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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Let Go of the "Struggle"

I've always been a pretty hard worker. Even as a kid I was driven to achieve. As a youngest child, I had two older sisters to live up to and with whom to compete.  I used to have a belief that work had to be difficult in order to qualify as "work." After all, that's why it's called "work," right? You needed to always put out your best effort, and you needed to sustain those efforts until you succeeded. "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" was my guiding principle back then.

Work involved lots of effort, lots of time, and lots of energy to be successful. I learned how all the labor-saving devices that had been invented to try to help us manage our lives more easily had, instead, somehow created more demands on our time. Even so, I knew that having the right tools could make the task easier, whether it was cutting wood or changing a habit. That sometimes meant training and studying to learn new skills. If you weren't good at something, you spent time developing that skill.

And then, everything shifted. The new paradigm became utilizing your strengths and outsourcing the other tasks, whether they were hiring a bookkeeper, or someone to design your business cards, or someone to clean your house. Along with it came shocking ideas such as "If at first you don't succeed, try something different;" and "Don't push the river, it flows by itself;" and "Not everything worth doing is worth doing well." I had a hard time wrapping my arms around those concepts.

But I began to imagine: What if things didn't have to be so difficult? What if everything didn't have to be a struggle? That idea really intrigued me. As I began to unpack it, I realized that despite what I'd always believed, things that were difficult weren't necessarily more valuable. What was valuable was the outcome. Something didn't increase in value because I'd suffered, struggled and slaved over it. Maybe I put some greater value on it because of all the time and effort I'd invested, but really, that was more about valuing the process and my efforts, rather than the outcome.

The process of achieving a goal--the work involved--isn't really the same as the outcome itself. What if you could achieve the outcome without the suffering and struggle? Hmm. That idea became very appealing. I realized that I didn't get extra brownie points because I worked hard. The reward and value was in the end result.

Climbing over obstacles to your success was necessary, but it didn't have to take so long. It didn't have to be so difficult. I studied and found some tools that made things easier. I learned techniques and experimented with others until I created resources that allowed my clients to make big changes without the struggle and huge expenditure of time, energy and money.

The first step is making the decision that something needs to change.

The second step is figuring out what that "something that needs to change" really is. For most of us, it has to do with how we've allowed our history to affect us. We've held onto negative emotions from past experiences. We've created identities based on some of those experiences, and we cling to them because they are familiar, not because they're working for us. We've formed or held on to beliefs that limit us, rather than empower us. We've allowed ourselves to believe that the struggle is part of life. Sometimes, we've allowed toxic people and situations to take over our lives. We've developed and held onto habits that don't serve us well.

The third step is to imagine, yes, imagine how things could be different. What would your life be like if you didn't have to struggle? What if it just flowed. Easily. Effortlessly. Taking you where you want to go, rather than where you think you must go. Create the vision of what your life could be like. Don't worry yet about how you're going to get there. Just imagine. Fill in all the details of what that life would be like. Would there be challenges? Probably, but imagine that you just handled them without stressing about it. What if you lived your life, whatever that means to you and those you love. What if you decided what you wanted and made it happen?

You can. Having the right tools helps make it easier. Call me and let's talk about what you imagine, as well as what stands in the way. Together we can figure out what needs to happen to get there, even if you decide not to work with me. You can reach me at Linda@InnerResourceCenter.com or call me at 865-983-7544.

 © 2016. Linda S. Pucci, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Linda Pucci is a personal/business coach and trainer at the Inner Resource Center, LLC in Maryville, TN. She helps her clients get rid of the struggle and overcome obstacles to their success. Her specialty is helping people get rid of the mindset issues that lead to self-sabotage. For more information on letting go of the struggle in YOUR life, contact her at Linda@InnerResourceCenter.com

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