Most of us would prefer to the easy road.
Especially if we have the chance to take it.
Too often, not only did I take that road, I never left it.
In some ways, it became when I felt like I belonged. Never venturing far from it, I felt safe.
What I didn’t realize is that road is like a racing track — ultimately, leading you nowhere as you run around in circles.
Maybe you go your entire life before you understand that the easy road really isn’t where you want to be after all.
So you stay where you are.
You move along with everyone else.
Thinking to yourself, “It it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for me.”
There is just one small problem…
You aren’t them.
What once began as a safe place now has become a place of confinement. It suffocates you and leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.
Something is different now.
You now understand you need something better.
You choose to get yourself off of the “easy road” not even sure which steps will do that for you. Staying where you are is not acceptable.
Instead, you choose to put yourself directly in the line of fire of some really tough things. Some of it is to prove a point to the ones left behind, while the rest of it is meant to satisfy a curiosity you can’t relinquish.
At the time, you don’t think much about what you will gain from these life-changing experiences, but in the end, you find yourself with a few new skills you never would have found walking around that circle.
Your confidence grows
While on the easy road, you never were tested. You never had to do much of anything that required you to “step up your game.” The game was always the same. Now, take notice to this inner power you never knew you possessed. Your attitude has also changed and your immediate thought of safety and conformity are blinded by this sense of adventure and discovery. This new found certainty can be seen in every step you take. Your assured boldness is visible to others and you carry this energy that literally stops people in their tracks. They stand in awe of your conquests and are inspired by the daring feats you attempt.
You get stronger
Every one knows that a muscle never used will never get a chance to become stronger. The same is true when it comes to always doing the lazy thing. Our muscles get stronger the more we use them. Not only with our physical changes, but our mental changes as well. We may interpret a really difficult situation as something that seems impossible to get through, but somehow we make it. The thing we thought would break us doesn’t. It may leave a scar or two, but we learn what it means to be tough. The more we put up with the fight, the easier the fight becomes. You begin to that you have control over much more than you think you do.
You gain courage
Believe it or not, it’s actually quite hard to take on challenges that others won’t. Most of you would run from situations that are terrifying and show your weaknesses. You would cower in the corner or keep silent when you really had something to say. Bravery is found in the moments of the act when doing something becomes more important than any fear you or I might feel. Doing something scary allows ourselves to be open to failure, ridicule, and criticism. Your “fight or flight” mechanism kicks in and you must choose. The moment you choose to “fight” you show the world who you are and what matters to you.
You are better prepared
Tackling something that is hard is a good thing. No doubt life will continue to bring those moments to you, whether you seek them yourself or not. Now you have had some experience with that hard stuff and you thought you would give up and you never thought you would be here. Yet, you know the next time, you know what you are capable of and you know you can handle it. Your doubts and questions seem to disappear. it may not be exactly the same, but you understand that every moment prior to this one was just a rehearsal for what was to come. You tell yourself, “I got this.”
Life is tough. We all know this.
Some of us will run from the moments of chaos and quickly head down that easy road, waiting for the dust to settle.
Some of us will wander aimlessly, never even realizing that the road we are on is easy.
Some of us will grow tired of the routine and crave the adventure found in doing things we all find difficult.
You don’t know what you can have until you have it, but you can’t have it by never having it either.
Every step we take in the direction of confronting adversity and struggle makes us better. No longer able to hide, no longer willing to pretend, no longer accepting what is, we begin to grow and change in ways we never imagined.
We become better.
We understand that the only limits we have are the ones we create and accept.
So go get the hard stuff. Welcome it and embrace it. You can handle it.
Michelle A. Homme 2016 ©