It is so easy to be turned off by and want to avoid difficult challenges. It’s even easier to steer clear of challenges you choose for yourself like running that longer distance or lifting that heavier weight or getting that extra education. But doing hard things is essential to becoming the best you you can possibly be.
I encounter a lot of women who want to be active and fit but are hesitant to set a real goal for themselves when it comes to their fitness. They don’t want to set their personal expectations too high or work on something too challenging like being able to do a pull-up for the first time ever. This mentality can be seen in other life areas, too. We all know people (or are people) who don’t love their jobs but don’t want to put the time and energy into looking for something else, stay in relationships they find uninspiring because dating is hard, or stay in cities they hate because moving is a scary prospect and requires so much work. Just imagine how much you can miss out on in life by avoiding the hard things. Going through a challenge is what helps us grow, brings us a sense of accomplishment, and ultimately helps us live our best lives.
The thing is, challenge and difficult situations are a part of life. So at some point you will HAVE to go through something. Wouldn’t you rather have practiced and developed confidence in your ability to face a challenge head on, tackle it, and come out victorious when it’s under your control, rather than just wait for disaster to strike? Developing the discipline needed to train for and then run a marathon was hard, but it made scheduling, committing to weekend work, and staying focused in graduate school so much easier. Pushing myself to lift heavier and heavier weights has provided me with a lot of sore muscles and an understanding that change takes time; it also taught me that I can handle a lot, even the physical and emotional pain of losing a loved one, and that I can persevere long enough to get to a point where the pain is less and time has helped to heal the hurt.
This is a short post because this concept isn’t a complicated one to explain, but I felt it was really important to offer the reminder of why choosing to do hard things is so important for your personal growth. So I encourage you to pick one hard thing to focus on this year, fitness related or otherwise. And tell me what you’ve decided to do! I’d love to hear about it, so post it in the comments.
lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and feeling confident.
If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done. - Thomas Jefferson