Have You Ever Done Anything Really Hard?
A coaching client of mine asked me recently, “Have you ever done anything really hard?”
Without hesitation I responded, “Of course! Everything I’ve ever done was really hard the first time.”
Talking to women used to be really hard. Due to my sheltered background, extreme shyness and social anxiety there was a time when even talking to a woman would reduce me to a scared little boy. Then I put in the work and now one of the strongest pieces of my coaching practice is helping men become more attractive and confident to women.
Lifting weights used to be really hard. I remember the first time my dad took me to the gym. I remember the shame and embarrassment of only being able to bench the bar while other men around me were lifting 200, sometimes 300 pounds. Then I put in the work and benched 350 pounds and deadlifted 600 pounds in my first powerlifting competition.
Speaking in public used to be really hard. English was my second language and I had a serious stuttering problem in elementary school. Then I put in the work and have spoken all over the United States and even taught public speaking to undergraduate business students when I was getting my MBA.
Coaching clients used to be really hard. I took a coaching workshop when I was still in my corporate job and reached out to family and friends to coach. I stumbled through my first ten clients, really giving more advice than coaching. Then I put in the work and a couple hundred hours later, my coaching is laser sharp.
Literally everything I can do now was once seemingly impossible. Even hitting publish on my first blog post took months of deliberating on whether or not I should even start it.
Here’s a secret though, now nothing ever feels really hard anymore.
I’ve stringed together enough peak experiences and successes that anytime I’m jumping into anything unknown I lean upon my past experiences where I showed confidence or courage. For example, anytime I’m doing anything scary I’ll think back to when I jumped out of an airplane or went bungee jumping.
Here’s a simple four step process that you can use the next time you need a little support or are feeling a little afraid:
1. Ask yourself, what do I need in this situation? It should be a simple one word adjective like “confidence,” “courage,” or “peace.”
2. Vividly recall a time or memory when you had that feeling, or were in that state in a powerful way. For example, think back to a time when you showed great courage.
3. Close your eyes and step back into the film strip of your life and feel into the memory. Really live it!
4. Step back into the present with the courage you need.
It might sound cheesy or weird, but trust me, this stuff works.
Yes, everything is hard if you’ve never done it before.
And it will be hard the first time you do it. And the second and third for that matter. But you’ll get better every time.
And one day you’ll wake up and what was once impossible will be one of your greatest strengths.
But you have to put in the work.
Just put in the work.
Seriously, put in the work.
For the love of God, stop reading blogs and Facebook and put in the work.
[Photo Credit: Maria Ly]