Can Do or Can’t Do?
When you are faced with a huge challenge, what is your initial reaction? Do you immediately shrink back and look at all of the reasons “it can’t be done”? Or do you take a long cleansing breath, dig deep within your resolve, and look for all the ways “it CAN be done”?
Obviously the two examples above are polar opposites and most of us probably fall somewhere between the two extremes. Recently, my wife presented me with a fairly big challenge in the area of our finances. More specifically, she rolled out the dreaded “B” word. That’s right…Budget.
I don’t like budgets and I immediately began to object and list all of the reasons her budget simply would not work. After a hearty back and forth exchange, we tabled the subject and I was satisfied that perhaps the budget would die a quiet death. Two or three days passed and no mention of the budget. Life is good. Needless to say I was thrilled.
And then I got the email. It was from my wife and simply contained two words in the subject line…”IT’s DOABLE”. Hmm, I didn’t need to be a brain surgeon to quickly surmise the contents of the email. Begrudgingly I opened it and began to read. She very gently spelled out all of the ways that the budget was indeed doable. And here’s the kicker, she was right. (And don’t you just hate it when your spouse is right!)
Putting In the Work
The bottom line is that I didn’t want to put in the time, effort, discipline and sacrifice to make the budget work. As I slowly began to “undig my heels” and get on board with the budget, I began looking for ways to make the budget work. In a weird sort of way, it’s actually become fun to find new and different ways to come in under budget. And the long term benefits will certainly outweigh the initial discomfort we have experienced.
The whole exercise really got me to thinking. “What else is DOABLE that I have quickly and resolutely said NO to in the past?” And more importantly, what benefits have I been missing out on by not tackling these situations head on? As I rolled these thoughts around in my head, I began to consider how I can get better at leaning into tough situations and challenges. After doing a bit of research as well as reflecting on my own life, here are a few thoughts that I hope will help you with your next challenge.
Be An Overcomer
- Let go of the Fallacy that “Life Should be Easy”. Often times we dismiss a challenge because we know it will be difficult…and we’re simply not willing to put forth the effort. Somewhere along the line many of us bought into the myth that we deserve a life of ease and pleasure Nothing could be further from the truth. There will be trouble. Count on it.
- Embrace the Challenge. Change your mindset and lean in to the problem. Embrace it. Confront it head on and realize that this situation is not permanent. This challenge will pass…and the quicker you embrace it, the quicker it will be over.
- Ask for Help. Let go of your stubborn pride and ask for help when you need it. Seek wise counsel. Let go of the need to be right. Consider the fact that there are probably solutions you haven’t thought of. Be open to change.
- Put in the Work. All of the other steps are pointless if you aren’t willing to do the work. As the late Jim Rohn once said, “You can’t hire someone else to do your pushups for you.”
Count Your Blessings. Regardless of how difficult your challenge is, stop and count your blessings. Realize that the adversity you are currently traveling though will bless you and make you a better person…if you let it.