There is one common thread in all our lives.
If life feels difficult for you right now, know you aren’t alone. Many of us are right in there with you going through our own struggles. Looking for a way to grow and become the next version of ourselves.
There are a couple interesting things about struggles. Some of which seem surprising and might give you another perspective on problems.
Getting hooked on problems
It can happen that we in fact get hooked on the problem itself. It seems strange to say that.
No one wants problems, right?
No, we don’t, but they bring attention and sympathy and a reason to be upset which brings more attention. Sometimes it’s your own self that gives you that attention and soothing.
We’re not making light of your struggles. They are real. But staying in a struggle state takes away your power and keeps you from your growth.
Look objectively at those problems that hang around the longest. These problems often become so familiar that you keep them instead of solving them and moving on. (That involves new unfamiliar problems after all.) Unfortunately holding onto old problems keeps you in the same pattern, the same emotions, the same habits.
What you are doing is living in the past, and there is no growth in that.
Where in your life design do problems fit in?
That’s a great question.
None of us are making a life design that includes problems. You know it’s wishful thinking to believe you won’t have any. And it’s very hard to predict what issues are going to arise.
Your life design is what you want from life, and as you know, life has a way of expecting something from us before it will just give us anything. And here begins the struggle, or at least one of them. You have to sacrifice, you have to grow, you have to deal with yourself in order to make it to your dreams.
If you don’t have any struggles, then you are not pushing your potential.
So, let’s deal with our problems and get out of this pattern of stagnation. Let’s find some useful strategies that get us back on the path to growth.
It isn’t your problems that you teach you the most. It’s when you decide to fix them that you grow.
A struggle is something that you aren’t certain how to deal with yet. It can last and last, and sometimes you even want it that way. You get more out of having a problem than finding the solution. And in a way it’s a comfortable place. You get to ease your discomfort with ice cream and brownies or a night of binging on Netflix.
A solution means change and that’s mighty uncomfortable. Change always comes with a risk, but it’s also part of growth. The sooner you can start on a solution, the sooner you can grow.
Open up your options
Expand your thinking.
This isn’t always especially when stress narrows your vision. Other people can be a great help here. If you don’t have a coach or friend, then you need to spend time working on expanding your thinking. I do morning meditations that are specifically designed to help me expand myself. I go through all the areas I feel like I need to expand my thinking. Since I started this, all sorts of new ideas just flow to me.
Don’t forget what is on the other side.
On the other side of struggles is freedom.
When we are lost in suffering, it’s easy to forget what comes from solving them and moving forward. There is freedom and many new options and emotions on the other side. As well as new strengths to discover within yourself.
Struggles test your principles.
Will you live by your principles when the dark night of the soul comes or will you shrink away?
When things are at there absolute worst, what will you choose to do? Will you answer to the voice that tells you that you can do better than this?
You might be surprised what can result when you stick by your principles even when it’s pitch black.
Use your resources more creatively
When we have problems and struggles, it’s easy to blame a lack of resources.
Time, money, people, skills, knowledge, or something else. This kind of thinking locks you in and steals your power. What if you ask, how can I use the resources I have to get a better result? Use your mind to focus on finding a way. Focus is your superpower and your problems can all crumble if you use your power.
Make a big decision.
Some struggles are the direct result of not making a difficult decision.
You avoid it because it feels more comfortable with the failing familiar rather than what follows the decision. There is no guarantee that a decision will lead to success. But if you decide to do nothing, then nothing changes.
A smart person knows that allowing a problem persist is actually riskier in the long run and will make the decision and take what comes.
Some problems go away with a simple perspective change.
Could it be so easy to decide to look at a situation differently could make a problem go away?
Yes, it could.
Choose to view your struggles in an empowering way. Decide they mean more than just pain, they are teaching you something important.
For all you growth-seekers there is another level
There are no problems.
That’s right. They are all just experiences that come to you. You learn from them, then move on to the next experience. It takes a great deal of inner work to get to this stage, so if you want to grow, test this path.
All of us are struggling right along with you even though we are far. You are never alone.
Struggles teach you, but you need to be able to let go of them and free yourself to get to the other side. There you can find wisdom, courage, kindness and compassion.
These are all beautiful qualities that you can share with others. As you grow, you show others the way to true growth too and so the cycle continues.