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Struggle vs. Hard Work

August 29, 2017

It’s day 8 – “rise and write.” I cheated a little this morning (checked emails and prepped for my coaching sessions later). I’m missing the sun (it’s much harder to wake up without it), and I swear when it’s overcast and cloudy outside – that is exactly how my brain feels!

Today my brain feels a little like mush and it has me wondering how people ever finish anything. It also has me totally questioning my writing ability and my drive to publish a book. Is this really something I can do? Is it something that I want to do? Is it too hard? I guess I need to do it first, to give it my all, especially when it’s hard, and then decide.

That’s the thing we all have to do – decide on something, really go for it, and then decide if it’s something we want to keep doing. When I decided to go to law school, it seemed like a logical next step. I can’t say that I really did “go for it” though – half assed it feels more accurate.

Even though law school never felt right, I do wish I had approached it differently. I would like to be able to look back on that time and say that I gave it my all, but I can’t. I took the decision away from myself, and I don’t love that. I don’t want to make that same mistake now.

I talk a lot about the difference between struggle and hard work. Knowing the difference is so important because if we’re giving something our all, and we’re stuck in the struggle zone, that is a sign to make a decision to shift gears. When we don’t give something our all, we’re setting ourselves up to have a decision made for us – that never feels good.

Sometimes it gets a little confusing because hard work can feel like a struggle, and struggle can feel like hard work. It’s normal to face challenges, life can feel hard – that’s not always a sign to throw in the towel.

I bump against barriers with writing on a regular basis. This “rise and write” challenge is intended to help me get into a writing rhythm and find my voice so that I stay the course and breakthrough those barriers. Some days feel harder than others (some days feel like a struggle) but I do see that I am moving through the barriers.

That’s the difference between struggle and hard work – things may feel hard, but we’re still moving, and it doesn’t feel totally draining. We make progress, move through our barriers, and still feel excited about what we’re doing. That’s all a sign that we are on the right path – simply doing the necessary hard work.

A sense of ease lives here, a feeling that yes, this is hard but it’s also exactly right.

Emily xo

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