As I was pushing myself through my last round of kettlebell swings and running out of gas, a favorite quote came to mind:
“The world is tough and so are you.”
“You are tough” I repeated to myself as I pushed through the last three minutes of my workout that felt like 10. As much as I wanted to give up and give into the pain, I had set a goal in mind and I know I had to accomplish it.
And I did.
Then it got me thinking. Life always throws hard things at you. Whether it’s pushing yourself during a workout, facing a fear or opening up about your feelings, life can be really scary and uncomfortable. But if life didn’t push us outside of our comfort zones, how would we grow?
Science tells us that the brain naturally wants to do what’s comfortable. That’s why it’s so easy to binge on Netflix instead of go for a run or munch on a package of Oreos instead of a handful of carrots.
If we want to get stronger, healthier and grow our minds, we have to push ourselves and get outside of our comfort zones. Whether that means doing one more rep at the gym or reading a book instead of watching TV, it’s good for us to do the hard things.
So I thought it was only appropriate to make a list of really tough things in life. Hard things. Scary things. Things that make us emotional and uncomfortable. But they are also necessary things we must go through if we want to grow and become the person we know in our hearts we’re meant to be.
Life is tough and so are you. You can do the hard things and you will rise above. Here’s a list of things tough things I have either faced, things I have seen friends and loved ones face, or things I know that may eventually come into life down the road.
- Unloading the dishwasher and folding laundry after a really stressful day at work.
- Waking up in the morning without hitting snooze.
- Going to work on Monday.
- Making yourself go to the gym after work.
- Going the extra mile during your workout.
- Going the extra mile at work.
- Giving your all at work.
- Standing up for yourself and being your own advocate.
- Advocating for a friend.
- Speaking up during a meeting.
- Speaking up during a meeting when you’re the youngest in the room.
- Sharing an idea when you’re the only woman in the room.
- Challenging a person’s ideas.
- Challenging your own ideas.
- Challenging your faith.
- Believing in yourself after you’ve fallen down.
- Trying not to beat yourself up after making a mistake.
- Admitting you’re wrong.
- Asking for what you want at work.
- Giving feedback to a coworker.
- Offering a friend some honest advice.
- Telling a friend how you really feel.
- Telling your significant other how you really feel.
- Being excited for your friend who landed their dream job before you did.
- Calling your parents.
- Making time for family.
- Calling a relative you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
- Asking for help.
- Following your heart.
- Accepting criticism.
- Staying true to yourself.
- Creating your own path.
- Wandering from your path and finding your way back.
- Sacrificing what you love for someone you love.
- Taking care of an ill loved one.
- Putting your dreams on hold.
- Saying no.
- Saying yes.
- Following through with commitments.
- Trying something new.
- Going to that networking event you’ve been dreading all month.
- Making small talk at a networking event.
- Asking someone you admire out for coffee.
- Publishing a blog post.
- Pitching an idea to your boss.
- Seeking feedback on a personal creative project.
- Putting your creativity in the spotlight.
- Being vulnerable on social media.
- Taking the road less traveled.
- Opening a savings account.
- Giving up Starbucks to put money in a savings account.
- Making time for a new hobby.
- Letting go of the past.
- Living in the moment.
- Loving yourself.
- Loving others.
- Quitting a job.
- Giving your all when you have nothing left to give.
- Being grateful when everything seems to go wrong.
- Having faith in the unknown.
- Moving to a new place.
- Trusting yourself.
Doing the hard things are part of life. In fact, each of us have probably done at least a handful of these hard things today. (If you did, give yourself a high five or a big hug!). While it seems like some of these things are simple or easy parts of life, for others they are really hard. They challenge us to be better people. They challenge us to be honest with ourselves and the people we love. The hard things make us step outside of our comfort zones and explore the unknown.
The best part about doing the hard things is the growth that happens during the process. When you do something big and scary – when you face your fears – that’s when life happens. It’s not always easy to do the hard things. But the hard things are necessary. Some may see the hard things as opportunities while others may see them as a continuous uphill battle. It’s all about how you choose to see challenges that come your way and how you’re going to face them.
For me, I much rather grow from the obstacles in my life than let them become roadblocks. It isn’t always easy to overcome or rise above. But when you do, it serves as a powerful reminder that anything is possible and that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Wherever you’re at in your journey, remember that you are tougher than the world. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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