Do Hard Things.
Repeat after me, "I DO HARD THINGS."
Are you pumped yet? Why is it that we spend so much time avoiding difficult tasks? As college students, why did it suddenly become so motivating to clean during midterms? Or in a relationship, why does working in the garage instantly feel enticing, immediately after our significant other expresses frustration with us?
We have a tendency to withdraw from that which is difficult. But let’s examine this strategy. Is it actually effective? Our survival instincts might drive us away from a perceived threat, but our higher intellect should remind us that midterms and our loved ones really aren’t life threatening predators, right?
Oftentimes, we end up pushing off important tasks, filling our lives with less pertinent experiences that provide momentary comfort. We spend significantly more energy avoiding the task than it would have taken to look it square in the face and deal with it directly. We may also spend our time spinning our wheels, reminding ourselves of how we have failed every past attempt to accomplish a difficult task.
Why do we struggle to start a new diet or make a new year’s resolution?
We are tired of failing. We do not want to set ourselves up for another failure. Maybe most of our memories about big goals we have made in the past involve disappointment.
Have we ever met a goal? Of course. Then why is it that we only seem to remember the failures? Possibly the negative experiences simply stand out more because of the heightened emotional experiences associated with failure.
But we can reframe this. We can make a new association. When you begin to feel the flood of failure filling every space in your mind, repeat these words, “I do hard things.” A little louder now, “I DO HARD THINGS.” As you remind yourself that the pain you feel is the pain of change and is a result of your hard work, is it possible to feel a little stronger rather than weaker? I think so.
I often talk to myself or pray while I run. Lately, when I have wanted to quit (right after I got going), I have found myself saying, “I do hard things.” This has become a bit of a mantra for me.
I recently decided to try to accomplish quite a few new and challenging tasks in my life. In about a month’s time, Chuck and I developed a plan, launched a website, and started a ministry. I have been filled with passion and excitement, unable to fall asleep at night, and waking early each morning to continue to dream. But I have also been stirred by anticipation and fear!
What you may see is a webpage with a few links; what I see is an awakened dream. Also in my view is the fragility of that dream, wrapped in a font and slapped on a digital page, there for the world to appreciate or discard.
I’ve got to fight the urge to quit. When I begin to question whether or not I have what it takes, I choose to proclaim, “I do hard things!” Rarely do we find ourselves in a comfortable spot saying, “This is too hard. I give up.” It’s when we’re doing something that’s really worth our time and our tears. That’s when we want to quit. It’s new. It’s tough. It’s exciting. It’s challenging. It’s exactly what we need. Why? WE DO HARD THINGS!
It can feel good to go to bed with an empty cup. We pour ourselves out to the world around us and allow God to fill us again for the day ahead.
What hard things have you done today? What hard things do you hope to accomplish tomorrow? I would love to hear what hard things you are working on!