What if Someone Finished It for You? Appreciating Struggle in Our Achievements

 In Better Life, Goals, Self confidence

Imagine you’re working hard on a project; maybe your sculpting, painting, cooking, woodworking, crafting, etc. You’re busy creating something you’re excited about. You’re trying different techniques, putting in lots of time and energy. 

You’ve been working hard so you’re getting tired and decide to take a break. 

Awhile later, you come back to work on it some more, the final vision of it in your mind. But when you enter the room, you’re met with a big surprise.  There sits your wonderful creation completely done! Ta dah! It’s exactly what you wanted to make yourself! Someone, perhaps a teacher, a partner, a mentor decided to save you time and finished it for you.  At first you’re happy.  You don’t have to struggle with it any more.  But how fulfilled do you feel?  How proud are you of this piece of art?  How confident are you that you could create another one yourself?  How do you feel about yourself and your abilities?

This analogy and how it applies to our life really hit home with me. Those accomplishments and successes that we’ve struggled to achieve are what bring us fulfillment, pride, and confidence.  Those things that come too easy or are given to us without any work on our part can feel empty. 

Suddenly I had a new appreciation for the times in my life where I struggled to finish a project or achieve a goal. I think about saving enough money so we could buy our first house. I think about overcoming my fear of heights so we could reshingle the roof on our house ourselves. I think about studying for my entrance exams for graduate school after I’d been working for 5 years. I think about managing my blood sugar levels when I had gestational diabetes while I was pregnant so I could protect the health of my unborn daughter.   

Think back on your life.  What accomplishments and projects caused you to struggle?  Take some time now to be proud of the challenges you overcame. Consider a current goal you’re struggling to achieve.  How could this analogy help you appreciate the journey? 



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Tina Hallis, Ph.D. is Chief Positivity Officer of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures. She is certified in Positive Psychology, an authorized partner for Everything DiSC®, and a Professional Member of the National Speaker’s Association

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