While it isn’t easy to admit, I can see how my own addiction to struggling has actually and somewhat ironically created more struggle in my life.
How about you…are you addicted to struggle?
Many of us have resistance to allowing things to come easy.
Here are some of the main “reasons” and beliefs we tend to hold in this regard (which can keep our struggle addiction in place):
- If I don’t have to struggle for something, it doesn’t mean all that much.
- If things come easy to me, other people will get jealous, won’t like me, or respect me.
- It’s not fair for things to be easy for me (i.e., I have to struggle)—especially with so many people having such a hard time these days.
- I get off on struggling and suffering—I’m quite familiar with it, and I’ve used it as motivation to change and “succeed” for much of my life.
- My ability to work hard, overcome adversity, and rise above challenges are all things my ego uses to feel superior to others.
- If I don’t struggle for something I won’t feel like I deserve it when it happens.
- Struggling allows me to avoid taking responsibility for certain aspects of my life and keeps me “focused.” I get to avoid uncomfortable feelings, situations, and circumstances I don’t want to deal with.
Can you relate to any of these? Maybe you have others as well.
Getting in touch with some of these reasons and beliefs can be painful and eye-opening at the same time. Ownership is the key to change.
Letting Go of Struggle
While working hard, overcoming adversity, and being passionately committed to important things in our lives aren’t inherently wrong—resisting ease and being attached to struggle causes us great stress, worry, and pain. And in many cases, this difficulty is self-induced and unnecessary.
What if we allowed things to be easier? What if we started to speak about and own the aspects of our lives that are easy to us and started to expect things to get even easier?
What if we let go of our attachment (or addiction, as it were) to struggle?
Easy doesn’t mean lazy—that we aren’t willing to put in the work or that we expect a “free ride”—it means that we’re willing to have things work out, trust that all is well, and allow life to flow in a positive and elegant way for us.
Our desire and ability to embrace ease in our life isn’t selfish, arrogant, or unrealistic—it’s profoundly optimistic (in an authentic way) and can enhance our ability to impact others.
The more energy and attention we place on surviving, getting by, or even “striving” for success, the less available we are to give, serve, and make a difference for other people.
Although it can be challenging for many reasons, letting go of our addiction to struggle is one of the best ways we can show up for those around us—both by our example and with our freed-up positive energy.
As Richard Bach famously said, “Argue for your limitations, and they’re yours.”
What if we stopped arguing on behalf of how “hard” things are and started to allow our life to be filled with more peace and ease instead of perpetuating the struggle?
While the idea of things authentically being easy may not be the easiest thing for you to embrace, especially these days, I challenge you (as I challenge myself) to take this on in your life and become more comfortable with it.
Maybe it will actually be easier than you think.
What can you do to let go of struggle and allow things to be easier? Share your thoughts, ideas, insights, actions, and more in the comments below.
I have written five books about the importance of trust, authenticity, appreciation, and more. In addition, I deliver keynotes and seminars (both in-person and virtually) to empower people, leaders, and teams to grow, connect, and perform their best. Finally, as an expert in teamwork, leadership, and emotional intelligence, I teach techniques that allow people and organizations to be more authentic and effective. Find out more about how I can help you and your team achieve your goals today. You can also listen to my podcast here.