How We’re Only Changed Through Challenge (+ My New Job!)

Disclaimer that I originally wrote this last week (on Wednesday) but just now had time to tweak, edit and publish now. Sigh.  

My social life this week is really cutting into blogging, you all. So many happy hours before my last day in my current job happens on Friday. Bananas. I feel like I’ve been moving a mile a minute the past month…but then again, don’t we all? 
 
So I’m sitting here on the bus home now, glad to be finding this moment to connect with you. The person behind me just brazenly announced she wants tater tots for dinner (I mean again…don’t we all?), and I was also cussed out earlier today on a walk by a drunk man, so I’m now realizing it’s kind of a weird day.
 
There are so many things I’ve been wanting to write about, though, so luckily, it’s not my inspiration that’s waning, but my time. Basically on account of Sauvignon blanc. Because there are 5 days in a work week and mine includes 5 happy hours this week plus a few next. As far as problems go, this is a GOOD problem to have. But a little tiring and not exactlyyy healthy. 
 
Still, I was thinking I’d like to pop in with content of some sort at least, so here I am. Of all the ideas in my scurrying little mind, I thought I’d leave you with this one: from all places, it stems from something I saw on someone’s Instagram story I was watching. The woman said:
 

We only change if we are challenged.

 
Well this little thought struck me.
 
It’s obvious, yes, but in the most beautiful sort of way. Like you know how flowers are very obviously pretty, but once in awhile you look at them in a different light and their beauty takes you aback? That’s how this quote was for me today. It made me take a step back. 
 
That idea of only changing if we are challenged – isn’t it true of so many things in life? 
 
  • Our bodies only change/get more toned/slender if we are challenged by working out and eating in a disciplined manner. 
  • Our faith only grows and changes if we are challenged by forcing ourselves to find that time every day to devote to praying, reading scripture and the like. 
  • Our social circle only changes and widens when we challenge ourselves to step outside our comfort zone and introduce ourselves to others, or reach out to grab coffee or drinks with acquaintances. Cough, sauvignon blanc. 
  • Even this blog will only change and grow if I’m challenged by making sure I find the time to invest in it amidst my jaunts (with sauvignon blanc) πŸ™ƒ 
 
So it’s pretty clear, right? We have to be challenged to change. And really, who wouldn’t want to change?! Nobody wants to sit there and stay just the way they are right now, I can guarantee you that. 
 
So then, I found myself thinking, why why why don’t we welcome challenge more?! Why don’t we dive in? Why don’t we lean into the challenge, appreciate the challenge, and even get excited by the prospect of the challenge? 
 
We need to do that more…I need to do that more. 
 
I need to swat my hand at fear, buck up and become more self-disciplined, investing more deeply in the areas of my life I know are of critical importance: my faith and my health come top of mind, among others. And I should be excited to do this! After all, experiencing challenge and overcoming it leaves us with the greatest sense of fulfillment.
 
Tell me about a time you felt utterly fulfilled where challenge wasn’t involved.
 
Yep, exactly. Doesn’t exist. Think harder, and you’ll realize how true this is.
 
Overcoming challenge (and changing as a result) leaves us fulfilled in the most real way, so we should be open and inviting when challenge knocks on our door. 
 
I suppose I’ll tell you a little about my new job now because I’m less than half way to my bus stop and well, this Chicago traffic is crawling. And it’s also quite related to this topic of change and challenge. So, without further adieu, 
 

How I inadvertently embraced this idea of “We Only Change if We Are Challenged” when I recently accepted a new job (+ before I had ever even heard that phrase) 

 
So, I realized back in March/Aprilish that my intuition was telling me it was time for a new adventure…something different professionally. I networked, set up a bunch of informational interviews, researched companies and industries that have intrigued me, and moved forward with a couple different potential opportunities. Mind you, I’ve never been discontent at my current job. I work with people I’d hang out with any day of the week (resisting a Sauvignon blanc joke here), I respect the leadership at my agency and I know I’m on a great path there. But that gut feeling? (Remember this post I wrote about how our gut feeling is really God speaking to us?) Yep. I had that gut feeling telling me it was time to move on. It wasn’t shouting at me about it, but it was there when I listened for it. (Listen for it, people. Go read that post after this.)
 
The company I ultimately accepted a position with caused me to make the decision that our very quote of the day here gets to the heart of: I realized that I would only change if I was challenged. And change was what my intuition was silently craving and whispering to me that I needed. And in this particular instance, I knew the challenge would be real. If the length and depth of the interview process was any indication of the intensity of this job I’m about to start next Wednesday, coupled with it being a new role for me entirely, it’ll definitely be challenging.
 
But remember – we want this challenge! I want it! I want to be challenged because I want to change, grow professionally and develop a new skillset (the position is in an entirely different industry and role than my current one! I’ll be doing sales & account development for a growing tech company, for those of you who are curious. Very Silicon Valley of this midwestern girl, I know).
 
By taking this new job and making this pretty stark pivot in my career, I am saying no to fear and worry and seeking out that unparalleled sense of fulfillment that I know will only come from being pushed. Plus, I have clarity that it’s the right thing to do, so rest assured, I know God is involved too.
 
In my particular case in this example, I want to become more fulfilled professionally, but this could resonate in any of a number of different areas in your life right now.
 
So as the week draws to a close, so does my time at my current agency. And while that’s sad, it’s also really ok, because I’m leaning into the challenge of something new, and I can tell you that it really feels pretty good – namely because I know I’ll come out changed.   
 
What challenge could you lean into today? 
 
Well girl, lean with it (rock with it), 
Jen 
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