A few weeks ago, I found myself thinking the words – ‘Things are feeling hard’.
Admittedly, I’d been travelling interstate for my day job. By extension, that generally means big presentations, very long days and less than stellar performances when it comes to eating and exercising. And that particular week, I’d also taken on a heavy coaching schedule. So, by the time I got to Friday night, my weekly French lesson was the last thing I felt like doing.
The easiest thing for me to do would’ve been to cancel the lesson. I mean, the chances of me performing well in a second language when I could barely think in my first language were extremely limited. Given how tired I was, the lesson was likely to be a complete disaster.
But you know what? I showed up anyway. Even though it felt hard, I showed up for myself and the goal I’ve had for such a long time to learn French. And the surprising thing is, my French was really good that night. There is no way on Earth that it should have been. But it was. And I headed into the weekend feeling good because I hadn’t given up when things were hard.
So I guess the question is – ‘How do you show up for yourself, especially when things are feeling hard?’. Today, I’m sharing my top tips.
How to show up for yourself when things are feeling hard
Know your why
My family and friends would tell you that I’m a naturally motivated person. But I’m not sure that’s true.
What is true is that over the years I’ve become very clear on my ‘whys’.
Have you ever wondered how it is that you can achieve some goals and not others? It usually comes down to the why – the reason you are wanting to achieve the goal in the first place.
When you have a very clear understanding of why you want to achieve a certain something, it’s so much easier to prioritise your goal. Especially when things are feeling hard. And this is particularly true when you have clarity on how you want to feel when you actually reach your desired aim.
Don’t listen to the stories in your head
Yes, I know. I raise this point approximately every third blog post. However, it’s important. Whether we admit it or not, we all have voices in our heads, and they spend a stack of time telling us stories.
Sometimes those voices are harsh and cruel, bordering on abuse. Oftentimes though, they can sound like friends. Friends who have our very best interests at heart.
At these points in time, the voices sound kind and friendly. They’ll run with a version of the following: ‘You’ve been working so hard. You deserve a break. It won’t matter if you miss just one lesson’.
The trouble with that sort of thinking is that it’s encouraging you to let yourself down. And if you do it once, there is a better than good chance that you will do it again. And eventually, you won’t trust yourself anymore.
It’s not worth risking. Identify the stories in your head, ignore them and move forward towards your goal.
Take a long term view
When things are feeling hard and I want to take the easy way out, I tend to imagine the long-term outcome. Sometimes these outcomes are negative, other times positive. But they’re always effective.
Imagine if I quit just one single French lesson. Then I’ve given myself permission to miss another lesson. And another. And at the end of this long sorry tale, I still can’t speak French.
Alternatively, I can imagine doing the lesson. And learning to speak French fluently. Then I can day-dream about my next vacation, the one where I speak French in all sorts of situations.
The negative outcome makes me kind of sad. But the positive one gives me motivation. And usually sees me taking the steps I need to take to achieve my goal.
Do you have any tips that keep you going when things are feeling hard? I’d love for you to share them in the comments section below.
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