160: What it Takes to Have a Breakthrough


Welcome to episode #160 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. Do you ever wonder why some things don’t seem to change? Why does someone get a result and someone else doesn’t? It’s easy to say that some people just have the luck but you know that it’s not the only thing that’s working for them. Today’s podcast on What it Takes to Have a Breakthrough will help you cut through the noise of all the things you can focus on, and give you 1 thing to work on now for your next breakthrough.

This is an incredibly important topic because we want to use our time well and see our lives change for the better. We want to feel that breakthroughs are within reach and as available as the air we breathe.

The other day, I realized that certain milestones that I’ve been setting myself up for in my business and personal life have all occurred. There wasn’t a lot of fanfare or celebration so I paused and stopped to evaluate what exactly occurred. I wanted to note what worked and how I would share that with you so you can experience this for yourself even more. 

Of course I use the coaching tools I teach and the Success Map process. I also used a concept I’ve taught around eliminating burnout – and I think that for more complicated goals, this is one of the main keys to success. Sustainability, longevity and the ability to be in more complicated  games for longer periods of time.

In order for you to have a breakthrough, you must be able to shift the way you see something or do something. There must be something that clicks and changes in a way where you see progress. For me, these have been things from my relationships, my body, my work, money and how I spend my time. Complete and utter turnarounds that felt almost impossible. Times where I was ready to give up and throw in the towel, thinking that perhaps I’ve exhausted all possibilities.


Yet, the biggest reason that I didn’t give up and why I saw the breakthroughs occur is that I figured out how to hang in there during the difficult phases just a bit longer. Whether we want to or not, sometimes we actually choose to stay in a tough situation longer than we prefer.

When I stayed, I had to learn how to bolster my mental health myself, not waiting for other people to save me or notice how hard life felt. I gave myself more chances to do life the way I wanted to do it. I found more energy and more time for the things I thought were my actual priorities. Even when it felt like things weren’t going well, I didn’t make everything rest upon this one person, one event, one day or one failure. 

There is no way out but through. It takes the ability for you to move PAST the hard to get to the easy. 

The only way hard things become easy is in contrast. 

Commit to a Purposeful Challenge

What if you purposefully set yourself up so that you have challenges in your life? These would be your goals. We’re often scared to set goals because we think we have to hit them and hit them right now, but what if you were able to hold that feeling of impatience? What if you purposefully set some more challenging but somewhat attainable goals for specific reasons? Reasons like developing patience or making other important parts of your life feel easier. 

Becoming an entrepreneur was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life – and it’s made so much of the rest of my life easier. Making my health a priority was another one that forced me to have to get smarter with how I worked and how I treated my body. Instead of accidental pain or hardship, you are seeing that you’re purposefully moving towards things that you used to avoid.

If challenging yourself seems impossible to do, then what you want to be focusing on is how to make hard things feel manageable. How can you stop resisting what’s challenging in your life so that your stress decreases? When we burnout, it’s because we hold chronic stress. Chronic stress is stress over long periods of time. Yet, what if we could have a tough situation but be able to work through it without as much stress? What if that tough boss or difficult co-worker becomes a more neutral situation? How long can you go for? A long time.

If you were to sit with something for a long time, you’ll notice that you change or the thing changes. What was hard, now softens. The edges of what someone says or a failure don’t seem as cutting. You’ve realized that even in your imperfections, you are way stronger than you realize. Your mind gets a steely reserve. You seem to get better instead of being paralyzed when you encounter tough situations. This is what changes. How would you not see breakthroughs when you have this kind of tenacity and awareness?

Try this today. There’s something that you want to do but think that it might be too hard to go after. A change in the way you work, live or think. A change in the way you treat yourself and your body. What is that change? Make it a goal. Make it something that you realize is purposefully challenging and tough because having that one thing be hard in your life, will make everything easier. 

This is the one decision that you can make today, that would eliminate thousands of decisions. A commitment to your goals and intentions. Not wavering but instead staying the course and staying true to the way that you want to parent, work, live and love. When I did that, it forced me to have to do this whole life thing for the long haul and not burnout in the process. It was a reminder that there are no badges for one-hit wonders nor for being a martyr when no one asked you to be.

What’s different and the source of breakthrough is this theme: Longevity, integrity and having the wisdom to start living your own life – not someone else’s.

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the worst areas of your life and the hardest things that you’ve experienced become the best parts of your life because they are now the things that made everything else in your life better. It is so worth the struggle of having this harder goal because what it takes to have a breakthrough in this area is to make the struggles work for you. 

Life’s hard enough. The hard work is not meant to make you stop and give up, but to show you that you’ve got a whole new way of living and working that is available to you. A way of living and working where what used to feel hard, now feels easy. You’re choosing new types of hard because the cost of a breakthrough is your old ways. You’re going to find yourself saying, “In the past, I… but now, I…” again and again. This is a sign of a breakthrough. If you actually do this work and commit to a purposeful challenge, get ready for all the breakthroughs.


If you like this blend of both practicality and mindset, you will love coaching. You can schedule a consultation at www.mayempson.com/contact  to learn more about working together and joining this community of like-minded, open and curious seekers. It is the powerful group and private coaching hybrid experience for achievers who want to expand their vision of what’s possible. Twelve months of support, individualized guidance, community and retreats. We will help you build your confidence, trust your intuition and make decisions that you love.

I’ve also just created a free masterclass for you. If you’re ready to figure out what’s next, you’ll want to sign up for the replay of my most recent masterclass, “Figuring out What’s Next.” Go to the link here to sign up and learn the three phases of where you’re at in your career/life crossroads and what to do in each phase. 

That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.

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