Welcome to episode #164 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. So many people are unhappy because they’re thinking about what they’re getting or not getting. My hope is that you can bring some energy and flow back into your life, even if you don’t feel like you’re getting what you want. Today’s podcast on Making Hard Things Easy is to help you move forward, even when things feel hard.
I have a question for you. What do you think when you hear the word “hard?”
Do you feel worried and concerned? Do you feel excited?
The answer to that question is going to be how you make hard things easy.
Our patterns determine how life will move and how deeply present we are as we move through life. When people say, “this is going to be hard” – and a part of you perks up and gets interested you have a pattern of embracing hard things.
It is through the hard things that have occurred in my life where I became more present, awake and attentive. Hard things like disease, death and pressure.
There are problems galore in life. Hard things are not difficult to find. Every day, we see how many hard things we can witness. Death, destruction, poverty and disease. We see loss, suffering and pain. We feel these things as well.
Yet, hard is a choice. Choosing hard is deciding ahead of time that we’re going to make other things easy. This is important because our experience of life is based upon the quality of our choices. This is the definition of a life on your own terms. A life where you feel like you have choices.
There is a connection between your choices and the consequences of your choices. You are always co-creating with the choices you make in the context of the world around you. You move within this world. We all need food and shelter to survive and everything else is just to make life feel easier. When you come back to this, you can see that the problems in your life today are likely those of you choosing hard things to make your life feel easy.
Now that you know this, you’re able to see that hard is always a choice and one that you get to have. Not everyone even has the opportunity you have right now, to do the hard thing in the short-term that could help them create stability in their lives for the long term. The hard work you have today in your job, family and with your health – is also a choice. One that you’ve decided is worthy of your time and attention.
To make hard work easy we must become more skilled.
If you could have 2 fundamental skills to master, you would want to master the skill of decision-making and taking action.
When you want to make new and bigger decisions, you are considering how you will commit to your decisions. Commitment makes hard things easy. When you truly commit, you are able to reduce the number of decisions you make every day. When you commit to your partner, the hard parts of the relationship become easier because you’re aware of the results you’re looking to achieve. Long-term results. The same thing goes for our health, our work and our pursuit of our purpose. All of this requires commitment.
All of us are unique yet there are similarities and a science to what we want. The uniqueness lies in your particular set of strengths and experiences that you bring to the table. Your gifts are the unique way you express yourself. The science comes in the sense of balance and closing the gap of achievement.
When we’re in balance with one part of our lives, we seek to find balance in other ones. If we’re feeling like we don’t have enough money or time, we go seeking more money or time. The gap creates the desire. The commitment to filling the gap is what creates the action.
Actions and the ability to show up everyday for your dreams and your choices is what takes the commitment into reality. This is how you make your dreams a reality. When you take action and you aren’t enjoying the process, however, you can easily become unhappy. This is why the hard things become harder. Taking action that you enjoy however, makes hard things easier. Understanding why you’re taking action, makes hard things easier. Seeing progress with your actions also makes hard things easier. Are you able to make progress and enjoy your experience? If you can answer yes, you’ll take more action more consistently.
It’s not just taking lots of action. We often think we just do a lot more, when in reality it’s more important to take intentional steps that go right to the source of what you want instead of an autopilot set of steps that you haven’t evaluated.
Even if you pause to think about what’s next, that’s an action. The most important actions may not be visible. Working on what we believe and how much we believe in ourselves, our work and others is an action. When you turn the belief dial up, tangible results and ease increases. Ask yourself, how much time do you spend believing? If there’s a gap, you have the gap in ease that you can close. The more time you spend believing that you can do something about improving your life and living more authentically, the easier it will be to take action.
Let’s consider an example. When I started running, it was on a lark. It felt like I was just doing something for fun, even though I had a goal of running a mile time that was close to what I did in high school when I was playing lots of sports and running lots. This was my commitment to the process. I said to myself that I’m doing it. I ensured commitment by hiring a running coach. He gave me even more commitment because we often do more for others than ourselves. I could see that even my motivation could wane, but my commitment to doing what I said I would do wouldn’t.
Then I took action. I did it by actually aligning my identity as a person who does what they commit to. Since I already committed to running, it was easier for me to wake up and go running when in the past, I didn’t. We’re often so stuck on not wanting to change our patterns that we forget that the thing we most want to change, means that other things will have to change. Yes, it’s a good thing if you feel like you have to do something different. It means that you’ll get a different result.
You want to see the hard things change your life. You want to see yourself doing, thinking and believing things that felt foreign to you in the past. We all want to believe that life will work out better than we realize, that we’re capable of doing what we want and that our experiences all mean something. What would it feel like to have these sets of beliefs running your life? What would it feel like to keep seeing yourself leading yourself through change, honestly and with integrity? Committing and taking action.
When this becomes your status quo, you see that hard things have to change things. Hard things push your ideas and beliefs into daylight so that they can be questioned. Is it really true that you can’t do this? Is it really true that this is going to happen? Is it really true that you are the only person this won’t work for and you need to stop? Breaking your own beliefs and recommitting to new ones is part of this process of making hard things easy. If you can normalize hard things and discomfort, you’ll also stop wasting energy resisting that this is your life.
So now, if something seems hard, what will you think? Good. Start getting curious and break your beliefs to create new ones. Then take action. You’ll find that “easy” is around the corner once you make friends with the hard things in life. A well-lived life is one that is fulfilling, which includes stepping out of your comfort zone to choose who you want to be when things get hard – so you can make the choices that give you the most fulfillment personally and professionally.
The hard doesn’t go away
I spend a lot of time thinking about how hard things can become easier and why they do – because our brain doesn’t like hard things. Yet, hard things are often associated with the biggest, most important aspects of life like our relationships, work, spirituality and health. Don’t wait until life gets easy to work on the hard things because the hard things never go away. Your work on the hard things makes life easy.
As I think about different seasons in my life, I’m acutely aware of the different kinds of “hard” that I’m encountering. The same thing goes for you. As you head into this next season of your life, you’ll find a new level of “hard” because you’ve not yet experienced it before. This is normal and expected. This helps you appreciate the ease, joy and love that is also available to you on the flip side of embracing the hard and difficult. Don’t distract yourself, be here for it all.
In order to help you dig deep and evaluate what hard you want to work through to make life easy, I’ve created a free workshop for you. We’re heading into the summer and it is one of the best times to shift perspectives and break free of old beliefs and identities. The workshop is on 6/20 and my goal is to help you have a magical summer, even if you’re super-busy. A summer where you get to be re-inspired. You can sign up here at this link: Link here. Tell everyone and share it – I’m sharing all the practical and spiritual strategies that have helped me maintain a full life of purpose while also being an entrepreneur, corporate trainer, wife and mom.
See you there.
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.
That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.