Updated: Jan 13, 2020
When we speak of “the struggle”, we are often making reference to a prevailing condition we do not like yet, at the same time, feel is beyond our control. If we are honest, we are also admitting that we have become so comfortable having this “struggle” that we make only half-hearted efforts, if any at all, to resolving it. So when we meet comrades in “the struggle”, we exchange animated stories, laugh it off, high-five, and conclude “Eish! The struggle is real!” - And that is the sum total of the effort we make to dealing with it. I don’t know what your struggle is; whether it’s big or, small; cute or, ugly. Whether it is extremely painful or tolerable. But just in case, in joking about it, you are actually masking the fact that you have tried, and have not found a way of defeating it (but deep down truly want to get rid of it), may I offer this advice:
1. Get in the know - When you know your identity, and position, understand the situation you are facing, and how it operates, you are able to exercise the options available to you.
Too many have shortchanged themselves of greater income, influence and impact opportunities simply because they did not know what, and how to access them. If you are struggling with a situation year in and year out, despite your best efforts, maybe your best efforts are not enough, and you need to know better, to do better.
Amp up your knowledge!
2. Verify Ownership - Is the struggle even yours? Are you personally experiencing and or being affected by what you claim as your struggle or, is it something that others experience, and in the spirit of empathy, you too have decided to take it on as your issue too?
Each must own and be accountable for their decisions and the consequences that stem therefrom. Establish clear boundaries and be mindful of carrying cares you have no business being burdened with.
Forget about being real, the struggle may not even be yours.
3. Call It By Name - Don’t hide behind vague generalities - Sit away from distractions and ask yourself, ‘what exactly am I experiencing?’ then take time to listen.
Note down where you currently are in your journey, where you ideally want to be, and what specifically, has been blocking your progress. This way you can call "the struggle" by name, and expose it for what it really is the next time it rears its ugly head.
4. Capture Your Self Talk - When you experience the thing you don’t want, what do you usually say to yourself that ultimately seals your defeat? It is often not what happens to us, rather, how we respond to what happens to us that determines the outcome, intended or, not. What are the first thoughts that come to mind when that situation arises? Do you think “here we go again”, “why on earth did I think this time would be different?”, “I knew I didn’t have what it takes”, “I should have known better, a person like me never gets ........”
Or, do you take a stand against it and say, “No, you don’t!”, “I am not going to allow you [MENTION ITS NAME] to sabotage my work/life/progress”, “I don’t care what it looks like, this will not defeat me!”
What you think and say over yourself (and not what others say or do), is what will make or break, that struggle over your life.
5. Think it Through - There is always a way, you just need strategy! Instead of resigning to the thought 'this keeps happening', think through your options to stop the situation from ever starting, or where it has, from growing or, ever reoccurring. 6. Work it out - Whatever you decide to do to change the situation, do it! Do it immediately, do it consistently, do it when it is inconvenient, do it until you see the results you want.
7. Take a Stand and Shut up - Stop speaking about "the struggle". Don’t joke about it, don’t look for sympathisers, and whatever you do, do not own it as your own. It is not YOUR struggle. Whenever the situation comes to mind, set in motion your plan of attack and keep up the resistance until you win.
The struggle is only as real as you allow it to be. There is absolutely nothing that happens to you that can stop you from aspiring, living and achieving what you set your mind to.
Remember, if you really want to, you will find a way, if you don’t, you will find an excuse.
Whether the setback is in your career, business or personal life, you don’t go back and forth because of a powerful "struggle" external from you; you haven't seen consistent results because you haven’t made up your mind to.
Once you make up your mind to overcome any obstacle before you, you will strategise how to turn “the struggle” into “a solution”.