There are people who will tell you to “chin up” when things are hard. There are others who will tell you to “suck it up” when things are hard. However, when life does get hard, let’s be real, it’s OK to admit it’s hard.
That’s just reality. There is no real reason to gloss over the fact we’re having a hard time or facing hard times. It’s part of the cycle of life.
When Life Seems Hard…
The reason why some folks want us to gloss over the hardness of life is in part because it’s a matter of perception. There will always be someone who has it harder than us. There will always be someone with harder luck or less opportunities than us. But this does not minimize or devalue the simple reality that we’re facing a tough moment in life.
It is our reality. It is our moment. It feels tough. It is not fun. And it can sap our energies and keep us from making any progress. To deny this is not always healthy.
In my personal case, I’m dealing with a lot of adjustments that feel emotionally super challenging in unexpected ways. Instead of brushing these feelings aside, I’m embracing them as metrics drawing my attention to the fact this situation is different and harder than expected.
Adjusting the lens to have a better focus
Many of us will just hunker down and press harder and hope we don’t burn out. That can work. However, it doesn’t always. Right now, doing the same thing again, but harder, leaves the door open to feeling more of what you’re already feeling. Makes sense when you think about it.
There was a moment when I thought of just putting my blog on hold entirely. Pressing harder was just draining. Then, it dawned on me… I’ve not shared with anyone how hard this segment of life is for me. So, I shared with a few very close trusted friends.
Was one of the best decisions for this chapter in life.
They didn’t give me magic panacea solutions. They didn’t tell me what to do to fix the problem. They just simply listened and encouraged me not to despair by comparing myself to others online. Sure, I’m able to ignore glossy lives of strangers. But, when your friends you know well are sharing their highlights and you know they’re doing well, that’s harder to ignore.
I did take a break from social media. I had to. I needed to just regroup. And it did me a ton of good.
It is important to me that I blog. It is important to me that I share ideas. It’s fun as well. It’s also one of the activities that helps me cope with all the moving pieces in my life. Writing is my current creative outlet. I have to keep it on the agenda. That was very clear to me and my friends pointed that out to me… when I asked for their advice.
sometimes, it’s great to have a listening ear that won’t bombard you with advice until you ask for it
With more clarity and less pent up emotions, it became clear that in the reshuffle of my priorities and agendas, one thing had to stay. Blogging.
I once said that I was going to slow down my rate of blogging, and I did. Now, it’s time to be more strategic about when and what I post so that I can keep up with the one activity that recharges me.
Earlier this year, I started playing around with a content calendar. It was a huge blessing. It also reminded me of how much I used to live by a calendar in earlier stressful chapters of my life.
I’ve never applied the calendar method to creating positivity in my writing. Now, I am. This allows me to process my ideas more clearly and not feel as overwhelmed as I was. This gives me more realistic a picture of what I’m trying to do and how much time it really will take.
Seeing it clearly in focus on paper makes the goals not only clear, but reachable. If I have to move something back in time, it’s no big deal, because it will get done.
Without that approach, I was constantly trying to hold ideas in my head while juggling all the other things in life that I need to do. When you’re not sleeping a lot of hours, thanks to a newborn, the very act of holding ideas in one’s head is very draining.
Now, I’ve got plenty of ideas and they’re making their way onto paper. I can plan around life. Life can fit around a plan. As silly as this play on words is, it’s the one thing that’s keeping me going with writing.
Will this work for you? Maybe. However, you’ll have to tweak what you know in order to find what you need to keep going when life seems very hard.
By taking a bit of analytical process to a creative idea, the perception of difficulty started being managed by more than one brain system. Meaning. Instead of being stuck in feelings of overwhelm, the planning side of me took some of the overwhelm and quantified it. With this “unloading”, my feelings were able to give color and meaning to the analysis. Now, I am more positive about being able to handle this chapter in my life.
Does this make it any less hard? Not one bit. Does it make it feel less out-of-control-messy difficult? Absolutely.
As an example: At one point, I was brainstorming ideas for three blogs… each to get three posts a week… and with only three weeks to do it all. This had my emotions running at full speed pumped up on adrenaline. Why? I have a day job, I have a wife, I have young children, and I want to stay relevant on social media. Burning out was a very real threat.
The analytical part of me mapped out a more gentle approach to ramp up my blogging from barely once a week to eventually three times a week. My emotional side added some coloration and I’ve decided that once a week with the occasional second post was a much better use of my time while feeling accomplished for achieving a newer level of consistency.
When life seems very hard… and your feelings are getting used up faster than you can cool them off… it’s not a bad idea to step back and just figure out what is the primary focus you want. This does include talking to someone, taking a vacation, meditating, and any other method of cooling off the pressure you have.
Then, when there is a bit less anxious nerves, one can start to map out steps to get things done. I’m not being naive to ignore the imposition of hard deadlines that life gives you. We all have bosses that need things done on their terms. We all have urgencies and emergencies. Those have to be addressed as they come.
However, the rest can be mapped out and planned for. Take the time to do some planning. It may appear a waste of time… but in the end, it saves you a ton of time.
Life will always throw you hard moments. Some of those moments go away after a day. Others go away after a month. Some go away after years. But they do go away.
Today, what will you do to help keep your head and heart cool as you maneuver your way through any hard times you might face this week? Feel free to share below.
I’m encouraging you not to give up on yourself. Give yourself permission to change the approach or technique you’re using. In time, you’ll figure this out… much like I am figuring it out.
If this helped you, do please share this with a person who can benefit from this post. Clicking like on your way… keeps me motivated… so thank you in advance.
Until next week’s motivational post… keep your lens clearly focused by taking a little time to breathe before pressing forward into the new week.