We spend so much time and effort running from pain. We actively avoid it. Many of our emotionally-based decisions subconsciously hinge on the thought, “will this hurt me down the track?”. We seek the easy path, even if it’s the longer one — sometimes even if we know it will hurt someone else. And it makes sense, why would we chase struggle? Well, it’s not about chasing it, it’s about embracing the struggle when it comes.
It’s in pain and struggle that we experience growth. Struggle leads to success, but we’re so busy floundering in the midst of it we forget to learn from it. Obstacles, weariness, defeat — they show us more about who we are and what we’re capable of doing than times of ease. Have you ever gone through something crazy, come out the other side, and thought “how did I even survive that?”. We’re all so much stronger than we think, but we don’t automatically thrive, we’re simply given the opportunity to. It’s up to us to recognise and seize that opportunity. That’s the beauty of embracing struggle!
It’s not easy — embracing it doesn’t come naturally — but start by changing your perception. Challenge your idea of struggle. Stop seeing it as a barrier, as something “in the way” — it is the way. We have to teach ourselves to fall in love with the trials that come our way. To find joy in the darkest situations and think of those circumstances as a blessing. This sort of mind-set frees us from the frustrations, anxiety, fear, sorrow, and disappointment we experience in our challenges. We still go through that pain — it will still hurt — but it doesn’t control us. We can persevere and learn from it.
Stop avoiding struggle — acknowledge it, accept it, embrace it!