Personal relationships: Dealing with challenges


Managing relationships: Reetika Gupta-Chaudhary asks how do we deal with challenges in life? 

Our latest thoughts on managing relationships – It’s a strange way to start a relationship article as we expect to read about love, understanding etc. But isn’t it true, ‘The way you do one thing is the way you do everything’? So how we deal with our life challenges is how we deal with our relationship challenges. Say for example you are stuck in traffic and someone is honking at you, how would you react to it, or just imagine a parallel situation at home, you are busy with work and your partner wants your attention, how would you react to that? Well, perhaps before we dive a bit deeper into our relationship challenges, let’s take a look at certain factors which determine how we react in the face of a challenge:
• Perception: Our perception of the challenge
• Willingness: Our willingness to give up our comfort zones
• Flexibility: Our flexibility in thought and habits
• Awareness: Our level of personal awareness of our own behaviours

Without any forewarning, we are generally confronted with the biggest challenges in life, and the truth is that all of us react differently to challenges. Some of us will make the most of the challenge and consider it as an opportunity to grow while others look at challenges with fear, anger, self-pity and use them as an excuse to not fulfil their goals. Though here I would like to add that both types of responses are absolutely normal and natural, our willingness to pull ourselves out of our comfort zones is what makes the same situation different for different people.

What is comfort zone? When we are growing up we take up certain believes from our environment, such as from our parents, from school, from friends, from television and from things we observe around us. These beliefs now make us who we are, and based on our experience of life, we create a comfort zone in which we operate based on our beliefs. For example, you picked up a belief that you are not a morning person and now waking up early is out of your comfort zone.

I have always believed that I have a good ability to be a successful business coach and, surely, I have been able to get great results for my clients. But I was used to getting my clients through personal networking, which was a very comfortable model for me. I have always found it hard to manage my social media presence. In the face of the lockdown I was faced with this challenge where I had no choice but to communicate with my present as well as prospective clients through social media.

Hard as I initially found it, I accepted the challenge and befriended the digital world. I realised that if I can have face-to-face conversations with people, then I can have conversations with people online as well. I learnt new skills, and I did a good job of facing the lockdown obstacle and turning it into an opportunity to pull myself out of my comfort zone – now I have learnt a new skill from which I was running away earlier. In the last three months, being at home with my partner created some challenges, like working from home and managing childcare while we were both working.