Whether it's a hobby, a project, a relationship, or a personal goal, the initial excitement often propels us forward with great enthusiasm.
We're brimming with ideas, motivation, and a burning desire to succeed, or sometimes - to not fail.
But as time goes on, we encounter obstacles, distractions, and setbacks, all of which are expected parts of a hero’s journey.
The road gets bumpy, future becomes uncertain, and suddenly, that initial burst of energy seems to fade away.
We find ourselves facing the hard truth: continuing what we started despite the challenges.
Now that is a whole different ballgame.
Why does it have to be so dang difficult to keep going?
Well, my friends, the answer lies in all the boring (non-sexy) stuff no one wants to hear: commitment, discipline, and perseverance.
It's easy to be inspired and that first step, but maintaining the momentum requires consistent effort.
It's in those moments of doubt and weariness that our determination is truly tested.
In those moments, we have to remember the beauty that lies beyond the struggle.
When we push through the tough times, we build character and resilience.
We discover our true strength and learn more about ourselves along the way.
We develop skills and habits that serve us not only in that particular endeavor but also in other aspects of life.
So, if you feel like giving up or find it hard to continue…
… take a deep breath (and/or a break, sometimes you just need a break to see things clearly) and look inward to find that big ‘why’ that matters more than a temporary obstacle.
Don’t wait for a major change.
Instead, focus on the small things that can be completed today and will make tomorrow easier.
Look around you and focus on what’s unfinished.
Just start with where you are.
We so often become slaves to our own expectations.
As we change and our life circumstances change, what once gave us motivation and energy may start feeling stale and pointless.
What we chose to work towards years ago, might not have the same appeal now.
We tend to force ourselves to “suck it up” because we’re afraid of feeling like a failure.
But some things (relationships, jobs, identities…) have an expiration date and life is always showing us what is expired, it’s just that our egos don’t want to hear it.
Even if it doesn’t always feel that way, we are the one who set expectations for ourselves and we’re the one who can shift them or let them go.
We have a choice of holding onto the old expectations or reevaluate if what our past self wanted, still brings us fulfillment and meaning.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on a concept we talked about in my life coach training: “There is not better than here.”
To me this is a reminder that no matter what we accomplish in life, we will experience sadness, pain, grief, desire, etc…
We have these imaginary arrival points where we think we will transcend struggle or discomfort or growth. But I think these are our companions for the rest of our life, to some degree, and that is ok.
So when I’m impatient to get ‘there’ (whatever ‘there’ is at a different period of my life) I try to remember that getting ‘there’ doesn’t mean everything will be better, it will just be different.*