So many of my clients tell me that what they’re doing is challenging. “Why is this so hard?” is a question I hear all the time. In asking, they seem to be implying that it shouldn’t be hard, rather it should be easy, or at least, easier.
But, what if it’s not supposed to be easy? What if it’s meant to be hard?
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or your running your family business, the fact is that not everyone is cut out for this kind of leadership. Not everyone chooses this path to lead, and there’s a reason for that.
Thoughts Lead to Feelings And Feelings Lead to Action (or Inaction)
In my life, I have thought this same thing. In my case, it was related to starting a business. I would find myself thinking ‘this is honestly the hardest thing I have ever done.’
Like most people who think this thought, I immediately felt stress and overwhelm. This thought I had in my head was making me feel BAD.
In response to that feeling, I would wallow in self-pity, shy away from whatever felt hard. For me, it was putting myself out there as a coach. My response resulted in the status quo. Things didn’t get any easier. I wasn’t moving through the “river of misery” to the other side. I continued to feel like I was drowning in the HARD.
I was stuck in that place until I talked to my own coach about it.
Through coaching, I had an almost immediate realization: I CAN do hard things. I have done hard things in my life. And I am PROUD of what I have accomplished— especially if I had to work hard to achieve it.
During coaching and self-reflection, I made a list of everything I am most proud of in my life. I discovered that the things I am most proud of seemed extremely hard for me to do at the time I was doing them.
I also realized that one of the things I am most proud of was also a COMPLETE FAILURE.
My Proudest Failure
Several years ago, I signed up for a business plan pitch competition at a local university. I had never done a pitch competition and really wanted to give it a go. I practiced and practiced, and nailed it each time.
When it came time to present in front of a fairly sizable audience and panel, I was first up. I took a deep breath and launched into my well-rehearsed spiel.
Midway through, I looked down at the panel and noticed that one of the judges was glaring at me (YES, glaring). I completely lost my train of thought and bombed the rest of my pitch. Big time. In front of EVERYONE. Also, it was recorded. Honestly, they probably use me as the “what not to do” example in pitch training classes.
So, if that experience was so bad, how could it also be one of my proudest moments?
I am proud because I DID IT. I did something few people have the guts to do, and I learned so much from the experience. I proved to myself that I could do hard things. I can FAIL at something and not only survive but be BETTER because of it.
My pitch that day was for Successful Generations. Because of the thought, “I can do hard things,” I was able to actually take the hard leap a couple of years later, leaving my perfectly awesome job to launch this business.
I could have gotten stuck in the misery of failure. Instead, after a brief pity party (because I AM human after all), I merely thought to myself ‘oh well, that didn’t work. At least I did it and learned how to pitch my new company in the process.’
Lean Into The Hard
The belief I still have on a loop in my head is: “I do hard things. I am growing into the person I am meant to be; the woman who reaches her big audacious goals. What I am experiencing is the pain of my growth as I head towards success. These are my growing pains.”
Rather than deflecting the pain of the hard, I lean into it. It’s not easy to do–it is super challenging. And that’s okay. And now that I know that, I even kind of like it.
You too can do hard things, I believe in you!
Make a list of your proudest accomplishments. Reflect on your list. At the time you were doing the things how did you feel about it? Was it hard or easy?
Need help embracing the hard stuff?
Let talk! I help clients lean into the hard stuff and get out of their own way. The results are significant. If you’re interested in coaching, schedule a session with me now.