In this post you will learn:
- The two main kinds of struggles my readers have in their life
- Why people avoid some of their struggles – you might have the same hidden mindset!
- The mindset and key thing to focus on to take on any challenge and even enjoy the struggle.
Avoiding struggles and how it hinders our growth
I’ve always wondered why certain things have to be so hard.
Why do we have to work for all of our adult life? Why couldn’t we have just been born rich and spent all our years alive traveling to some new place every day, doing what we want, when we want, at our every whim?
Why can’t our problems just resolve themselves? Why can’t we just let someone else deal with what we are struggling with so that we can focus on what matters to us?
My last post asked readers to share what they have been struggling with. They shared how they come to terms with how those struggles affect them and why they also avoid some of them.
Everyone who sent in an email or responded acknowledged that their struggle is either:
– “I just have to figure out if [goal x] is worth it.”
– “I just have to sit down and get shit done, but it’s easier said than done.”
– “My relationship with [family member x] isn’t great and even if I try my best to communicate it feels futile.”
– “I just wish my boyfriend wanted to do things without me telling him to do them.”
Those we mean to provide value to lose when we fail to accomplish goals
One of the hidden mindsets we have about struggles is very present-focused: struggle is a problem that needs to be solved. This mindset will hinder your growth because it does not acknowledge the purpose behind the struggle in a way that is motivating and the natural (and easiest) way to fix it is to ignore and avoid the “problem” (and what’s causing it).
“Avoiding [struggles] can be on of our defense mechanisms when it comes to stress. Yet, it is a lose-lose situation.”
– Keith A., California, USA
There are so many other reasons why we might avoid a struggle, and as Keith pointed out above, it’s a lose-lose situation since we lose from missing out on what we aim for, and those we mean to provide value to lose when we fail to accomplish goals from this avoidance. That value is in what that goal can provide, whether that be the goal of maintaining a good relationship with a family member or finishing school. Goals not only have inherent value to us, but there are second or even sometimes third-order effects from obtaining the goal that make it even more valuable.
So how do we stop avoiding struggles?
How to become stronger from struggles
Struggling with one goal can help us learn to become better in struggles with other goals… we become stronger.
The mindset we need to adopt regarding struggles is that they are a way to grow and get stronger, for us to better face other struggles not only in the future, but the other ones we are dealing with now.
Struggling is a way to grow and get stronger
If we look at struggling like this vs as a problem, things will change for us quickly. But how do we make this mindset stick? How do we make it become the default mindset we have about struggles every time?
By shifting the focus from the present struggle to the goal itself. Goal-orientation makes struggles more manageable. How? Goals have a way of making a journey, and therefore the struggle:
- Constant reminder of why you are struggling
- Keeps you motivated through it all
- Makes the journey fun
- Know where you are, where you still need to go by setting milestones
“I think it definitely depends on what the end goal is and how much one wants it. If you really want it, you WILL go through the struggle.”
The thing that seems to be key here is whether a goal is worth it. But how do you determine that?
We talked about one of the mindsets about struggle that might be hindering you and the mindset to adopt to move forward.
Focusing on the goal and knowing that you get stronger from the struggle will help you overcome any challenge. However, we have to figure out which goals are worth struggling for.
How do you decide if a goal is worth it or not? What is your personal rule or guide to making goals?
What about deciding to move on from goals that you realize are not worth your time and effort?
PS Click here to read part 1 of this series “How to Overcome Struggles: What are you struggling with?” In it you will learn:
- Why our struggles might be necessary
- What a hidden mindset is and what it can do
- How to become more effective by changing how we think about certain things
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