Why do we make shit so hard?

How often do you find yourself putting pressure on yourself to make everything in life perfect? Do you recognize this pattern when you make dinner, organize the house, manage your schedule, take care of your body, or plan your life?

We have this idea in our head that if it is not hard, difficult, stress-producing or anxiety-ridden then we must not be doing anything right. Feel me? Not only have I personally experienced this as I grow my business and plan a family, but I see it in my clients and I hear it with my friends. Our current American culture vibe glamorizes a busy life or the facade that the busier we are, the more we multi-tasking, travel, and the more booked our calendars are, the more value and purpose our life must have. When we reach a certain level of stress and busyness, then we are truly living the modern American dream.

After years of working with clients who yearn to make themselves a priority in the noise of life, I’ve seen this common theme emerge. In general, they feel lost in the busyness of life and no longer know how to answer questions like: what are my hobbies, what do I care about, what is fun and fulfilling? The rat race has sucked them into a spiral of doing on autopilot so much so that they don’t truly feel alive in life and engaged with it.  And the pressure to keep running the hamster wheel is extremely tiring and almost deathly. Life feels like wind whipping you in the face as you peer outside the window of a moving car trying to desperately catch your breath, yet you feel slightly suffocated. Does this resonate with you? Now imagine this versus how life could feel and the freedom we can offer ourselves to breathe in deeply and swallow sweet fresh air that awakens our cells and our being. 

In the process of making yourself a priority, one of the first steps my clients discover is that they actually have a choice. They wake up from their sleep-walking habits and autopilot routines to say, “I have a choice.” They have the choice to alter their negative self-talk, to consciously eat what is going to fuel them best, to schedule their time wisely and to make life fun and delicious. The moment you realize you have a choice is the moment you get to decide if you want to choose the belief that everything has to be hard or switch your mindset and manifest that there is joy or growth or playfulness in every action and decision you make.  Believe me, I am not saying to take a happy pill and think the world is roses and rainbows all of the time. But when you realize you have a choice, you feel empowered and can jump back into the driver’s seat of life.

During my cancer battle, I had a choice to feel like a victim of life or see that I was gifted this experience for some unknown reason. When I was 21, cancer stole my youth, my hair, my study abroad experience and a chunk of my life. But I quickly learned I could stay in this victim mentality, which wasn’t bringing me very far, or I could choose to see the silver lining. I had the power. Even when I was powerless about what was happening inside of my body, I had the power to make other choices in my life.

Anytime I catch myself adding more pressure or unnecessary stress to a situation, I pause and ask myself, what do I want to choose?  Do I want to choose stress? Do I want to choose curiosity? Or fun? Reminding myself I have a choice allows me to slow down and take control of life and how I want to respond verses reacting and feeling powerless.

So what do you choose? Tell me about it!