Struggle as a Mindset

We’re always struggling, aren’t we? Whether it’s to get out of bed early enough for a productive day, to go to bed early enough at night for a good night’s sleep, or everything in between, we’re struggling. But it doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. The best way to handle it is to shift your perspective regarding the connotation of the word struggle. Rather than an obligatory, negative, and isolated experience, choose to see struggling as a positive and consistent lifestyle which gets results.

Think about the first time you tried riding a bike. It was probably pretty tough figuring out how to maintain your balance sitting on a little seat above those two skinny wheels. But after a struggling to figure it out, you eventually got it. Now you’ve probably gained enough skills that you don’t even have to think about how to balance. Heck, you could pop-a-wheelie on your bike if you wanted to!

Remember when you first started learning to drive a car? There was so much to pay attention to! You had to learn how to start the car, shift gears, turn on the blinkers and windshield wipers (and remember to turn them off again, too). You had to know how intersections and lights work. Oh, and don’t forget about learning the meaning of symbols on road signs and watching out for pedestrians and know what was considered an appropriate parking spot. Now I bet you make it all the way to work without even thinking about more than one or two of those things, if that.

Sure, some struggles are longer lasting and much more painful. Think back to the first time you fell in love. Or the first time you fell out of love. Perhaps you’ve had an injury that required time and attention to heal. Maybe you’ve received a diagnosis that you’re still having to give time and attention every day. It’s possible you’re struggling to figure out how to pay the bills this month or how you’ll have enough money for retirement.

The point is this: no matter what stage of life you’re in, you’re struggling with something. Whether or not you have control over the matters of your struggle doesn’t matter; what does matter is your mindset.

Use your mind as a tool that serves you. Don’t let it be an obstacle that gets in your way.


My Current Struggles

We’re all struggling through life. The truth is, not one person out there has it all figured out; Some people are just better at hiding it than others.

That’s why Struggling through it was created: to build a space where we share our challenges and declare our determination to find a way through them.

struggle [ struhguhl ]

to contend resolutely with a task, problem, etc.; strive: to struggle for existence.

The word struggle is a verb that communicates effort, intention, power, and force. A verb form which ends in -ing shows the actor is in the process of the action at the moment. For example, at the moment, you are reading this blog post.

Struggling is battling something right now, and through it shows forward momentum.

Whatever we’re struggling through, our desire is to forge ahead and build momentum so that we overcome the obstacles between us and our goals. We’re not giving up. We’re not idle and apathetic. We are determined and active.

Notice the emphasis is on movement, on putting forth effort, on battling to make progress. It’s deliberately grappling to reconcile where we are now with where we want to be. In the end, our reward is the growth that accompanies discovery what lies on the other side of struggle.

My current list of struggles are as follows, in totally random order:

  1. I’m struggling not to pee my pants every day. Literally. Every. Day.
  2. I’m struggling to write a book that works.
  3. I’m struggling to compromise with my long-term boyfriend as we begin living together.
  4. I’m struggling to walk longer than 30 minutes without tripping and falling.
  5. I’m struggling to figure out how to start my own business as a freelance writer and editor.
  6. I’m struggling to understand where a unified American identity has gone.

This list could go on forever, but the goal isn’t to air all of my problems. It’s to choose which battles are worth fighting for.

Right now, I’m identifying these five as worthy of my mental and physical energy. I’m going to write about each struggle I’m facing, the actions I’m taking to work through them, and what I’m learning in the process. Hopefully you can find a nugget of value in my struggles that applies to, or is relatable in, your own life.

Are you currently struggling with similar challenges? Do you have something completely different you’re trying to get through? Be sure to comment below. Let’s get the conversation started!