When tackling a new challenge, such as launching your own business, moving abroad, or starting a new relationship, most people quickly find out that the difficulty comes not from the actual thing you are doing but more from your perception of how difficult things are.
You see, the reality is that venturing into unchartered territory is never easy and that the idea that it will be is what creates the struggle. Even with the best-laid plans and optimistic outlooks, things are never as straightforward as we may want.
Mike Tyson said, "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." This may be true in the boxing ring and also in life.
So it becomes not a question of if it will be a struggle but when it will be. With this in mind, there are ways that we can stay resilient and connected while we are in our challenging times. Here are five things to remember when those tough times come.
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
As humans, we are programmed to hold our own and to want to do everything on our own. Sometimes, we don't want to be one of those people who have to rely on others for help, or perhaps when we have asked for help in the past; we were let down.
It is important to remember that there will come a time when you will be so exhausted from constantly pushing yourself that you won't have the energy to stay focused on your goal. For these times, it's essential to have support networks in place. Perhaps this network is your partner, spouse, family member, or trusted friend. At other times this support may come in the form of a coach or counsellor.
These networks are there for when you need help and, just as importantly, to remind you that you are not alone in this journey and that we are all together.
Take time to recharge your batteries.
Navigating into new territories in life takes some extra energy and focus. As such, you must take time to recharge your batteries when you have the opportunity.
Many people say, "But I don't have time." I always respond, "I understand, and this is still critical."
Zig Ziglar recently posted on Instagram, "Lack of time is actually lack of priorities." So taking time to recharge must become a priority.
Remember that life is not a sprint; it is a marathon. Your pace is essential to success. As someone who has had to bounce back from burnout, I can tell you it is not as simple as just relying on a vacation once a year to recharge. Recharging must become a daily practice.
You don't need to have a crystal ball.
Life is full of uncertainty. No one can truly predict the future, let alone control it. We can do our best to predict, analyze and make assumptions, but the truth is that we really do not know what tomorrow holds.
Realizing that we cannot control the future allows us to focus on what is in front of us today. Our relationships, our health, our dreams and our desires are what is important. Remember that life is a soul's journey, not a predicted series of events that land at your chosen particular destination.
Open yourself to the possibility of uncertainty, and life can feel spacious and free. Handcuff yourself with a rigid picture of what it needs to look like; it can feel contracted and limiting.
You don't have to have all the answers today. So breathe and enjoy the journey. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, "Not all those who wander are lost." There is so much truth in that quote.
There is value in the struggle.
Could the avoidance of the struggle really be what causes the struggle in the first place? I sit with this question a lot.
Many of us had our character forged in our struggles. Yet, the amount of learning that becomes available when we are 'in it' is remarkable. We need to open up to the lessons the struggle has for us.
Life will always present moments when you feel it is impossible to get through the next day, and you will want to quit because it is too difficult. However, these are when you need to stay focused and remember that there is value in the struggle.
I still have these moments today as a father, entrepreneur, and organizational leader. But today, I know it is normal, and I merely need to reconnect to my goal. This helps reduce the intense energy a struggle can produce and focus on the lesson that this moment has to offer.
It will be worth it in the end.
This is something we often forget and is critically important. We have talked a lot about difficulties and challenges in this article and how there will be times when you feel like giving up and when you need to give more than what you think you have left. However, it is essential to remember that, as with everything in life, these challenges are only temporary.
You will get through these times, and when you are at the end of the journey and look back, you will realize that it was all worth it. As a human being, you are creative, resourceful and whole. This means you have a natural ability to persevere and show up courageously for your life.
Of course, there will be tough times, and those tough times do not mean anything about you. You got this!
Dave is a Leadership and Life Coach living in Steveston, B.C., Canada.
Dave’s expertise is with individuals and teams who feel stressed out and exhausted and know they want something different.
In 2017, Dave left a career as a Senior Manager at a large Local Government organization to start Small Pause Coaching & Consulting. His philosophy about taking a pause and inviting in a new conversation, a deeper conversation, has supported hundreds of individuals and organizational clients.
He is a Certified HeartMath® Coach & Mentor, a Certified Trauma-sensitive HeartMath® Practitioner, a trained Equine Guided Learning Facilitator and a Certified Coach with the International Coaches Federation (ICF). Dave took his coaches training at the Newfield Network in Boulder, Colorado.
Dave also expresses his creativity through the Small Pause Shop, where he designs apparel that supports living life ‘inside the pause.’