by Julie Furlong
I just finished my eBook, it was hard.
Some projects are hard, aren’t they? I put thousands of my projects in the ‘too hard’ basket, the challenge then overwhelms me and sometimes I revisit them, sometimes I don’t. Starting new projects is easy, it’s always new and exciting… the hard part is finishing it.. Normally, time and interruptions help me decide if it was a good idea and if I should commit to going ahead, and if my gut says ‘yes’, then the re-visit takes place and I take small steps to get it done. Then finally, at some point… it gets done, I manage to complete the project. But, how many times did I say to myself, that’s it, I’m giving up, it’s too hard? How many times did a project crumble in front of me? How many times did I say, I’m not good for it, nobody cares, it’s too complicated, I don’t have the courage?
Plenty of times!
But like any challenge that helps you grow and evolve – of course it’s going to be hard.
I bumped into a mother I knew from the school the other day, she is a self-less women, always giving up her time and energy, busy doing something for the school or someone else. She has nine children – 9 – so you can imagine how busy she would be. One of her sons had been seriously ill, but had recovered, thank goodness, and I was asking how he was doing. We chatted about what we were both up to of late and I told her a few things including completing my eBook. She said I was amazing. I said ‘crap’ – she was the one who was amazing.
The conversation made me think about my recent eBook challenge and complaining it was hard. It was hard because I thought it was hard. It wasn’t hard, it was just hard in my own mind. I was looking at the ‘hardness of it all’ from the wrong perspective and I just made myself believe it was impossible. Yes, it was time consuming, difficult to coordinate, provided some anxiety and doubt, but when I look at it from a practical and realistic perspective it really wasn’t hard.
Sometimes life confronts us with an impossible change, a heartache, an illness, a betrayal, a disturbance that cannot be undone, that is when life is hard, things like:
- Losing a child and learning to live without them
- Farmers going through terrible drought
- Being homeless and confused, possibly suffering from a mental illness
- Rape victims trying to move forward
- People staving and trying to work out where their next meal will come from or;
- A child surviving sexual abuse and having to live with that as an adult
Such things are hard.
Trying to get a project like mine over the line can seem difficult and complicated, especially if you have tried a few times and haven’t succeeded. When you stress and worry about things and think that life’s too hard because you have to complete that uni project, stay back at work to get something done or need to be extra patient for someone, think about the above and think again… is it really that hard?
Look again and perhaps, like me, apply a few small steps to help you make them happen, steps like:
- Do something small for your project each day, keeping it alive in your mind
- Go slow and don’t expect your project to happen over night
- Create a blueprint of what you are trying to do and revise daily
- Be present, accept that some things will work and some just won’t
- Research and look at as many options possible
- Show up and give more that you get, make a difference to the people around you
Things are rarely actually ‘that hard’ in life – we just make everything out to be much worse than it is. I encourage you to consider yourself lucky to even be able to take on your projects and dreams, to make the most of situations and to never miss an opportunity.
So, next time you are about to give up on someone or something, look at it from this perspective – the perspective of moving on from your self-talk of ‘it’s too hard’ to ‘I’m lucky to have this opportunity’. Do a little bit every day, make it happen and don’t give up, especially if your intuition is saying ‘yes’. Who cares if it takes years to complete, what’s important is that you finished it.
It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela