Interesting or Challenging?

Is your choice of words, in this case interesting or challenging, an indication of your level of confidence?

This topic was triggered by a conversation I had with a chamber of commerce executive. He asked how my day was going. I said “I’m having an interesting time setting up e-commerce on my website.”

He laughed and asked “Why interesting instead of challenging?” To which I responded, off the cuff, “Interesting keeps me engaged, challenging might depress me.”

This exchange reminded me of the power of language on both our behaviors and our mental state.

A better answer

As I thought about the exchange I realized that a better answer to his inquiry would have been “Interesting keeps me engaged in pursuing the goal, challenging offers the option of quitting.”

My interest in learning what I needed to know to have an effective, user-friendly e-commerce site enabled me to persevere through the inevitable missteps associated with learning. My interest didn’t preclude me from engaging someone knowledgeable about e-commerce to accelerate my movement through the learning curve.

Conversely, when I feel challenged, I regularly find my mind drifting to the questions “Why bother? Is this really worth the effort?” In other words the temptation to quit, to abandon my goal is much greater when I view difficulties as challenges then when I find them interesting.

For you

To discover how powerful language is in its impact on your behaviors, and mental state, go to your local library and get a book on NLP (neurolinguistic programming). Better yet, buy a book (there are many good ones out there), read a few pages and employ what you learn in those pages for a few days, then repeat the process.

You’ll find that you learn a lot more, more quickly, by gaining experience employing what you read than if you simply read the book.

For our kids

Better yet, read the book with your kids using the process outlined above. Each day share your experiences with them and have them share theirs with  you. Not only will you grow more confident together, you’ll enjoy a stronger bond with your kids. That bond will help protect them from potentially harmful influence from their peers.

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