1. Think of it as data. Don’t personalise it.
When you are working on a change you want to create or a goal you want to achieve and get to a point where you feel like you are struggling with some aspect of it, don’t fall into the trap of taking it personally or beating yourself up about it. That serves no useful purpose and can derail you further. Depersonalise it.
Instead, think of what you are struggling with as data. It is just information you can use to figure out the next most appropriate steps. Think like a scientist would if an experiment goes wrong. They don’t take it personally. They just take the data and use it to decide what to do next. Do the same.
What is your “data” telling you about what you are struggling with? What is driving it? Get to the source and deal with that. Focus on the solution, not the problem.
2. Step into it
Feeling like you are struggling with something feels uncomfortable. As a result, you may want to avoid tackling it or make excuses so as not to have to face it head-on. That is a mistake because the problem is unlikely to magically disappear or improve if just left. You need to be willing to step into it and sit in the discomfort while you figure it out.
It's a bit like the process a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. To reach its goal it must step into the chrysalis and tackle head-on what it has to do to come out the other side transformed. The same applies to you when what you want to achieve is on the other side of something you are struggling with. You need to step into it and embrace the discomfort of dealing with it in order to come out the other side successfully.
3. Watch your mindset
Sometimes the source of what we are struggling with doesn’t actually come from the situation itself. Sometimes the reason we are struggling is because of what we are thinking about the situation.
For example, often when we are struggling with something, we start telling ourselves things that are less than helpful. For example, things like “this is too hard,” “I can’t do this,” “it’s not going to work,” “I’m not good enough,” and so on.
This is dangerous territory to be in because we tend to act based on what we think and what we tell ourselves. If you are telling yourself stories like the ones above, you are less likely to take the actions that will move your forward. Your progress is more likely to be slow, hard, and painful. Or you may stop trying or give up and miss out on achieving the results you really want.
Identify the thought patterns and habits you have, the stories you are telling yourself, and the assumptions you are making about the thing you are struggling with. Are they helping you deal with it effectively or are they adding fuel to the fire?
Don’t underestimate how much your mindset has the potential to cause feelings of struggle or make a situation worse.
4. Get the right help and support
A great way to end the struggle or speed up getting through is to get help or support from people who have experience or expertise with the thing you are struggling with. Also, having a good support system around you can help inspire and motivate you to persevere when it feels hard to keep going.
Struggle isn’t an invitation to quit or give up. Yet many people take it that way. If you know for sure this is a change or goal you really want or is important to you, persistence in the face of struggle is a superpower. Foster the habit of persistence.
The bottom line:
Feeling like you are struggling with something is data. It's information. Your job is to listen to what that data and information are telling you and to act on those things so you can deal with them effectively and move from struggle to success.
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