The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. It was a pretty long conversation, lasting about 2 hours, and naturally we covered a lot of topics. But one of the things she said in particular was very interesting to me. So much so, in fact, that I had to open up a copy of notepad and jot down what she had just said while she continued to speak. What I soon began to realize is that she was speaking of something that I had always felt to be so important. She was speaking of Challengers.

What she said was, “I don’t want to date someone who is going to make me feel ‘comfortable,’ or allow me to remain in my comfort zone.”

What she meant by “comfortable,” was complacent. She went on to say, “I don’t want someone who’s going to tell me he likes all the same things as me. I don’t need you to like what I like! Make me like something new. Expand my mind. Teach me something I didn’t know. Challenge me.”

This was a little bit surprising to me on a few levels. For one, I don’t often hear people say that they enjoy being pushed, challenged, or changed for the better. Most people tend to be very content with whatever current level of knowledge they have or position they hold. It is rare for people to have a strong and radiating sense of desire toward growth. So whenever I see this trait, it is not only attractive to me, but something I can commend and recognize as valuable and inspirational. I stay growing! I love it. It drives me.

But the other reason it struck as me as unique was because it goes against much of what we’re taught about building rapport. Many of my readers will be aware with the basic tenets of building rapport; by mirroring what people say, their body language, the things they like etc, we can build rapport and make people like us more. But here was this young woman explaining how she actually did NOT like this, and how it does the opposite for her. Psychology has actually confirmed that people enjoy the traditional process of rapport building and that it was very effective, so it made me do quite a bit of thinking.

Most people want to be left to their pleasures. They want to sit on the couch and watch TV, and have someone who will come up and say “I love this show!”, sit on the couch next to them, and watch it with them. Very few people appreciate or enjoy someone who will come up to them and say, “You know, I see you watching that show all the time. In fact you watch television so often, you’ve stopped exercising. You’ve spent much less time with your daughter. You stopped working on that project you love. Why don’t we take a walk and talk about your project?”

People in general, by default, don’t like to be challenged. But challenge is the catalyst of growth! 

Here are the Top reasons why Challengers are so important.

1. Challengers Make Us Grow

Without being challenged, pushed, and driven, the simple truth is, we can’t grow. Muscles grow because be push them and challenge them in the face of gravity. It is literally by exploding with force pushed up against gravity that we are able to grow. Without out that explosion of force, growth does not happen. So it can be said that the potential energy that we use by exploding past gravity through space, gets transformed into the potential energy of our muscles into the future. This is how growth works on a mental and spiritual level as well. This is why it is said, “As Above, So Below.” What works on the spiritual and mental planes works also on the physical planes.

2. Challengers Make The Best Friends

When you have people around you who are only concerned with telling you what you want to hear, this may please you or be of “instant gratification” to your ego – like a big fat chocolate cake – but it isn’t actually good for you in the overall scheme of things. The first criteria though, to being able to be around people who respectfully and tactfully disagree with you, is that their intentions must be pure. Some people just love to argue. Challengers aren’t like this. They argue with ignorance. They fight darkness, such as injustice. Dr. Martin Luther King was a challenger. They are people who challenge the status quo. When you have friends like this, their intentions will be one thing and one thing only – to make you a better person. They also don’t push ideas on you that you don’t want to accept. They understand that growth is a journey and one that you must choose yourself. So they will be there to give this advice but won’t push it on you.

3. Challengers Force Us To Succeed

People who aren’t being pushed and challenged to be better, simply don’t become better. They become complacent. It’s like the classic example of the tortoise and the hare. The hare is fast, and he knows it. And it is by this very knowledge of his own ability that his potential to win dies. This is such a dangerous trap for brilliant people. Smart and talented people are victims to this thinking so often because of the fact that they are capable of doing so much. Have you ever felt like you could do anything? If you answer, “Yes, all the time!” I implore you to gbeg the next question, “And how much have I done that the world at large is actually familiar with?” It will sober you up real quick. Because it makes you realize at once that while you are 100% correct, and capable of achieving almost anything you want, you suffer from this knowledge, and as a result, don’t actually end up achieving these things. It is a terrible form of cognitive bias that I suffered from for most of my life. Don’t let it happen to you.

4. Be Your Own Challenger

You don’t need someone outside of yourself to be your challenger. This is great if you have it. But if you don’t, it doesn’t matter because often times the best challenger is YOURSELF. I am a classic example of this. I cannot tell you that I have or ever had people in my life who were challengers to my thinking. Quite the contrary. Unfortunately, I had to learn much of this on my own. That is why I want to share this information with the world, because if someone would have told me all of the things I know now, it would have saved me so much. So much pain and misdirection, so many bad encounters with people and soured friendships and those which I ultimately outgrew. It would have saved me from going down the wrong path in terms of my professional pursuits. You can absolutely be your own Challenger. Just ask yourself these questions:

Am I where I want to be? Why not? What can I do to get there? Not conceptually… technically!

If I’m so capable of doing so much (anything I put my mind to!) – when am I actually going to commit to doing one of those things?

Sometimes it’s not about what you know – it’s about what you’re doing!

The fact is, if all we have around us are people who resonate at a lower frequency than us, (or even the same frequency), we will never rise. The phenomenon of frequencies rising when in proximity to other greater frequencies is called entrainment. If we don’t place ourselves around these higher frequencies, we will never rise to resonate at higher frequencies ourselves, and as such, we make it that much harder to reach our potential. Have these “Challengers” around you as much as possible and watch your dreams, goals, and accomplishments flourish and burst into manifestation because of the exponential expansion they spur in you.

Do you have experience with Challengers in your life? How has this made you a better person? Was it hard going through the challanges? Let us know your experiences below.

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