It was the early 2000’s. I was at a More Heart Than Talent event with Mr. Golden Mastermind himself, Jeffrey Combs. I was in the audience, eager, desperately trying to learn and grow so I could live the life of my dreams. I was newly married, with one child and another on the way living in Pennsylvania just outside of Philadelphia. The event was in Chicago, I saved the money to go the event, stay at a hotel, have food for the time I was there so that I could move myself and my family closer to our dreams.
When I got there my credit card wasn’t working I had to have my wife put more money on it. The first day I had to walk a couple of miles back and forth to the event, it was a struggle in many ways and in others it was a dream come true. Each of us has a reason why we continue to struggle in life below are 5 common reasons and what you can do about them.
1. Not Sure How To Get Out of Your Own Way
While at the Jeffrey Combs event through a fortunate sequence of events I got to get on stage and do my thing. It was amazing, Jeff got the crowd hyped up and I just spoke from the heart. Later that same day there was a one on one marketing yourself section and I froze. Most people couldn’t believe how this person that just absolutely rocked a packed house could then freeze at what would seem to be such a less pressure moment. Years later I would attend another Jeffrey Combs event- sitting in the audience he asked what were the biggest lessons that we wanted to get out of the day. I raised my hand and replied, How to Get Out of My Own Damn Way! There came a sigh of relief and applause from the audience as people would later come up to me and thank me for saying what they were feeling in their hearts. We all have issues that we struggle with but it’s hard to change until we can admit that we do. Once you admit it you will find others that feel the exact same way. Problems in life are like puberty we all have to suffer through it.
2. Not Willing To Go Through The Process
Life itself is process of growth and development. You must be able to go through the process of growing which is often painful. Ask any parent about life with a teething baby. Teeth are an essential part of life but they hurt as they come in. There is even a term growing pains, (not the television show), which tells you just how painful the process is. Most of us would choose not to go through the pain of growth. Unfortunately without the pain of the process we cannot enjoy the benefits of the process. In trying to stop ourselves from having to go through pain we hide from our blessings, we stay stagnant in jobs that are not what we want or need, we stay in relationships that don’t benefit us- we choose to struggle. In order to end the struggle we have to be willing to endure the pain that goes along with the process. If you can, you will find that joy awaits you on the other side.
3. Exposed By The Success You Desire
Remember the phrase, “Be Careful What You Wish For Because it Just Might Come True?” Ask any great comedian about the process they had to go through to become successful at what they do. It often includes bombing on stage, getting heckled, telling awful jokes, being embarrassed. In other words you have to become a great comedian by going from where you are to being good and eventually to great- that’s the process. During each step of that process you will be exposed for what you lack.
Just like the movie Trouble With the Curve where there was a stand out baseball player, number one on everyone’s list Mr. Bigshot. On the biggest stage just before it was his time to hit the jackpot and make the Big Leagues he got exposed. The prospects issue-he can do everything else but hit the curveball making him a player with a glaring weakness. On the road to the success you desire you will be exposed for your shortcomings. When this happens don’t give up and learn to get out of your own way by understanding the area you need to grow in to achieve your dream.
4. You Failed to Learn the Lesson
Imagine it’s five years later and your that egotistical kid from Trouble With the Curve that got exposed for his inability to hit the curveball and you still have not learned how to hit the curveball. Instead you kept thinking your talent was good enough to make up for it in other ways or it was not that important as you watched this seemingly small thing taking away from your dream. Each time out the situation got worse to the degree that you had junior league pitchers embarrassing you with curve after curve after curve ball at nearly a slow pitch level. No scouts are calling anymore and you watched yourself go from the top major league prospect to not even a small town club level prospect.
Your fall from grace included each step along the way from the minors to the small town club. Each team saw your talent, they wondered why isn’t this kid in the majors, they thought they could teach you the curve ball but you failed to learn the lesson and your fall from grace continues. My friend you are struggling only because you failed to learn the lesson. If you ever say to yourself, why does this always happen or keep happening to me, that is a prime indicator that there is a lesson in that challenge that you are not learning and the challenge will only get worse until you do.
5. Not Clear About What You Desire- Clarity Of Purpose
My late great Pastor, Pastor Kim Egolf-Fox always told me to be clear about my purpose, what I desired and what I was trying to communicate to other people. One of the reasons I froze at the one on one session of the Jeffrey Combs event in early 2000’s was because I was not clear on my purpose, who I was or what I was about. I had heart, I had talent but was not clear about what I desired and it showed. Until I became clear about what I desired and the purpose I desired to pursue in life I continued to struggle. It is the old adage that if you fail to stand for something you fall for anything. When you become clear about what you desire you can make decisions that align with that clarity of purpose and go from struggling to achieving.
Please be sure to leave your thoughts and any questions below!