What Happens to Dreams When Things Get Hard?

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Who else gets swept up in the excitement of setting goals that seem impossible?! Attaining that lean body you have always wanted. Or getting that promotion at work. Coming in first in a running race would be just amazing. A lot of us envision starting our own business. Or maybe some of us have books in our heads that haven’t made their way to paper yet. Thinking about all of these amazing accomplishments is invigorating, inspiring and empowering.

And maybe some of us are crazy enough to start working towards these huge goals. Getting up at 5 am to hit the gym. Staying late at work when everyone else has gone home. Running miles a day for weeks at a time. Creating a website for your new hustle. Starting an outline for your novel. How exciting it is to start things that are so momentous?!

But, what happens to these dreams when things get hard?

What happens when your sick kid woke you up all night long, so you missed your early morning workout? Do you still go the next morning?

What happens when you get passed over for a position because someone more senior got the promotion? Do you still stay late to work?

What happens when you injure your ankle running? Do you rest and recover so you can get back at it?

What happens when you get feedback that your website is confusing and friends are doubting your new venture? Do you still create a business plan?

What happens when you get writer’s block and haven’t written for three months? Do you set aside your book and focus on other things?

Let’s be real here, for a lot of us, when things get hard… when we reach these pivotal points of choosing whether to press on despite resistance or challenges or moments of insecurity… that’s exactly when we stop. That’s when we doubt ourselves and that’s when we quit.

But I propose that change is like a pendulum. As hard as you are pushing things one way, outside forces are going to push back just as much. I propose that difficulty is resistance and resistance is just part of making a change. In other words, know that meeting a goal is going to be hard. Know you are going have moments of failure. Know you can’t control outside forces or unforeseen challenges. You can’t predict sick kids or office politics or injuries or doubt from others or mental blocks. These things are going to come at inconvenient times and throw you for a loop, but they are also there to show you how much you really want to achieve your goal.  Embrace these obstacles as essential parts of the process of change.

Also know that you are strong enough to get through the hard part. EVERYTHING you want is past that hard part. EVERYTHING. Your goal. Your new life. Your best version of YOU. These things are waiting for you, just past the resistance.

Today, I‘ll leave you with some quotes from people who say things way better than I ever could.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” -Nelson Mandela

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ―Confucius

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ―Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.” ―James A. Michener

Please keep going. After all, you’ll never know how close you are to succeeding if you quit now.