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Those Hard Times are Good for You

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Why do we struggle? You may see a clear and defined path to where you want to be yet. You take a few small steps and boom you are distracted or you simply give up on the task. Then again you may have had a dream that someone you looked up to said it was garbage. 

Many men struggle with the beginning while others start off with a bang and get lots of stuff done but then we hit the doldrums in the middle and we lose interest or momentum. While some guys leave a path of unfinished projects in their wake.

Why is it so blasted hard to find success? Maybe we find it but then suddenly let it go and we find ourselves back in the state we were before. There are several reasons why we struggle to find the success we are wanting. Yet we just can’t seem to get there. The heart of the problem is that we shy away from the discomfort of the challenge. 

This is what I wanted to talk about today. Why we need the struggle, discomfort to grow into the success we are desiring.  To do that let’s look at some of the common obstacles that get in our way and why they are there in the first place.

We have Mental Drama

Be it the imposter syndrome or scarcity. The mindset we face is the biggest obstacle we have to overcome. The hang-up is that it isn’t a one and one task. No, you get tested on this again and again. The severity of the obstacle increases with each success.

Now your mindset limitations will manifest itself in many different forms but as a whole, it will be you looking at what you don’t have or coming from a place of fear. However, with each success, you have with overcoming the obstacle in your way you become more adept at that skill.

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Yet we all have mental drama. We cover our dreams up with a whole lot of what if’s. What if I can find enough clients? What if my project fails? I could lose my friends. 

We make up excuses as to why we can’t do something in particular. These lies that we tell ourselves are often rooted in fear and scarcity. These can be conquered when you realize that those fears are not going to happen. Fear is your amygdala telling you to stay safe.

When you have that mental drama it holds you back. It keeps you from taking that step that is needed so you can make it to the next step in your progression of becoming the better and more successful person you want to be.

The Hard time you face is you coming to grips that your mind is actually lying to you. You are your own worst enemy and much like the second gate in the Neverending Story, the battle for success ends up against ourselves

What we don’t know

Many times we start down our path only to find an unknown obstacle and we stop. Then there are times that we know that we must know everything about what we are about to get into and so we study and read and talk and read some more. We keep reading and taking classes so that we can find out all the possible pitfalls that we are going to face. We procrastinate from even launching because we are afraid of what we don’t know. 

You can learn all you would like to learn, yet that knowledge will never do you any good until you apply that knowledge. When you transfer from theoretical to practical experience that action is what puts you ahead of everyone else. Taking the massive action of actually putting in the effort is more than what 90% of people will do. Then if you keep going and press through the discomfort you find that those scary what if’s were just in your mind because they never happened.

Lack of Skills

Did you know how to ride a bike right off the bat? How about when you watch a toddler learning to walk do they suddenly stand up and start running? Nope. Why? They have to develop the skill of that task. 

Learning is hard work. That work is learning the skills needed for being able to achieve the task you are wanting to accomplish. You don’t know how to run a business right from the start. The same as you didn’t know how to drive a car at the beginning. You realize that there is some skill in curling your toe just right so you don’t slam on the brakes. 

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Yet many of us men won’t take the first step, all because we don’t want to have to learn something new. We fear the thought of looking like a noob when in all reality you are a noob. We have to go through the bumps and bruises before you can be proficient at your dream. You can’t learn to do a dive without the pain of a few belly flops. That pain is an effective and efficient teacher. You quickly learn why you want your hands to go in the water first.

Anything you learn in life is just like that. There is pain. There is discomfort. Many people will give up when they experience the slap of water against your stomach and feel all your internal organs get shoved up into your chest cavity. If you stick it out soon you get the skills and with those skills comes the confidence to try a front flip into a dive and what happens but the very same thing, belly flop. You then have the learning process all over again on a different level.

Loved ones get in the way

They mean well but many times our friends and family will get in our way. Maybe you had an uncle who tried to be a writer and he lost it all. Now he is bitter about the experience and blames other people. So he doesn’t want you to wind up as he did. So you may try to discourage you from going down that very same path.

Maybe your mom just doesn’t really understand what it is that you are trying to do. So she will try to get you to do something safe. Something that is steady. Yet this is a glaring example of a scarcity mindset. They see that you will have a steady job but all you have to do is piss off one person and you have lost that job. Maybe that steady job suddenly closes its doors. Many people witnessed this happening when the Wuhan flu came to our shores. That “steady” job was suddenly gone. 

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Your friends can also have this same effect on you. You may be busy but they may want you to sit down and play a few rounds of Call of Duty. Many times your friends have different priorities than you, It’s not that they don’t want you to succeed but it scares them to see you doing something with their life. They may not fully understand why you don’t want to hang out and smoke a bowl. IF they are scared they may even lash out at you and call you names like sell out or say you are not the same person. So you have to learn how to pull yourself away from those you love as you press through your difficult challenge. This can also be scary and lonely too. The level of discomfort from pulling away from an old friend is hard. I will give you a little hope in this part and that is new friends who are on that same journey will find you and fill in those gaps.

There are ways to get around that feeling of being alone on your journey. If you have a mastermind. These men are right in the thick of their own challenges and because you are all invested in seeing each other succeed you can help support each other. These other people become your brother in arms that is much what the Conclave of Men is about.

We get in the way

Much like our friends, we also get in our own way. We set up traps that will trip us up. We will call ourselves losers or other names. We will mentally abuse ourselves. When we don’t get something right the very first time. The old ghosts in our lives can come out and really wreak havoc on our self-esteem and motivation. The Imposter will always find us at the height of our celebration only to make sure we don’t celebrate too much because we really don’t belong here.

The hardship is not noticing when we are getting in our own way. We create obstacles and self-sabotage our success. Often this is because we start to feel a little discomfort and we shy away from it. If you can embrace the suck you will be able to power through and start using fear as a compass.

Playing it safe

There are times that we have actually made it to a good level of success and our personal hard times don’t end there. Though for some reason we think that when we make it the hard times are behind us. Not true at all. In Fact when you settle the hard times actually expand. We often become too comfortable in our success and we start to fear that we will have to get out into that discomfort again so to keep ourselves comfortable we play it small. We don’t reach for the big brass ring we settle for the crackerjack toy.  You start to feel that somethings missing and the drive-in you, to get to the next level starts to be a pain in the ass. That resistance to grow and become more is where your hardship comes from. You are wanting to grow and to do more.

If you want more information on playing it small I recommend Tripp Lanier’s book, This Book Will Make You Dangerous

Why do we need hardship?

Much like exercise for our muscles, we need to exercise our brains and the way we think. If we don’t our minds can atrophy and when that happens you stop growing. When you stop growing you stop learning. When you stop learning that is when you start to die. 

It is in all of us to become the best. Yet many of us lack the needed courage to face the scary unknown things in the dark places of our past. Our friends and loved ones want us to be comfortable and hang around the fire where it is perceived to be safe. These hardships are nothing more than tests. Are you willing to grow a set and tackle this task? Are you willing to learn and embrace the process of learning as if you were a kid and see exactly how this thing you are doing works? If so, great! If not but you feel that ring of truth in your heart and you don’t know where to begin then let’s do a discovery call. See what we can find out. Maybe we are a good fit and you can get past many of those obstacles and leap over many of the major hardships people face. If that sounds good sign up

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About Bryan Goodwin

I like being able to help people find their "why" and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.

2 Comments

  1. I definitely agree that mindset matters! In fact much of what you describe here – avoiding challenges, being afraid of looking like a “noob” – sounds like the fixed mindset.

    1. I apply a lot of personal experience here. So many times I feel noobish.

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