Let’s challenge a common belief – the idea that success is synonymous with struggle. It’s easy to fall into the trap of equating pain and hardship with progress.
Where does this idea stem from? Perhaps it’s the deep-seated belief that success only comes from arduous work. Maybe it’s a throwback to Puritan values where hard work was seen as a form of worship.
But what if this belief of “hard equals progress” is holding us back? What if the results we obtain come despite our effort rather than because of it?
Think of it as the difference between swimming upstream vs. downstream. Going against the current is strenuous and tiring. You may build muscles but you don’t get very far for the effort.
What if we change our perspective and stop seeing things as hard? Imagine achieving more, with less effort, by simply swimming downstream. Picture the goals you want as downstream and imagine yourself in the flow.
The best way to do this is to align your thoughts and feelings with the result you want. Your words have tremendous power to shape your experience of reality.
Think of the simple sentence, “I can’t get it all done.” This usually causes frustration or anxiety and those feelings are not in alignment with the outcome you want.
Just reframing it to, “I got this” generates much more confident and positive feelings which serve as the fuel for the action you take.
Constant exertion, besides being physically draining, emotionally taxes us.
We become attached to methods we master. Using willpower and hard work to overcome obstacles becomes our preferred problem-solving technique. I used to do the same until I reached burn out. Then I learned to alter my thought process.
The next time you find yourself gravitating towards “exertion enthusiasm”, take a moment to check in and assess your thoughts. Struggle and difficulty are a result of misalignment between your thoughts and your desired outcomes.
Questions to ask before taking action:
1. What am I thinking right now?
2. How do those thoughts feel?
3. What do I choose to believe instead?