I used to say “I can’t” quite often until I actively started making changes in my life, I opted to lean in. Some hard things I chose to do, they included: getting fit, participating in Spartan races, learning new skills, switching jobs, moving, divorcing, removing the dishwasher, while some other things I was confronted with and had little choice. Either way, though not easy, I encourage you to do hard things.
Some hard things are monumental, long lasting, impactful life changes that we choose, while others are thrust upon us. No matter the form of the challenge, there are commonalities in how we usually react- we’re afraid of being uncomfortable, of trying something new, of the unknown, and of taking risks. We don’t want to take the risk until we know the outcome (often impossible). We turn away from challenges, growth, from asking for help, breaking routine, from anything hard. But we can do hard things. We are shockingly well designed to handle both physical and emotional discomfort.
Tips for accomplishing hard things:
– Get enough sleep and fuel your body properly with good food.
– Reduce stress wherever possible.
– Reduce daily decisions- every decision we make depletes our energy. Try to allow trivial matters to be decided quickly and with ease- eat the same breakfast, lay your clothes out the night before. Plan for success!
– Turn to friends (to help with hard things or to hold you accountable).
– Create space- stop trying to fill your day to the brim. Allow space to mentally unpack things, to think, to plan. Boredom is ok. Beautiful things come from boredom.
What if I encouraged you to lean into the hard things? If I told you that breaking yourself open in a variety of ways allows you to discover yourself, and that if you shatter at points throughout your life you have the chance to piece yourself back together in ways that are a better fit? That you grow when you try hard things? Some of the best momentum I had in the past was when I purposely ensured I tried something new each month. Something that pushed my comforts, my boundaries. The result? I grew. I surprised myself. I learned. I didn’t always succeed- but I always had some new knowledge to take away.
Think of major changes that have happened in your life. Think of hard things you’ve been faced with, that you have accomplished. Now think of all the good that came from these hard things, even if you were resistant to the change and the difficulty. Oftentimes we create our own difficulty by digging in our heels, denying, resisting, avoiding, excusing and being negative. Try leaning in instead.
Doing the hard stuff reminds us that we are resilient. We are strong. We are capable. The hard stuff teaches us about ourselves, empowers us. Your hard things might not be the same as my hard things, but everyone faces hard things….and we’re all surviving.