Learning to do hard things

Most days if you ask me the root of my anxiety I will give you a ridiculously wrong response.  I will tell you that it is a function of my awareness of a world fraught with danger and my concern about others not paying attention and planning accordingly.


But what I have learned from my work with the Enneagram (it’s a tool for self-awareness) is that a more accurate way to explain my anxiety is to say that it stems from a profound lack of trust….in myself.


This is super interesting to me because it turns out that resilient people tend to have both a humble spirit and a high amount of self-confidence.  They imagine themselves to be capable of doing hard things.


Obvious right?  If we believe that we are competent, what do we have to fear?  We can handle what comes up in life.


My grandson has recently graduated to the steep steps and the big slide at the playground.  He doesn’t want to go up the gently sloping ramp anymore. That’s too easy. One particularly hot summer morning he was making his umpteenth trip up the steep steps and he said, “Meme, hard.”


I replied, “Are the steps hard to climb?”


“Uh huh,” he grunts.


And, because I am studying the skill of building resilience I knew how to respond.  I said, “These steps are hard; together, we can do hard things. You can do hard things buddy!”


He kept climbing.  He repeated in his baby language the phrase “Do hard things Meme.”


And I was so grateful that I knew to not insist he take the easy way up.  Are you encouraging yourself or someone you love to go easy? Maybe rethink that position.  WE can do hard things. As long as we realize that we are not alone, that it is a team effort, this is a message of resilience.  It is also great anti-anxiety medicine.