You have the power to create anything you want. The question is: How much discomfort are you willing to endure in order to quiet the critical inner voice giving you excuses and telling you it’s too hard.
Or who are you to do this?
It’s taking too much time and energy.
I can’t do it.
This isn’t fun anymore.
This is boring as hell.
The novelty has worn off.
I am too tired.
This is the point where you either give up/give in or double down and keep going.
What happens when you get caught in the loop and are ready to throw in the towel? The negative spiral of fleeting and disempowering thoughts holding you back and keeping you from doing the thing that you know is what you need to do for your evolution?
A thought I find helpful is to remind yourself who is in charge.
Is ego running the show? Or is higher self? Nudging you to take a step back and turn down the volume low enough so you can listen to what really matters right now.
Higher self knows what she wants.
She knows to trust the process. She knows that everything will always work out even if it feels really challenging in the moment. Higher self knows what is on the other side of discomfort, fear, all the things keeping her small, and listening to the external noise that consumes her attention and drains her energy.
The question is: Are you willing to let go of who you are now to become the next version of yourself?
We hear the meaning of insanity – doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. As cliché as it is, there is truth and meaning when you apply it to your life. If you are expecting to create something new and keep taking the same steps to accomplish or BECOME that person (it’s not always about achieving – I talk about this in a post here), you are going to be wildly disappointed.
Top that with the emotional layers of expectation and the grip of attachment to the outcome, you will have yourself a case of burn out.
It’s an expenditure of finite resources involving willpower, resistance to what is, and the need to know every single step before execution. I am tired just thinking about this cycle.
I share because we all fall into the trap. We get an idea in our head, or someone plants a seed, and we want what they have. We want to feel good. Look good. Have the success, pride, and belief that we can do it.
We dive head first into it without really thinking about what it actually takes other than the desire for change and the excitement of doing something new and different. We get super stoked, go all in, and a few days later, the novelty wears off and it’s down to doing the same hard thing daily.
This is where purpose and why play a big factor in what you are seeking to change.
If your why isn’t strong enough to propel you forward, you will most likely give up. Between the narrative playing repeatedly in your mind (thanks ego) and the challenge of doing something not only hard, but repetitiously, you realize this isn’t so fun anymore. I refer to this as the breaking moment. This is where mental grit meets your commitment, discipline, and tolerance for discomfort.
What do you think your biggest challenge is when it comes to creating new habits? Some of these are all skills that can be acquired if you stay in the game. Discipline being one of them.
I am sure you have heard about the 75 Hard Challenge. I am not going to drone on about it, if you are interested in learning more about it, there’s a podcast by the creator himself – you can listen to it here. As I write this post, I am on Day #23, a third of the way into the challenge and please allow me to share – this program is the pinnacle of discipline, endurance, and building mental strength.
This post is not about my experience thus far, although I will probably write about it down the road. It’s about sharing my realization about my subpar definition of discipline and how much I lacked thereof. I mean let’s be real, I am a mindset coach so I have the tools and practice of taking care of my mental hygiene on a daily basis.
However, before taking on this challenge, my level of discipline was mediocre.
I have a solid foundation of best practices that include strength training at the gym 5 days a week, meditation, 80/20 clean eating which morphed into 65/35 (summer months are way more lackadaisical), journaling, bedtime routines, no social media before noon, etc. What I realized is that I lacked consistency and became complacent. I would show up to the gym with no plan and end up wasting time. I had rules such as no drinking alcohol during the week – and made excuses every week whether it was a BBQ, ladies night, that I deserved a drink after a hell-filled day, or I am angry and need to numb out.
I had great intentions and inconsistent follow through. I made excuses and was always looking for a quick fix. The realization was that I am willing to do the work, but not consistently. After the novelty wears off, I get bored. As structured as I am, discipline to me is the ability to show up no matter what without compromising, making excuses, and working through the boredom or exhaustion of doing the same thing over and over again.
I was unwilling to tolerate boredom. This isn’t the kind of “nothing to do” boredom. This is the monotony of doing the same thing every day. I believe this is why so many people quit. They give up because they can’t stand it any longer. They look at what they are doing as a chore, rather than a gift to themselves and it typically happens right before the epiphany, or the results occur.
To overcome the boredom & work on my discipline, I am working on the following:
- Tap into my why (DAILY). Why am I doing this challenge? Keep asking why until you feel it in your heart and your solar plexus! I want to show myself what is possible for me and only me. This is about pushing past my perceived limitations and working on my mental strength so I can apply it in my life and business. I had been slacking and making excuses which were holding me back. Not only do these excuses fuel my anxiety, it perpetuates the narrative I no longer want to repeat. Thoughts create feelings that drive action or inaction!
- Visualize future self every damn day. The physical changes in this challenge are honestly a byproduct of the five critical tasks. While I am enjoying the physical changes in my body, I am more excited to see more confidence, someone who says yes to doing hard things & welcomes discomfort, puts herself out there, and says no to mediocrity and almost everything else. I am far less reactive and more responsive. Future self is sober, clear, and her skin looks amazing (another result of drinking 100 oz of water daily).
- Plan Plan Plan. This is something I know a lot of people struggle with. Planning takes energy – planning is so boring – I want to have more freedom in my day – I have heard all the reasons! Guess what? You will have so much more freedom when you are deliberate with your time. You are showing yourself love, respect, accountability, and honoring yourself and the people around you. When you plan ahead of time, you can show up with intention and BE that person. I know when I focus my efforts on one thing at a time, stop giving my attention to low vibrational people and energy, I simply feel better. When you feel good, you take care of yourself and have more to give to others. Furthermore, my anxiety has plummeted to almost nil. I have a plan, and I don’t waste my time thinking about what is next.
- Be Present & Express Gratitude to yourself, for your life, your people & your surroundings. Whatever I am doing – whether it’s driving across town, putting my feet on the ground after my alarm goes off, reading (which is such a gift), drinking clean water, or taking a few breaths in between the madness and soaking in the silence – this moment I am having is enough. Be here in the now. You will never get back yesterday or last month or last year. The present moment is our greatest point of power. Every moment that I am present is adding up to something greater than I can fathom. I am choosing with purpose to do something amazing for myself which is true fulfillment and nourishment to me. I am fueling my fire so I can be present for my kids, family, friends, and clients. Your presence is a gift to yourself and to others. It is what creates and nurtures connection which we all crave and need!
- Enlist a friend or two to do the hard tasks with you. Whether they are right by your side, checking in, or rooting for you – having support and accountability can make or break your strides forward. I have a few friends that I count on to keep me honest and moving forward. We all need accountability and support.
Whatever your journey of transformation looks like – keep going. There are many roads that twist and wind through bright pastures and dark and ominous forests. Quick fixes and distractions are everywhere – but remember – they are not sustainable. You may have a blast and get that temporary hit of dopamine or rush but you will not feel good about yourself knowing that you took the easy route. Working through the mundane helps you build mental fortitude, flexibility, and resilience. When you can master this, you will become UNSTOPPABLE.
Discomfort is the currency for growth. What hard thing can you do today that will help you create mental grit?