Doing Hard Things

Episode #152

Ever feel like it’s one hard thing after another in your life. Well, my friends, we are here to help you get and keep the right mindset to find success even when things are tough. Listen in as we share some practicals that have helped us and our clients when life gets hard.


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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

It’s too hard. Have you ever said that to yourself or have you ever heard someone say that to you? Like your Children today we are talking about hard things, we all experience hard things. We are all faced with hard things. What do we do with them though? Do we face them head on? Do we avoid the hard things?

I think a lot of us avoid. Our brains do not like to do hard things. So, one thing that I know Claudine and I have learned and researched and educated ourselves on pretty well are hard things when we faced certain challenges in our life in the past we would say no thanks, I don’t want to do that, that’s too hard. But we’ve really learned the value and the blessings that come from doing hard things but how do we get there? How do we get from avoiding the hard things to facing them? Head on Some people can face them head on more naturally, some have a much difficult, much more difficult time doing that. So today we want to talk about tips for doing hard things because hard things are inevitable. They come in very different forms in our lives, different situations were involved in. I was actually pretty inspired by this topic from Children, a lot of Children telling me it’s hard, it’s hard.

I thought wow, what a great topic, because we say that all the time as adults, that’s too hard, whatever it might be. And we just also came off an episode about healing from betrayal, which is definitely a hard thing to do, choosing forgiveness, a hard thing to do. But we’re also talking about all the things in between, right things, the light things, all the things in between. Yeah, yeah, it’s funny because I thought as a young adult and then even when I got married, I thought life was going to just be a walk in the meadow, I do not know why I thought that, but I just thought I would just be you know, prancing through the meadows picking wildflowers and life was gonna be so smooth and easy and then my Life was not like that. And then at 25 I became a Christian, I thought well this is it, this is the answer like this is going to take away all the hardship in my life. I don’t know why I thought that because the scriptures do not teach that. In fact, Jesus teaches the opposite, there will be persecution, you will have trials, but for some reason I thought that when I became a Christian and live by the Bible, the scriptures then my life would be really easy.

And so, I have a very strong natural aversion to doing hard things. It is not in my nature to want to tackle hard things. I was really, really soft. I know I have developed toughness and resilience in a good way, but definitely through my 20’s I was very soft. Yeah, I think a big lesson for me was becoming a mom. Marriage and marriage Being married for now 17 years. But yeah, it’s definitely becoming a mom. It really showed me, wow, this is hard, this is so much different that I thought it would be. I saw the little white picket fence and just running around playing with our dog and cats and swinging and just having a grand old time, which there’s been amounts of that, but it’s also hard training teaching a child in the way they should go dealing with different personalities and resistance to obeying mom and dad. What is that about? I thought that was a given right?

I know I didn’t understand that. It’s so cute because my daughter has two Children, two and four and she called me the other day and we were talking about the two year old who’s going through that stage of saying no and being defiant and she’s like mom, this is so hard, like I don’t know what to do and I was like, well you’re doing everything right. We talked through all our ways of handling it and discipline and motivation and all that. She was doing everything right, but she’s like, this is so hard. I said, yes, parenting is so hard. It really is, it’s not easy. I mean, I don’t know unless you just have to one or I don’t know if you really compliant Children. I had four and a couple of them were compliant and a couple of them weren’t. So, it was challenging. And the scriptures do teach us to train a child the way they should go and that word train, you know, it’s in there for a reason, it’s not easy, athletes train, it’s not easy, right? Like I go to the gym, I’m no, not training for anything, so it’s relatively easy.

So, train operative word Well, it’s so important to understand our brains. I think that’s really the turning point for me. I know personally of being more willing to face the hard things and not avoid the hard things. Was that that’s what my brain just, naturally he wants to do because when we see a challenge, we see it as such a threat, and it doesn’t have to be a threat. And when you think about it, challenges are essential for growth, how can we grow and be better at anything or be feel our best if we don’t face those challenges and hard things are challenging. I just want to learn from reading while I’m sitting on my couch with a mug of tea. That’s how I want to learn. But that is not how life teaches us, is it? No, not necessarily. But hard things are also not a reflection of our inadequacy. This was another important reminder for me that when I face something that’s hard, it doesn’t mean, see I’m not good at it, I’m not good enough.

See I just can’t figure it out, my weaknesses. I don’t have any strength. I’ve been in that place. I’m not going to do it, I can’t figure it out and you just give up. But then you’re so not happy, you’re not moving, you’re not growing your just and stunted and settling at the same time because when we face the hard things and we really try and put our effort and energy into it as exhausting it could be at times, it’s very rewarding. We learn so much. When we grow it builds our confidence, it builds our resiliency, it builds so many wonderful things that we get to experience and value in our life. Yeah, I mean you made a good point. You know, we’re all going to have thoughts of quitting, right? That’s normal. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It is your brain trying to protect you. And so, I as an empty nester who had more free time on her hand decided now might be a great time to start a business. I’m like, I’m gonna start this coaching business and it’s been some time you and I start doing retreats before the pandemic and have put that on hold, so restarted again.

And I thought I have all this time, I should build a business. I cannot tell you how much technology and software I’ve had to learn. I spend more time working on my business than in my business, which is normal. I’ve had businesses before, my husband and I have had our own businesses before. So, I understand that that’s a normal natural part of building a business, but it’s been really hard if there are days, I’m just like, why am I doing this to myself? My brain is like, you know, you don’t have to do this, you really don’t have to do this. And I was working with a client just this past week because like this is so hard, she’s also building her coaching business. She’s like, it’s so hard, I didn’t know it was gonna take so much work. I said yes, now, you know, now, you know, it’s hard now, you know, it’s going to take work. So, are you up for the challenge? You know the exact same thing, are you up for the challenge? He goes, yes, I am, I said, and it’s part of acknowledging that reaching our goals is hard. Even losing weight, it feels like losing that last 10 pounds is impossible, right?

It’s like I just can’t do it baby weight, losing the baby weight blamed the last baby. Yeah, I blame, I have said that actually I heard it. I was fine with the first two. The third one does you in. And then of course my third child just looks at me our fourth one. We have four, but he was adopted so I can’t blame him at all for any weight gain. But yeah, I mean our goals, the things we want to achieve, the things worthwhile that we want to go after are going to be hard. They’re gonna be new things, right? It’s just new in our brain is challenging. Doesn’t like change, it doesn’t like to do new things because it takes a lot of mental energy. I mean literally it’s exhausting. And this week to not only was I learning a new platform, but then I got hit with my taxes that I had to finish because the deadline is already will be airing after, but the deadline is coming up and my brain was so tired, I was ready to sell everything, quit everything and move out of the country.

I’m like let’s move somewhere where there’s no taxes and we can just live on the beach and of course it’s not realistic, but that’s what my brain wanted to do. My brain’s like let’s just get rid of everything and move because that would be easier, right? All my problems would be easier to just sell everything and move away from my family. Feel about the messy house with all the kids stuff. But that’s what our brain does. Let’s dump this one and let’s start over. I’ve moved 28 times so there is some value to that. You do get to start over, but the patterns don’t go away. The mess continues. Our brain wants us to be safe and comfortable. That’s just what it does. It senses stress challenges as like we said a threat and it’s like danger avoid at all costs to do this. But if we remember what our brain is doing then we can make that decision. Do I want to stay here? Do I want to keep trying to do the hard things and really feel fulfilled, right? And know that. Well, my brain is just trying to keep me safe and comfortable but just be aware of that and make the choice.

What do I want? What do I want to go after? A lot of us do choose to stay where we are. We do choose to stay in that spot. But when you really think, I know I had to do this for myself when I really take the time to think about, I am really happy though, right? It’s just really what I want, right? Then we make that decision. I think I want to try to go after ABC whatever. Yeah. So good. I do think about that. What you said when we build toughness and resilience, we can make good choices and we make decisions despite the discomfort because the truth is you and I work with our clients, we help them make decisions right? Sometimes people come to us because they need help making a decision and it’s great to bounce it off someone and to have someone with a different perspective and even uncover any limiting beliefs or all that. But once a decision is made, then to get to the end gold, there’s still more work to be done, right? Because we can get discomfort.

We can feel that right because our brains, like you don’t need to do this. I’m telling you, my brain tells me all the time you really don’t need to do this business. But I also feel it’s a calling. So, when I get out of the discomfort, I’m like, no, I really, really, really do want to do this. So, I’m just going to push through. But then there’s distractions, there’s discouragement, there’s detours and that’s why even though I’m a life coach, I still have a life coach because I need someone to help me see my thinking patterns and my emotional stuck in this. When I get stuck to get through the distractions and the discouragement and the detour so I can and get to the end gold, right? And that’s why I find so much value in that I need it because I know my brain how it works and while I can coach myself on a lot of things. There are times when I get stuck, I need that extra push. I need that extra support to get me to the end goal because there are goals I really want to reach. I’ve been losing weight. Yeah. Weight loss program that my cousin did and then my mom wanted to do.

And so, when I was talking with my husband about it, he was like, what’s the draw for this program Other than the obvious? I wait that covid wait. But I said, knowing myself where I am right now, I need the accountability. It’s really the accountability on my own. I will sabotage myself and I will get to that thought that this is just too hard or get discouraged. And you even with losing weight, we tend to lose some pounds and then it kind of a little bit and then you have to get that push again to lose a little bit more. Just gets your body going. But it’s really having the support and the accountability and just check in like how’s it going, how is it going towards your goal? And it really also helps to have that intentional mindset of decisions. Like I remember during the process I had, what did I have?

I had something that I knew I shouldn’t have. But it was like after I ate it, I thought was that worth it, right? Really worth it. Was it getting me closer to Michael? Was I glad that I had it. No, you know, at the moment I was glad that I had it because I didn’t have to make dinner and it was just something quick and easy. But it was again an old habit going for the quick and easy. But then afterwards I was also more in tune with my body, even my body didn’t feel good. It wasn’t that I was man shame on me. I ate that. It was a piece of pizza. That’s what it was like. I shouldn’t have eaten that. But I recognized my body, my body didn’t feel great because on this weight loss program I’ve been feeling good. I’m not feeling like all bloated. I’m not feeling all the heaviness, but I have more energy but knowing Yeah, so it wasn’t worth it. So, then I’m just not going to do it next time but not shaming myself, right? It’s knowing that hey, it is hard. There’s going to be certain times that I might not always make the right choice, but just being intentional and making those steps towards the goal with the support.

That’s so good. You’re actually making me super hungry right now and I haven’t eaten yet today. So, let’s share some practical because the sooner we share some practical, the sooner I can go eat lunch and that’s not a hard thing to do for me? Alright.

So, number one I thought this was really important, it’s accept that hard things are part of reality. Again, for some reason, in my twenties, teens and twenties, I just did not think life was going to be hard. I just thought if I marry the right person and we have a cute little house and 2.5 children, life is going to be easy. I have no idea why I thought that probably because I watched The Brady Bunch and whatever mishaps happen were resolved in 25 minutes. I just really thought that life was gonna be easy now what I’ve learned is that life it’s better to have the outlook, but life is 50/50 right? 50% challenging, 50% not challenging, 50% positive, 50% negative. When I learned that and started thinking life is 50/50, It totally changed everything.

I believe I’m living in about 80/20. I believe 80% of my life is amazing and 20 percent is filled with challenges, often challenges that I’m choosing in pursuing my goals. But it’s awesome to think life is 50/50 – that’s just part of the human experience. The scripture certainly doesn’t teach that life is going to be easy, but for some reason I believed it to be so and then was shell shocked every time troubles came my way I was like, wait, what? Why is this hard? Why is this hard? But life is hard, it is hard and its relative to, right? I mean sometimes I get a crack out of these young whipper snappers these days complaining that life is so hard, you know, they’re in college or high school and not all these responsibilities and it’s like, oh yeah, your life is hard. Just wait, just wait. Well. And then we look at ourselves and here we are in a first world country, like what could possibly be hard, you know, the world’s at war, We’ve got Russia and Ukraine still going on in war and it’s like that’s hard.

People when you’re living with bombs going on over your head, that’s really hard. So it is relative to what is hard in I remember in my twenties after I became a Christian, someone had said when you’re complaining about your life or thinking that it’s hard, would you put your name in it, you know, in a jar with everyone else’s and get a random pick? And I was like, nope, when I started realizing I’m in a first world country, I’m in the top whatever, 5% whatever the statistic was at that day, back then I was like, no, I think I’ll just keep my troubles, I’ll keep my troubles, I don’t want, you know, because other people certainly don’t have as many options as we do here absolutely us. Well in keeping our mindset focused on positivity too, right? I mean we can easily think about what we’re lacking or think about the negative, it’s just that’s where our brain likes to go. But if we can choose to think more positively, then it will really serve us well, right?

Which feeds into our second point of choosing empowered thoughts, empowering thoughts. So, we have the choice to think what we think. That’s another empowering thought right there. Hey, I can choose what I think. We can be intentional in our thoughts or sometimes we could just be living on default in our thoughts and so we are really taking the time to become aware and listen to ourselves, listen to what we say in our head. Um most of it is just in our brains in our head, we don’t always say everything out loud, so really listen to what’s going on in our mind and decide, hey, I can choose to think differently. I don’t have to think about this. Uh we also want to be realistic, we don’t want to fall into the pit or trap of toxic positivity, but we also want to be realistic, hey, this is hard, Yes, this is hard, but I could do hard things. I can ask for help. I could just keep trying.

I can try 100 different ways if this is really what I want to go for. You know, I can I can try it, I gotta do hard things, I can figure it out plenty of resources out there that became my power thought last year and my business coach was like when I was talking through all the things I was going through, she said, well you can do hard things. She was, how about even taking it further and say you do all the hard things. And I was like, I do all the hard things and I was like, I had to adopt that like yeah, I do all the hard things now. It’s interesting. I was just sharing with my client yesterday. Um you know, I’ve been learning all this technology and platforms and software and it’s, you know, hurt my head because I am not naturally inclined to all that. But then the other day I had to do something for my taxes, something I’ve been doing for 15 years on an Excel spreadsheet. And all of a sudden, I just said, well why don’t I do this? And it took something that would take me 6 to 8 hours to do, I could do it in 30 minutes now. It was like so easy and obvious I’m like for 15 years I’ve been doing this the slow cumbersome way and all of a sudden, I’m like, oh my gosh, I just figured out a few shortcuts and now I can do it in about 30 minutes for the whole year, all my years worth.

I downloaded all my business expenses for a year, which are like 4-500 line items because sometimes my husband doesn’t understand the difference between the personal card and the business card. So, it makes more work for me. But anyway, by doing all the hard things, the benefit of it is some of these other hard things now this one isn’t hard at all. It was like such a, it was, it blew my mind, I’m like wow, this is amazing. Like it just seems so obvious and clear and it’s going to save me hours every year. So, kind of all the hours I invested in doing those hard things and believing that I do hard things, I do all the hard things in some ways, simplified another project, I have to do, exciting it really was, I was like wow, this is amazing. So I like what you said adopt a power thought, I think we can just take that simple step and that practical pick a power thought that will help you to face these hard things, whatever the hard thing is what resonates with you because what will happen is when we’re trying to choose empowering thoughts, it takes time for it to be wired into our brain because it’s not going to be natural.

So, when we are thinking our default is this is too hard, I can’t do it, it’s exhausting, I don’t know where to start. You know all those negative thoughts that do feel realistic and do feel true however we can choose or adopt a power thought, okay, this is hard, but I do all the hard things or whatever that may be on repetition, remind yourself, say it over and over and over, write it down on a sticky note, whatever you need to do, keep saying it over and over and over. So it’ll wire into your brain in your neural pathways and that will become more natural and that will override some of those negative default thought patterns that I used to have used to function on because you might still be functioning on those old thought patterns are not serving you like me for so many years, all of us when things were hard, I was like, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this.

I say that about the dishes, aren’t you tired? This is too hard. And then what do I feel now? Yeah, it’s funny and it’s all relative, but I agree the power thoughts are so helpful.

So, number three, our third practical is tap into God’s power. It’s actually number one, but we’re using it here is number three and I had to do this in the beginning when I first became a Christian. Everything was hard for me. I’ve shared before even going to a grocery store by myself was difficult. I did do things like that by myself, which is not hard at all right now, but for me at the time that was a very difficult thing to do, and we talked about this on another episode, but I really needed to tap into God’s power. Like realize I’m not alone. He’s with me and I love the Philippians 4:13, which is “I can do all things through him.” Who gives me strength. And so sometimes when I’m faced with a hard challenge or a hard time in my life, I can tell if I’m handling it well or not because if I feel really stressed and anxious, I’m like, I’m trying to do this all on my own power.

I’m trying to do this on my own strength with my own wisdom and my own knowledge. And the minute that I tap into God’s power through prayer and meditation and reading his word and even getting support from other Christian women in my life. Oh my gosh, it’s so much easier. It’s amazing the power that he gives us when we ask for or lean on him. So, it’s a huge practical. But I can tell you in those moments of hardship, it’s not my default to turn to him, right? My default is I need to work harder. I and then I have to just stop and go wait. I’m not alone. I’m not doing this all by myself, he’s going to give me the string. I can do all things, even the hard things, even the super hard things. I can do them through him. Who gives me strength. It’s like key part at the end through him. Who gives me strength. So important.

Very much so, wow, that’s powerful. That’s a great way to end this episode today. Yes, doing hard things. It’s part of life, how are you going to face it? How are you going to deal with them? And I mean this episode is definitely encouraging me because even we need reminders now and then um you know, just to go after even we as coaches need that help and accountability and reminder once in a while right to tap into God’s power not to fall back on doing it on ourselves that we have to get everything else out on our own and to accept the hard things, right? Except that things are hard and that’s okay.

And also choosing those power thoughts what rights can be more empowering for me and serving in my life and what thoughts are holding me back and keeping me stuck because it’s scary or uncomfortable, so, and that’s again, what we do as coaches, we help our clients out with facing those hard things and walking with you and providing the support and the encouragement and the practical to when times get hard when you’re going after your goal. If you get off course or feel distracted or discouraged, we are there to help keep you going and help encourage you.