Friday, July 1, 2011

Challenge Me

Today I'm linking up over @ Outside Voice.

Lauren made the word 'challenge' her most recent
'Get the Picture' photo theme.

{ Head over there now to link-up or read all about
the many definitions of 'challenge'. }

|ˈch alənj| noun: a task or situation that tests someone's abilities.

Lauren asks us, "What is challenging?"
and "What challenges you?".

A challenge can take on many forms and definitions. Challenges may consist of the mental, physical, or emotional variety. By definition, a challenge tests our abilities. Everyone has such different abilities, strengths, and weaknesses; it's no wonder that we all find different things to be challenging.

For me, a challenge is something that seems near impossible but turns out to be a character builder instead. Challenging tasks are often just a state of mind that can be overcome. Anything can be a challenge if you let it, but challenges are made to be overcome. Taking on a challenge is almost always worth the effort, and the rewards are typically bigger than you could imagine. Sometimes the best gifts are in the unknown, and challenges are exactly that, an unknown area just waiting to be explored. Nothing is impossible, and with each challenge you learn more about your own capabilities. Not to mention, the view from atop a challenge is pretty incredible! There is always something to learn from a challenge.

If we let a challenge scare us away, then we probably won't get the opportunity to experience the growth and joy that comes from stomping on a difficult task. It feels great to push through something that most people think you're not capable of doing. There's something wonderful in knowing that most challenges can be overcome with some perseverance, determination, heart, and sheer will. Anything is possible. Don't let challenges stand in your way.

The power of the mind is amazing, so use it to your advantage. Challenges make you realize that you're much stronger than your body's limits. Set your mind on a goal, forget about the pain, and hopefully the challenge you face won't seem so challenging any more. Thinking about mind over matter always comes in handy when facing a tough situation.

Some of my best learning has come from challenging situations. I surely would not be who I am today without the challenges I've faced in life. With age, life experiences, and growth, I expect my definition of the word 'challenge' will change with me. Maybe I will reach a point where things just don't seem so challenging anymore? Maybe not. Either way, I welcome life's challenges; learning and growing will always be a part of my life.

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Now go and link up with Lauren over at Outside Voice!

Outside Voice Button

Remember: Everyone defines a challenge differently than you, so use that knowledge to help others through their life challenges. We'll all be better in the long run if we help each other through the tough times. It just wouldn't be nice to purposely make life more challenging for others now... would it?


  1. Beautiful. Love your pictures, and girl, you've got some wisdom behind ya! Great words - "Not to mention, the view from atop a challenge is pretty incredible!" - SO true!

  2. Ashley, this is INCREDIBLE. Just what I needed to hear today. Seriously, I love you for this!

    And WHERE WERE YOU IN THESE PICTURES?? They're amazing!!!

  3. WOW!! This is just absolutely amazing!! You write SO beautifully, Ashley!!

    I'm with Jenni...where were you?!

  4. Ashley! you did SUCH an amazing job. You are an inspiration and have beautiful thoughts about challenge. Wow. These words have inspired me today (unknowingly, this weeks theme came at the perfect time for my own inspiration!) Thank you so much for participating.
    lots of x's and o's for this one!

  5. Thanks girls! The funny thing is I really needed to hear myself say these things. Glad I could share. (:

    These pictures were taken at the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Alamosa, CO. The airline that my husband worked for flew right into there, so I joined him for an overnight a year ago or so. I highly recommend a visit there, but they are smack in the middle of nowhere... sort of difficult to visit but pretty amazing.

    Thanks again for the kind words!

  6. Um gorgeous pictures! And I love that you appreciate and welcome challenges because you know they will make you stronger :) I'm having a giveaway on my blog right now so take a look and maybe you can win :) Have a great weekend girl!

  7. wow. how inspiring. and those photos are beautiful. and so is your header!

  8. Visiting from Outside Voice and wow - that is quite a challenge. I'm inspired! I hope you have a great weekend!

  9. Love love lauren's blog. :) And Love yours! That running downhill picture is fantastic!

  10. this is a great post and i really like your explanation of the word "challenge." :) i'm glad i got to participate in lauren's photo share this time.. it's so interesting to see everyone's responses!

    ah. hiking in the sand is deeeeffffinitely a good photographic representation of the word.. sand is no joke!- so difficult. gorgeous pictures, too :)

  11. This is such a great challenge post, I love when you said 'Some of my best learning has come from challenging situations.' so true!