Doing something that is hard can and will change your life. You may already be aware that the one thing that you find so hard to do, is the one thing that can save your life…..or at least, make it better!

Here are a couple of common examples:

It’s hard to eat better even though you know that eliminating certain foods and beverages may be contributing to your chronic illness.
It’s hard to make time to exercise even though you know exercise will get you more fit and help you lose weight.
I can easily add dozens of things to the list, but the point I want to make is this:

We sometimes believe it’s too hard to do the things that can potentially save our lives. We can’t allow these challenges to overwhelm us or prevent us from living the lives that we want.

I’ve learned that it’s these challenges that make us who we are and who we want to be.  Without challenges, there is no growth.  If you walk away from a challenge, you are walking away from the opportunity to learn and a chance to become better.  If you don’t face the challenges that come your way, you will remain stuck, frustrated and unhappy.

We all encounter obstacles from time to time and we need to conquer them.  What makes us different is how we approach these obstacles and how we learn from them. As a doctor and a health coach, my passion is to help others overcome and navigate these hurdles.

Just make sure you remember this:

It is your attitude towards these challenges that makes the difference.  Challenges are opportunities for growth.

People come to me because they want to feel better.  Initially they are excited about getting their health and their life back, only to see that excitement fade in just a few short weeks. It goes from hearing “I am ready to change the direction of my health, Doc!” to “Ohhh, I just can’t do it. This isn’t working for me!  I have failed.”

The next time you feel defeated, I want you to reevaluate what you are telling yourself.  Don’t tell yourself that you have failed.  Don’t decided to give up.  Instead of running away from the problem, make this an opportunity to change your way of thinking.  Decide to face the obstacle head on and learn from it so that you can move forward!

What empowers us to fight, to be strong and to achieve what appears to be too hard to overcome?  The solution is simple, but it’s not easy. We can have the skills and the knowledge, but nothing is going to push us like a strong desire. It’s that desire, our vision and our reasons why that pushes us to take action and take us to the next level.  We begin to realize that our reasons why become stronger than the obstacle that find between us and our dreams.  Our strong desires will push us to do what it takes….NO MATTER WHAT.

Focus more and the WHY and not the WHAT or the HOW.

What will it cost you NOT to do something.  I understand this from personal experience. I wouldn’t be the person I have become without the trials I’ve encountered in my life. I’ve wanted to give up hundreds of time in my life.  But it was during these trying moments that I learned the most about myself.

So let’s go back to your “Hard To Do” list. For example, is it hard for you to say no to sweets?  What will continuing with the sugar addiction cost you? Obesity?  Increased risk for diabetes? What will avoiding those sweets mean for you?  Weight loss? More energy? Ask yourself if long term health benefits of avoiding sweets is more important than the candy itself.  Decide today if you are going let challenges like this defeat you or use them as opportunities to change and to grow.

Allow me challenge you with this…..do something this week that is hard. For example, you need to exercise and you want to do it in the morning because you are too exhausted when you get home from work.  You would like to get it over with in the morning, but you tell yourself that you are not a morning person and getting up at 5 a.m. to exercise is hard.  I challenge you to get up and do it anyway!  Choose to become a morning person.  When you do it, have a picture in your mind of why making time to exercise is important.  If getting more lean and fit is important enough to you, you will do it.  If having the energy to chase your kids or grandkids around is important, you will do it.

Magic happens on the other side of facing your fears, struggles and challenges.  Once you get through one, there is another waiting for you. Sometimes bigger than the last.  But the good news is that it gets easier.  You start to develop that inner muscle that gives you the power to face your obstacles. You start to welcome them, because you know that on the other side of the obstacle is a reward, a sense of accomplishment, and a confidence that starts to build in you that I just can’t describe!  Allow these challenges teach you something about yourself. Let them empower you and open the doors to new opportunities for change and growth. You got this!

Now go out there and do something hard. Go change your life…. It’s worth it!