Posted by: thestruggle4akhirah | November 22, 2008

My New Favorite Word: Challenge and Why You Should Use It!


I have to say that I have surprised myself the amount of times I found myself worrying over the opinion of the faceless masses in my head when contemplating over taking a decision. “Who cares about what people think, just focus on Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, ” I’d tell myself. For some reason, though, that didn’t seem to be good enough.  There was this thing called FEAR that would pop up, and consume my thinking.

The past few years of my life have involved some pretty major decisions: not a single one of them made without hearing the voice in my head asking “..but what will people THINK.”

Then a single word began to define the process: CHALLENGE

I started to challenge some of my fears, one by one.

I admit the process felt like ice skating for the first time.  Things look slippery, cold, and there was a certainty I was going to wind up clinging to the edge of the wall for support at times, and inevitably wind up sitting in a patch of freezing shaved ice.  But without all of this, I would never be able to tell you how fun it is to glide on the ice, how I laughed from this sincere place inside like a little girl when I made it once around the ice rink without help, or how neat it is to reflect that I am skating on frozen water. I was shaky, sure, but I was having a blast!!

In reality: most of our fears are nothing more than large shadows. Just turn up the light, and they shrink instantly.

What awaits on the otherside of challenging them is the happiness, stress free, care free, confident moments we are longing for. As long as we cower in the shadows, though, there we will remain.

With many of my clients, we have focused on the word CHALLENGE. As a client discovered a fear that was at the core of an issue, the real reason why they had not progressed in a goal, the real reason why they hadn’t gotten in shape, the reason why they were afraid to get divorced even though they knew it was better, the reason why they stopped short every time: we would create a challenge. Each day for 2 weeks, they were to challenge their fear each day, to test it out, and see how true that fear really is. Including the fear that the whold world would suddenly turn against them for their decisions….

Guess what happened after that? Yep! They would quickly discover how untrue their fears were, even after years and years of holding onto them.

Challenge. We simply can’t grow without challenging ourselves.

So, what is one fear you have? How long do you want to live with it? 🙂


Action Item:

1) Write down one of your fears.

2) Ask yourself how true do you believe that fear is in coming true.

3) Set up a challenge!! For 7 days you will find a way to test your fear.

4) Write daily in a journal how you feel, and what the response is.

5) After 7 days ask yourself again: how true is this fear I have?

You can repeat the process.

 Just remember that as much as we fear pain from our fear being true, we are almost always already living in pain BECAUSE of it; its already cost you a loss of something, a repetition of something you dislike, etc.

 So you could suffer quietly, or take a challenge. A risk. And discover that there is something better on the other side. What do you say? 😀



  1. …and the truth shall set you free. Very good post, Sis. The ‘aql doesn’t have clear limits like sight or hearing, and often we need to test our perceptions. Thanx for this great reminder 🙂

  2. that was great… glad i stumbled upon it!
    jazakallahu khair

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