Last week, I was struggling with some really hard stuff.
I’ll be candid: I tend toward “struggle” a lot.
I’m one of those people who was raised with the limiting belief that if life wasn’t a struggle– if I didn’t work my ass off, bleed for success and lay it all on the line– I’d amount to nothing.
Maybe this sounds a little familiar to you? LOL.
Many of you probably recognize struggle as a cultural phenomenon–so much so that the “culture of struggle” now dominates every facet of our daily lives.
I can’t tell you how often I hear clients, friends and colleagues practically competing over who’s struggling more than who– and it only seems to get worse with each passing year.
(Example: I happened to catch a snippet of that 1987 movie, Wall Street, a couple of weeks ago. I literally laughed out loud when Charlie Sheen’s girlfriend complained in one bedroom scene that he was working 60 hour weeks and she never got to see him. 60 hour weeks? That sounds practically luxurious by today’s “culture of struggle” standards.)
And I’m not immune. I’ve been immersed in the “culture of struggle” non-stop for the last few months, and it’s exhausting.
Last week, I was so depleted that I reached out to my fellow coach, Hillary Rubin, to ask for some advice on how to cope.
I got on the phone with Hillary as she was walking her dog for what I thought would just be a friendly chat.
And I started complaining right out of the box about how hard it all was, where it was going wrong, and all my efforts to “figure it out.”
What happened next was something akin to falling down the rabbit hole.
Because in the space of about ten minutes, Hillary asked me the most provocative question I’ve ever been asked in my life.
It was this:
“What if it was easy?”
I was speechless. Easy? The thought had literally never occurred to me. I kept listening.
She followed it up with: “What would happen then?”
Hillary began to riff on what happens when we struggle. How struggle can be something that we INVITE, not necessarily something that arrives willy-nilly.
How we often make our lives more of a struggle than they need to be.
And the problem with that is that struggle manifests as RESISTANCE to what is possible, rather than openness to what may come.
Hillary then suggested to me that whenever I was being seduced by struggle– and it is a seduction, trust me– what I needed to do instead was go open, whether through yoga or meditation or connection with nature, and then to ask myself again: “What if it was easy?”
And then, to continue to ask the question every time–every single time–I began to feel resistance or struggle invite me to their party.
You might be thinking: oh Elizabeth, it can’t possibly be that, uh, easy.
You’d be wrong.
Because what happened next, once I instituted this practice, was life-altering. For your consideration:
I asked myself repeatedly “what if it was easy?” around a cash flow concern in the family budget. Result: within 48 hours, I generated $8750 from new and recurring clients. No joke.
I asked myself repeatedly “what if it was easy?” around some unresolved tension in my marriage. Result: no arguments in five days. Not kidding.
I asked myself repeatedly “what if it was easy?” around my kids’ sleeping habits. Result: last night, both my kids slept through the entire night for the first time EVER.
(I wasn’t kidding about life-altering. Try eight straight hours of sleep for the first time in more than two years.)
And now, for some REALLY good news:
In addition to being life-altering, this experience has inspired me to create a FREE eight day coaching program that I’m offering to all of you.
It’s called the “What If It Was Easy?” Challenge– #wiiwe for short– and if you want in, all you have to do is join the Facebook group right here.
Throughout the challenge, I’ll be offering you one area of focus in your life, each day, where you will be asking yourself “what if it was easy?”
And I’ll also be inviting you to share your results, write about them, and rise to the challenge in some extra-special ways.
It all starts TOMORROW.
What would your life look like if it was easy? (tweet this!)
What would happen if you killed the culture of struggle in your own life, one question at a time?
Wishing you a week where the answer to most provocative question ever asked arrives in ways that ASTOUND you. See you on the inside!
PS. Do you know someone who needs to join the WIIWE Challenge? Share this post using the buttons below, or invite them to join the Facebook group here.