3 Reasons Why You Want to Keep Challenging Yourself

Written By Claire C

As we conclude this fasting challenge, we thought it would be interesting to share an article that explains the power of challenging oneself.  In this article, author Eddy Koster breaks down three main reasons why it is important to continue to challenge yourself.  

Reason #1: Challenges Bring Pleasure and Satisfaction

  • This is a tricky one, as challenges are all about balance
    • Goals or activities that are perceived as too challenging can often make you feel overwhelmed 
      • This can lead to procrastination and feelings of worthlessness
    • Goals or activities that are too easy to achieve defeat the purpose of a challenge
  • Therefore, it is super important to undertake a challenge in a way that feels geared towards your abilities and expectations
  • If a challenge does end up feeling overwhelming, try to break the problem down into segments you can make reasonable progress on
    • So, you find that you keep breaking your fasts earlier than you would like, start with one that’s a shorter length and work yourself up to a longer one

Reason #2: Challenges Bring Personal Growth

  • Overcoming problems can induce personal growth in a few different ways
    • You can experience an increase in confidence because you proved to yourself that you could overcome challenges
    • You can experience an increase in skills because you worked hard to achieve your goals
      • This allows you to expand your comfort zone, as future equivalent activities will no longer be seen as much of a challenge
      • And, activities that were once seen as too difficult to consider may now be seen as a reasonable challenge
  • This experience can relate to how you feel after completing a challenging fast
    • You may feel more confident in your ability to complete fasts in the future
    • Longer fasts may now seem within reach, or fasts of a similar length may now feel like second nature

Reason #3: Challenges Help You Relax

  • This sounds counterintuitive, but life without challenges can make you restless or bored
  • Challenges themselves can allow you to feel useful and satisfied 
  • They give you something to focus your attention on

Other Fasting Flamingo Resources You Might Enjoy:

  • Does Social and Emotional Support Impact Health?
    • We thought it would be interesting to discuss how moral support can help you achieve your goals.  Although this article specifically discusses the implications of social and emotional support for health outcomes, the research can be applied to how our group challenge and support calls can help you to succeed in achieving your health goals!
  • Why fasting bolsters brain power
    • In this TED Talk, Mark Mattson, who currently serves as the Chief of Laboratory Neuroscience at the National Institute of Aging, discusses how intermittent fasting is good for your brain.  He discusses both anecdotal and evolutionary evidence that fasting improves mental efficiency.
  • Do People Regret Their Unhealthy Behaviors?
    • This article by Louise Lee discusses some of the psychology behind guilt related to unhealthy behaviors. It specifically analyzes current research regarding the role of regret in dietary choices. 
  • Eat, Fast, Live Longer
    • In this BBC documentary, journalist Michael Mosley searches for the key to increasing his lifespan through his diet.  After failing to reach his goals using traditional methods of staying healthy, he analyzes various diets meant to improve longevity before he discovers the powers of intermittent fasting.

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