A lot of my new clients tell me that they find life a struggle.
They experience this in different ways; in their relationships, with work, finances, health or emotional well-being.
And often people tell me that no sooner do they overcome one problem than another pops up.
Do you relate?
I can share that this was me for a long time. I used to look at those people who seemed to be having an easier life and wonder what their secret was?
Then one day it dawned on me. They expected to have an easier life, and so they did!
In time I trained as a therapist and learnt just how powerful our thoughts, beliefs and expectations can be. I came to see that many people find life a struggle because they have formed a struggle mindset
To have a struggle mindset means we often approach life from the perspective of having to overcome hassles and burdens. We don't tend to notice the easier path, because we're so busy firefighting and proving that we can manage and cope and be resilient. And because we always take the harder path, we have more difficult experiences, and so we keep reinforcing the ingrained belief that life must be a struggle.
There's a good reason that we find life a struggle.
This ‘struggling on’ idea often starts very early in life. Many of us get the message from our caregivers that it's not okay to take the easier path. Life is hard and we have to get on with it!
Sometimes things can happen in the early years that leave a child believing that they have to be extra strong and rely only on themselves. So at some deep level, they make the decision that if they can manage the hardest path in life then they can guarantee to manage anything.
That makes a lot of sense in those early years when there's no other way to manage life. By adulthood however, this deeply held belief becomes a self-sabotaging pattern because all that efforting and battling on just places us under stress. It basically puts us in a constant state of survival so there's no room left to be calm and allow inspiration and solutions to come to us.
Addicted To Struggle
Strange as it may sound, it's not uncommon to be addicted to struggle. That's because every time a problem comes up in life, the little child within us feels an excited anticipation - ‘Here's a chance for me to prove I can cope with this problem!’
Maybe you relate to this? If so, you're certainly not alone.
To break the struggle cycle; the first thing to do is to soothe your little child within. Speak to them in your thoughts, or even out loud. Give them kind and loving words. Reassure them that life has moved on and they no longer have to be extra strong.There's nothing to prove. They are loved.
The next thing to do is to ask yourself one of the powerful questions from: 7 Questions Highly Confident People Ask Themselves.
That question is simply: What would this look like if it were easier?
Get into the habit of asking yourself this question, instead of always taking the harder path will mean that you'll be less stressed and more relaxed. Inspired thoughts will come. You'll feel lighter as you begin to recognise that there are options open to you that you hadn't previously seen. life will no longer be a struggle. Instead you'll have one successful and happy experience after another!