One concept I want to introduce is “misogi,” a Shinto purification ritual that symbolizes the transformation of a hero escaping from a demon underground and emerging purified through a waterfall. This powerful mythological concept resonates with our own experiences of facing challenges and emerging as new and improved versions of ourselves.
Consider running a marathon as an example. There’s a chance of failure, injury, or exhaustion. Yet, it is through the training, discipline, and perseverance that you can achieve something remarkable. As you push your limits, you transform physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s the challenge that brings out the best in you.
I want to emphasize that embracing challenges is not always easy or enjoyable in the moment. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. But the rewards are immeasurable. Think back to a time when you watched a movie that touched you deeply, even though it was emotionally challenging. You learned something valuable and came out wiser on the other side.
I recall a personal experience of a winter camping trip with a church group when I was a young teenager. The conditions were harsh, and it wasn’t a walk in the park by any means. However, that challenging journey taught me resilience, self-reliance, and the power of pushing beyond my comfort zone. It made me a better person, even though it didn’t feel good in the moment.
Neurologically, anxiety arises from the unknown, from the fear of stepping into uncharted territory. However, when we willingly embrace challenges, we reduce the entropy—the randomness and uncertainty—of a situation because we learn we are able to overcome challenges. As a result, anxiety diminishes, and we gain a sense of control and confidence.
So, my challenge to you today is to take one step towards a challenge you’ve been avoiding. It could be initiating a difficult conversation, starting a new project, or tackling a personal goal. Embrace the discomfort and uncertainty, knowing that on the other side lies personal growth, strength, and a new perspective on life.
If you’re seeking support and motivation on your fitness journey, I invite you to join my challenge group by visiting www.joejustice.org/join We’ll embark on this transformative path together, pushing our limits and celebrating our victories. Together, we can overcome any obstacles and become the best versions of ourselves. Remember, feeling good is not just about immediate gratification; it’s about embracing challenges, pushing our boundaries, and emerging transformed. Let’s step out of our comfort zones and discover the incredible power within us.