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EP 135 – It gets harder before it gets easier

Do you ever wish it would get easier? Well, it can, but it might take it getting harder first…

Often I’ll be doing a workout and think “I wish this was easier” and I know all the motivational posts say you shouldn’t think that, but I think it’s perfectly normal to have that thought pop up when you’re digging deep into a tough workout or training session or doing something that is hard! I’ve talked before about negative thoughts and how it’s about taking that pause and reframing it. And that kind of relates to the topic of the episode, because for those thoughts to get better or “easier” in a sense, it gets harder first, meaning you have to face them first.

Now the other day I was running and I was thinking about the whole concept of wishing it were easier. Wishing it felt easier. And what I realized was, that the only way for that same run to feel easier, were if I were faster or had more endurance. Which takes doing hard things, like training, and pushing myself harder. If I can run faster or further, then that same run would feel easier in comparison. Which goes to show that easy is really a comparison to the hard. And thus, it doesn’t really get easier, you get stronger, faster, smarter, or more enduring, through doing hard things, so that that initial hard thing feels easier in comparison.

That same concept can be taken for building habits of any kind. Perhaps you want to stop watching as much TV or you want to stop using social media for the first 30 minutes when you wake up. It will be hard at first because being entertained feels good. It’s designed to make you feel good chemically! So at first, it will be hard, but eventually it will get easier as you adapt.

This can also apply to a tough conversation or becoming more emotionally vulnerable. At first its really hard to be open and vulnerable, but over time it becomes easier as you have deeper and deeper conversations. You might even look back and think that that initial conversation or feeling is actually surfaced level in comparison to how vulnerable you’re able to be now by choosing to lean into the hard. I’ve noticed this with social media. At first it was really hard to film myself or do videos, but over time it became easier the more I leaned into it and pushed myself further.

Of course, there will always be moments of hard, especially as you keep leaning into discomfort to keep progressing forward towards your goals and towards personal growth, but remember, the best way out is through, which means it gets harder before it gets easier.

Tune into ALL IN with Natalie Allport on your favourite podcast / audio platform for the full episode.