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Embrace the Ease

You know the term, “No pain, no gain” or similarly my long held belief, “If it’s not hard, it’s not worth it!” It took me a long time to articulate that belief and to really understand that everything does not have to be difficult to be valuable. Why choose the path of least resistance when my belief was telling me this path is equivalent to taking the easy route and I will be seen as weak or incapable?

So much of my life I've focused on taking the difficult path, the one that required me to constantly prove, learn, evolve, and often come from behind. So much so that I became blinded to alternative options that could offer ease, breathing room, and security, and allow me to leverage many strengths I had dismissed as necessities. I have often swum in the idea that the difficult path must be the only way to do anything that generates value and worth. 

It’s so easy to become attached to the pain, struggle, suffering, and discomfort because that’s often where heroes are born, and the promise of something better on the other side becomes a motivator. We see the triumph story played out day in and day out in our favorite movies, books, shows, and athlete success stories. When we take on difficult things and share those stories and accomplishments with others, the response is often one of acknowledgement, praise, encouragement, support, and maybe even awe. This can be the much needed jolt to help us continue challenging ourselves where we intentionally need and want to grow and also become a misguided incentive. Shifting our attention from the triumph story to leveraging and associating value to our strengths can ground us and ease the path ahead. 

We can unknowingly make things more difficult by adding more obstacles and challenges to our work and life to create more perceived value or relevance for ourselves and others. This approach can actually divert our energy away from important challenges that help us grow.  We might notice ourselves not trusting the ease saying, “Well that’s just too simple.” or “That can’t be it, there has to be more.” or “That couldn’t possibly be enough. I need to do more.” Or alternatively, we’ve submerged ourselves in difficulty in all we choose and do and might notice ourselves saying, “Why is this so hard”, or “I will never get out from under this mountain of work” or “This situation is never going to change.” In these moments, we might ask ourselves, “Where can I remove the noise and obstacles and focus on the path of least resistance?”

We may need to acknowledge our strengths and talents and let those things add value without forcing ourselves to be and do more. We may need to step back and look at our relationship and attachment to difficulty and its association with value and ask ourselves if we are adding things on and creating more challenging scenarios than necessary to generate an acknowledgement and relevance loop for our value. This is deep work that might make you uncomfortable or defensive or curious. It’s work I continue to remind myself of and do. I hope it offers you a perspective to consider your own relationship with difficulty and value. I hope you see the opportunity to bring awareness to what is showing up as difficult and where there may be opportunities to reframe and reset.

Let’s give ourselves the grace to embrace the ease.

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