Challenge 2017

Seven Steps to…CHALLENGE

Moving from RISK to CHALLENGE is a natural progression through the eyes of willPower. We notice that once we release limiting beliefs around a certain thing, idea, or circumstance, we open ourselves up to more — more connections, more synchronicities…and certainly, more possibilities. With less fear and more CONFIDENCE now, the wider realm of unknown possibilities entails a greater sense of “adventure” rather than “doomsday”. We practice to LISTEN to and TRUST our internal guidance system.

And, as we EXPLORE more of the world around us (and within us), we notice we are drawn to things that awaken our desires. These are not things that we can simply buy, consume, or download an app for, these are things that will require some type of cultivation. We may visualize, train, study, save up, invest, hire, inquire or build – but, in any case, the fulfillment of this desire will require some type of alignment to it with the necessary changes to our status quo!

Big change-small change, public leap-private tweak, no matter what the challenge, we need our willPower to overcome the naysayers…particularly the ones in our heads!

Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when that person looks back – and at some point everyone looks back – she will hear her heart saying, ‘What have you done with the miracles that God planted in your days? What have you done with the talents God bestowed on you? You buried yourself in a cave because you were fearful of losing those talents. So this is your heritage; the certainty that you wasted your life.'” ~Paulo Coelho

With the conviction that we do not want to waste our lives “buried in a cave”, we look to this week’s Seven Steps as a way out. And, not just any way out. Our own life-purposeful way out. The challenge calling your neighbor is likely different from the one calling you. And, the challenge that was “perfect” for you five years ago is likely outdated…so, step back into your proverbial cave for just a moment, and take this week’s Seven Steps to…CHALLENGE:

1. Which area(s) of your life do you want to change or expand?

2. Does this area line up with a challenge already in mind, motion, or somewhere out in the ether?

3. Make it personal. Realize free will is inherent, so ensure your challenge does not force or control anyone else’s action. For example, the Challenge for your entire family to lose weight impinges on their free will.

4. But…don’t think you have to go it alone either! Indeed, be open to assemble the coaches, experts, advisors, or support system to assist you.

5. Evoke archetypal energy. Look for examples, predecessors, role models, and compatriots facing a similar challenge with grace and zeal. Real, historical, or mystical! Archetypal energy is that collective psychic energy we can access to reach our finest feats.

6. Create “gates” to protect you within your challenge. These gates keep you in the challenge mindset when life happens, willPower wanes, and temptation emerges. Think about which mechanisms will serve you to stay in challenge-mode for the duration.

7. Be your own best friend. Recognize warning signs of burnout and place appropriate priority on self-care especially during intense periods of cultivation. And, above all, remember:

Whether it is one we chose…or one that was “chosen” for us, our attitude toward challenge colours our experience of challenge.

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Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit