Do The Hard Things


Often times we do not make the changes we want for our lives because change is hard. No matter how difficult our present situations may be, it is often easier to stay stuck in what we know, even if it is no longer serving us.

Often, we do not make the changes we want for our lives because we simply don’t know how to go about it. We stay where we are, never taking the chance to find out what it really takes.

Often, we do not make the choices, the sometimes hard choices that will move us from where we are to where we want to be because we don’t want to disappoint others. We don’t want them to feel hurt or rejected because the path we are being called requires us to become someone different from who they are used to know.

We have reasons for not doing the hard things. We have reasons why we can’t do something. Reasons why something won’t work out. Reasons why our lives look the same way they did one year ago, five years ago, even ten years ago.

We wish for some magic pill to take that will instantly change our lives. We think that we have to wait for the “right time.” We think we need this thing or that thing to create the life we desire. We think we need the approval of others. We think we have to get ourselves together before we can even begin to work towards our dreams.

There are many reasons why we are not making it happen with our dreams and goals. The things we know we need to do, the things we should do, and the things we want to do. Sometimes the reasons are legitimate ones. But then, sometimes, what started out as a good reason turns into an excuse.

We have lots of reasons, and… we have lots of excuses.

I know because I had them too. My reasons(excuses) caused my writing dreams to be pushed to the side for years. Fear was the biggest one. For the first time several years ago, I submitted some essays for publication, and they were rejected. Those initial rejections crippled my self-confidence. It would not be until years later that I would get to a place where I would have a made-up mind and commit to pursuing my writing.

During those early years, I continued to write but rarely shared my work with anyone. Rejection is a part of the writing life, but at the time, I did not have the mindset to withstand the ups and downs of being a writer. It was something I wanted, but I had not made the commitment to the dream, and so a “no” was able to shake me and make me retreat from trying again.

There comes a point where you realize how the reasons and excuses have held you back. You look at your life and recognize all the things you wanted to do but never made an attempt to do them. The hard choices you did not make. The risks you did not take. The life you created that never quite felt like it was yours. Or maybe you tried but failed. Or tried and gave up because the hard thing was just too hard to continue doing.

I have come to learn, understand, and appreciate that it is only when we do the hard things, make the hard choices travel the unknown path, we experience personal growth. 

It's only when we push ourselves out of our comfort zones, when we do the things that scare us, and when we learn to walk in faith that life begins to change. Dreams then are no longer these abstract ideas we hold in our hearts and minds, but instead, they transform into concrete ideas of possibility. With each step we take, we can see and feel the changes that are happening. We are literally moving from that place of feeling stuck and wanting to change to actually make the change.

But this only happens when we make a decision to follow the call on our hearts, which involves doing the hard things.

I do the hard things now. I still have fear, sometimes a lot of it. And my writing still gets rejected. But that’s okay because I am committed to what it is I want to do. I am committed to sharing my writing to make a positive difference in the lives of those who read my work.

So how do you do the hard things? Here are four points to remember:

*There is no one size fits all plan. Dream-Making is fluid. There will always be new challenges, obstacles, setbacks, and surprises on your way to living your God-inspired dreams. Because it is ever-changing, we have to create a consistent mindset despite what may be going on around us. We have to make up our minds that whatever it is we want, whatever our God-inspired dream may be, we will pursue it no matter what crosses our paths and tries to deter us.

*Commit to yourself and to your dream not only with words but, more importantly, with action. Commitment is not something you do one time but instead is a daily practice. It is a constant acknowledgment of your intentions coupled with consistent right actions that take you closer to where you want to be.

*Stay in when you want to give up and quit. Remember the reason you want to make the changes. Stay connected to the why behind what it is you want to do.

*Continue in a forward-moving motion. Do not get caught up looking back at what was or what currently is, but instead hold onto your vision of what can be.

What have you learned about doing the hard things? Send me an email or post a comment; I would love to hear from you.
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