Posts tagged with ‘difficulty’

14 feb

How to Appreciate Your Challenges

MikeRobbinsNewAre you facing challenges in your life or your business right now? These days, there are some real challenges facing many of us – at work, at home, in relationships, with money, with family, with housing situations, and much more.

The challenges themselves, even the most difficult ones, aren’t usually the real issue; it’s our relationship to them that causes us the most difficulty and suffering. Think of what your life, your relationships, and your career would be like if you didn’t complain about or resist challenges when they showed up? For most of us, myself included, this would make things very different and much more enjoyable.

Resisting, complaining about, or even feeling sorry for ourselves about the “bad” things that are happening is totally normal and what we’re often encouraged to do by people around us and our culture in general – whether we do it out loud with others or just in our own heads. However, these things, while understandable, don’t address the real issues, the genuine emotions we’re experiencing, or make things better for us.

I’m not advocating that we pretend everything is “fine” when it isn’t in some phony, Pollyanna way – that’s denial, which won’t help us either. However, the question in life isn’t whether or not we’ll face challenges, the question is what will we do and how will we respond in the face of the challenges that arise? Do we avoid really dealing with difficult things and learning from them by playing the role of the victim and not acknowledging our true feelings about them or do we face them directly, acknowledge our emotions, and choose to grow from the experience? It’s always up to us.

On our path of life, growth, and success, we all encounter difficulties. Many of the most successful and fulfilled people who’ve ever walked the planet have faced incredible obstcles. What if we actually appreciated these challenges? Remember, appreciating something doesn’t necessarily mean we like or enjoy it. Appreciation means that we recognize the value of it.

Here’s a list of some things we can appreciate when things get tough:

- Challenges often give us important feedback about where and who we are
- Challenges give us contrast and can help us appreciate things when they get easier
- Challenges can allow us to wake up and notice all the good things that are happening that we weren’t paying attention to
- Challenges are almost always a great opportunity for learning, growth, and improvement
- Challenges give us an opportunity to get in touch with, take responsibility for, and express our real emotions

By learning to appreciate our challenges and see the opportunities in them, we take our power back from the situations and circumstances of our lives. Our ability to appreciate difficulties, learn from them, and use them to our advantage, gives us an important insight into who we really are and how to create success and fulfillment in a conscious and deliberate way.

Action: What You Can Do

Make a list of some of the biggest challenges in your life right now. What can you appreciate about each of these difficulties? What are you learning from them? What are you able to appreciate in yourself and your life because of these things?

If you look for it, you’ll be able to find many things to appreciate about every one of them. Appreciating our challenges can allow us to accept them, learn from them, and ultimately take back our power from them. Doing this reminds us that we’re the authors of our lives – not the circumstances we’re facing.

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

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Posted by Mike Robbins on February 14th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,

06 sep

It’s Okay for Things to Be Easy

MikeRobbins96A friend of mine called me out on something important last week. He said, “Mike, this ’story’ you have about things being ‘hard’ for you isn’t really true. It seems to me that things come pretty easy, you just make them hard by saying they are. What if you started saying and owning that certain things come easy to you?”

As I heard him say this, I had a mixture of emotions and reactions. First of all, I felt grateful (I love having people in my life who are willing to call me out, even if my ego gets a little bent out of shape in the process). Second of all, I felt defensive and noticed that I wanted to justify myself against his challenge. Third of all, I felt a sense of fear and resistance to the idea of things coming “easy” to me.

As I’ve thought about it more over this past week, I realize that this resistance to having things be easy runs deep within me (as it does for so many people I know and work with). Here are some of the main “reasons” I’ve used and beliefs I’ve held for many years to resist the notion of things being easy for me:

- Easy means lazy

- If things come easy to me, other people will get jealous, won’t like me, and/or won’t respect me

- It doesn’t really “count” or mean much if it comes easy

- It’s not fair for things to come easy to me – especially with so many people having such a hard time these days

- I actually get off on struggling and suffering – I’m quite familiar with it and I’ve used it as motivation to change and “succeed” for much of my life

- My ability to work hard, overcome adversity, and rise above challenges are all things my ego uses to feel superior to others

- If I admit that something is easy for me, it will seem arrogant and then people will root for me to fail

Can you relate to any of these?

Getting in touch with some of these reasons and beliefs has been both painful and liberating at the same time. As I think, talk, and write about them – I realize how ridiculous some of them are and how much of my life’s energy I’ve been giving to them in the process.

It’s almost like I’m walking around worried that someone’s going to say me, “Mike, you have it so easy,” and I’m preparing my defensive responses, “Oh yeah, well let me tell you how hard I work, how challenging things are for me, and how much stuff I’ve had to overcome along the way.” What’s up with this? It’s like I’m preparing for a fight that doesn’t even exist. Do you ever do that?

While working hard, overcoming challenges and adversity, and being passionately committed to important and complex things in our lives aren’t inherently bad – resisting ease and being attached to struggle causes me and so many of us a great deal of stress, worry, and pain. And, in many cases this difficulty is totally self-induced and unnecessary.

What if we allowed things to be easier? What if we started to speak about and own the aspects of our lives that are actually easy to us and stated to expect things to get even easier? Easy doesn’t mean lazy, that we aren’t willing to work in a passionate way, or that we expect a “free ride” – it means that we’re willing to have things work out, trust that all is well, and allow life to flow in a positive and elegant way for us.

Our desire and ability to embrace ease in our life isn’t selfish, arrogant, or unrealistic – it’s profoundly optimistic (in an authentic way) and can actually enhance our ability to impact others. The more energy and attention we place on surviving, getting by, or even “striving” for success – the less available we are to give, serve, and make a difference for other people. Although it may seem counter-intuitive to us, having things be easy is one of the best ways we can show up for those around us – both by our example and with our freed up positive energy.

As Richard Bach famously stated, “Argue for your limitations and they’re yours.” What if we stopped arguing on behalf of how “hard” things are, and started to allow our life to be filled with peace and ease? While the idea of things being easy may not be, ironically, the easiest thing for you to embrace – I challenge you (as I challenge myself) to take this on in your life and become more comfortable with it…maybe it could actually be easier than you think!

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Mike Robbins on September 6th, 2010 in General, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,