When you’re going through something uncomfortable, difficult or challenging it can be easy to forget that other people are experinecing something similar.
Millions if not billions of people have gotten nervous before a job interview, been heartbroken or struggled with anxiety.
It’s not specific to you or personal to you, it just happens to be happening in your life at the moment.
But it’s happening to everybody else too.
If you’re in a situation that you anticipate could be challenging, you may feel like the best thing to do is back down. That way you no longer have to deal with things or worry about the outcome being far from ideal.
But backing down can also mean that you aren’t willing to stand up for yourself. Sometimes we convince ourselves that backing down is the right thing to do. Other times, we worry that by not backing down, we’re making things difficult for others.
You end up being so considerate of other people that you’re not even willing to stand up for yourself. Backing down is easy and sometimes it might even be the right thing to do. However, if you’re backing down out of fear or your desire to please or appease others then maybe you’ll be better off standing your ground.
I have this belief about the people that we meet.
I believe that sometimes we meet people who may be in our lives for a few days, a few months or maybe for years and years but we meet them and they become reminders. They remind us of the way that things can be.
Maybe there is something in your life that is challenging, frustrating, difficult or stressful, the total opposite of easeful. Chances are, within your mind you know that things could or even should be different but you’re so used to the way that things are that you just allow them to remain.
Then all of a sudden you meet a person that shows you a different way. It can be shocking or surprising because you’re not used to it. Maybe you even judge it as being wrong or not the way that things should be because you’re so used to them being otherwise. Sometimes the ease of the situation is the very thing that you’ve been longing for but when you get it, you almost resist because you’ve gotten used to things being difficult .
I think that’s something a lot of people struggle with. So many people are used to things being difficult that they almost get hesitant when things become easier. Sometimes we unknowingly use the challenge and the difficulty to justify getting the thing we want. You end up feeling as though if you didn’t have to struggle to achieve something then you didn’t really deserve it. I think it’s healthy to let go of that mindset, not everything has to be difficult.
It could be difficult, challenging and uncomfortable. But it also serves as an opportunity to learn and grow, if you’re willing to be open.
If you’re a regular reader then growth points is a term you’ll have seen me use every now and then in posts such as Bravery and uncontrollable outcomes, Day 183, It’s okay to be you and Unexpected and interesting.
However, I recently realised that I’ve never really explained the term or idea in great detail. I made the term up for myself and to be honest it’s just an alternative to the word challenge. However, the focus is on growth and overcoming rather than the difficulty of the situation.
When you face a situation that perhaps in the moment you wish wasn’t happening, it’s easy to just think that ‘it’s the most terrible thing in the world’. You then might find yourself getting caught in a downward spiral of unhelpful thoughts that leave you feeling stuck.
That mindset or perspective that you find yourself in never leads to growth. You have to find a way to get through it and see things differently.
I think the getting through it part is most challenging because it can be easy to stay stuck. A moment of sadness can turn into hours or days of wallowing.
One thing that helps is to be very conscious in how you think about the situations that come up in your life instead if just getting caught up. Acknowledge it as a challenging situation rather than blowing it out of proportion and allowing one situation to become your entire life.
And from that perspective you can begin to think about how you can grow from it. The great thing is that once you grow from it, you can now take that lesson forward with you for as long as it serves you well. Then next time something happens you can fall back that all that you’ve previously experienced, learnt and grown from.
We might not like them but we have to have them.
We put off difficult conversations because they make us nervous.
We’re worried about how our words will come out, how our words will be perceived, how the person on the receiving end will feel, we’re scared of being vulnerable and we worry that we might regret it.
The list goes on.
Unfortunately, no matter how you might feel, the conversation still needs to be had. You can have it now or you can have it later.
As much as it is difficult it is also important. I think that’s the bit worth focusing on and is much more of an incentive to get yourself talking. Don’t focus on the nerves or hoping you can control how the other person will react. Just remind yourself that the conversation is important and worth having.
Sometimes difficult things are only difficult because we choose to perceive them to be.
But if it works one way then maybe it can work the other way.
Maybe, difficult things will become a little less challenging if we choose to perceive them to be easier to overcome.
When doing something new, if you don’t do it well or you face challenges along the way, you might find yourself feeling frustrated.
Sometimes, that feeling you get will determine your willingness to do the thing again and effect how much effort you put in.
Finding it difficult in the beginning might even cause you to believe that you’ll never get it.
However, often the case is that you just need to do it a few more times until it becomes more familiar.
Then in time it’ll become easier.
Every once in a while I am reminded of the power of taking a walk in nature.
It is calming, refreshing, relaxing and simple.
If you haven’t done it for a while, I’d recommend it.
You’ll often find that some of the most helpful things are the cheapest, easiest and most accessible. But instead we end up looking to things that are expensive, difficult and challenging to obtain.
I think the reason for this is that we assume that big problems will require big solutions. Or if you’re not ready to work at something, you can use the excuse of the solution being out of reach, something you don’t have access to.
It can be difficult to comprehend that the very thing you need to help make things better, is something you can do right now.
It’s easy to talk about the weather, your favourite TV show, what you had for dinner and what you got up to at the weekend.
But often when it comes to topics like mental health, fears and struggles suddenly talking becomes difficult.
Part of why it’s so difficult is because we don’t do it enough. What if having difficult conversations could be made easier with practice?
Talking when it’s difficult often requires you to venture out into new territory even if it is with someone you’re familiar with. But what you gain from having difficult conversations is what makes it worth doing.
It can be difficult to have conversations about things that feel uncomfortable. You might find it so difficult that you avoid it altogether and shut down whenever anyone tries to bring it up with you.
That might seem like the best option because why would anyone choose to feel uncomfortable.
However, when you avoid something it doesn’t go away and you don’t allow yourself room to grow.
So instead of avoiding a difficult conversation or holding back when you speak, try something different.
Be open, honest and know that the initial uncomfortable feeling will subside.
It’ll take a bit of practice but eventually you’ll get to a place where the difficult conversation is actually pretty easy.