Have you ever heard people say, “Life is not easy” or “Life was meant to be hard.” Is that really true?
Think back to when you were a child — was life difficult back then? If it wasn’t, what has changed over the years which may be influencing your perspective on whether life is meant to be difficult or easy?
My belief is that life is simple. We complicate life based on our experiences, the environments we’re exposed to and the beliefs we form.
While having a belief that life is difficult may not necessarily be false, the question we always should ask ourselves is, “Are my beliefs about life giving me the results I want?”
The results we get in life are often a reflection of our beliefs. If we’re not getting the results we want, that’s a sign we’re doing things that’s making life difficult for us.
The good news is we can always do things differently so we can get the results we want. And the starting point is becoming aware of how we may be making life difficult.
10 Ways You May Be Making Life Difficult
Here are ten ways or things we may be doing to make life difficult right now that are giving us the results we’re currently getting.
- Not willing to face the truth faster. The old saying, “The truth will set you free” is still true. Facing the truth, whether it’s speaking the truth or acknowledging something isn’t working, can be difficult or even painful. When we build the courage to face the truth, the long-term benefits will almost always outweigh the short-term pain. Telling the truth faster is a powerful principle to live our lives by.
- Always looking to external sources for solutions. In its truest form, personal coaching is a process which enables someone to tap into resources within, to solve a challenge or come up with a new solution. That is why coaching is such a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation as it almost forces us to come up with answers ourselves.
Where we get ourselves into trouble is forming the habit of asking others what they think we should do. This doesn’t help us develop the confidence or ability to make decisions which can lead to self-doubt and a lack of self-trust. We all have the power to solve any problem we experience.
- Feeling guilty for making choices that will only benefit you. Often, we hesitate or delay making decisions for fear of upsetting or hurting other people. While there are times when that’s necessary, it shouldn’t be the reason for not making choices that support our visions and goals. We’ll always be able to serve others better when we make our needs just as important as other people’s needs.
- Allowing toxic people to influence your opinions or behaviours. Not everyone we associate with is a positive influence in our lives. Our environments have a huge impact on our attitude and behaviours, and the more we associate with negative or toxic people, the more we’ll behave like them. We must be conscious of who we’re spending time with and what impact they are having on us.
- Trying to compete with others to prove your worth. This is a common pattern with achievers as they’re always seeking more achievement. In one aspect, it can be a positive thing because we should always challenge ourselves to grow and evolve. On the other hand, it can lead to lack of fulfilment and joy because what we have is never enough. This is why have a clear motivation for why we’re doing what we do in life is so important.
- Failing to see opportunities that are around you all the time. We live in an abundant world and the more we can operate from that belief, the more opportunities we’ll attract. Where we get into trouble is when we believe there is only so much to go around or we’ve missed our opportunity in life. There will always be other opportunities if we’re aware of them.
- Not creating options in life. A typical example is having one source of income, typically via a job. In the world we live in today, where things are changing so rapidly, it’s not the best long-term strategy. If we still think there is such a thing as job security, we’re not giving ourselves the opportunity to explore other options. Income is just one example. There are other things we may be doing that could be limiting the choices we have in life.
- Always thinking about what could go wrong if you take a risk. Some people like to be the “devil’s advocate” and constantly focus on all the things that could go wrong. That typically creates fear which often leads to procrastination or inaction. If we’re not prepared to take risks, we’ll never know what is possible for us. The more risks we’re willing to take, the higher the probability we’ll create new results.
- Putting so much energy into protecting what you own. It’s a funny thing but we may believe we really “own” the things the things we have in life. Let’s face it — at the time of our death, whatever we own will belong to someone else. At best, we’re temporary custodians of our possessions or things.
Rather than fear losing what we have, we should instead focus on being generous and giving more of what we do have. That supports the belief that there is plenty to go around and we don’t have to worry about getting our fair share.
- Expecting to be happy all the time. It’s false idea we’ll be happy every waking moment. There will be times when the things we do will be mundane, boring and a grind. What’s more important is having a clear motivation for why we’re doing those mundane, boring things. How will do those things serve us in the future? Happiness really comes from appreciating the present moment and having a sense we’re making progress in life.
It’s up to us whether we want our lives to be difficult or simple. It all starts with what’s going on inside us. If we can recognise triggers that may cause us to make life difficult, we’ll be in a much better position to take corrective actions.
Action Step: Identify the biggest thing or belief that may be contributing to your life being difficult. Come up with two or three things you can do this week to overcome it. For example, it may be taking on a new belief that’s the total opposite of what you currently believe so you can create new results.
Question: How else do you think we make life difficult for ourselves?