Not everything in life is easy, and in fact, it’s not meant to be. Being able to appreciate experiences both good and bad as positive in the path of growth is key. For years I also lived a life of complacency and comfort in the realm of “I could never…”. Now I’m a firm believer in the response of “you’re right with that attitude, you could never…”. I didn’t just wake up one day, experience an epiphany and decide to start trying outrageously new things. What I did decide is that I would start to dedicate effort to not avoiding things in my life or making decisions out of fear and potential discomfort.
To many people, this may sound like a reckless way to live even still, and from their perspective, they’re not wrong. Making choices and decisions from a place of fear will feel comfortable, but often unfulfilling. (I’m not judging anyone’s happiness here, but are you really happy?) Mindset and mental focus is all too often wasted on finding ways to make tasks easier instead of facing them head-on. Now don’t get too down on yourself, there’s a reason that many successful people advise you to tackle your toughest tasks early in the day. To work up the confidence to create this pattern is a process, albeit one that will pay off exponentially. Failure isn’t a lack of accomplishment, it’s actually the inability to adapt to change and adversity.
5 years ago “I could never run a half-marathon” because I was out of shape and unwilling to do the work. This year I will race my 2nd 50K trail race, 2nd 70.3 triathlon, and my first full 140.6 Ironman triathlon. 5 years ago “I could never start a business” because I didn’t have the skills or direction to take the initiative. I have run a business for a year in a half that I have build great relationships and experiences through. How did I get here? It hasn’t all been just through focused effort, believe me I have had my share of course corrections and what appeared to be backslides to a past pattern of an unhealthy lifestyle. The attitude of self-care and compassion through tough times along with the support of friends and family kept me out of the “I could never…”. I also had to reflect inward and fight my own demons personally and professionally. Many days it’s a matter of starting to believe in yourself and shutting that inner judge out.
Surrounding yourself with resources and a support system of people that believe in you is the other piece of a foundation needed for reaching new and outrageous goals. It’s easy to do this with the intent of having the strongest cheer squad in your corner, but make sure they will hold you accountable and tell it to you straight as well. Some of the best support will come from a place of brutal honesty, that in the moment is the last thing we want to hear. The trick is that once you get out of the trenches you’ll appreciate the tough love most of all. Take this new strength and momentum to the next level and you will build the path to reach your goals. Finding joy in experiencing those uncomfortable moments as a sign that you’re alive and actually thriving is the turning point to happiness!
Final Thought: Stop telling yourself you can’t and challenge yourself to see what you can.