"I can do hard things" - Why personal development is not always unicorns and rainbows

I have always believed that personal development work is imperative to understanding who we are and what an aligned and purposeful life LOOKS like for us.

It is about slowing down, embracing the quiet, learning to rest and listen in to what the whisperings of our souls are telling us.

It means living wholeheartedly, all the while sitting in vulnerability (thanks Brene Brown).

Is that easy? Heck no.

Is it worth it? Always.

I was recently inspired by a young woman I worked with recently.

She had goals that were both professional and personal that we worked on together - but both had prompted a deep ‘excavation’ of what was true, what was real and what was no longer acceptable for her life and living in alignment with her personal values.

Sometimes what comes up when we do this work is uncomfortable. Sticky. Perhaps to a degree unexpected, but also a ‘coming home’ of intuitive thought of feelings always known, but not always brought forward. From that we often take comfort. We have innate confidence in some way - that although it can be hard, and dark, that it is the ONLY true way forward.

Stepping into the light after having been in the darkness.

This amazing woman had answered some deep and deeply important questions with some answers that scared her a little. For what it might mean for her life as she knew it. She went home to work on some of her actions and she came back to me with this incredible affirmation. One that I continue to use in my own life and talk to with other clients as well:

“I CAN DO HARD THINGS”

You see, coaching and certainly any type of personal development work is not only about massages and self-care Sundays as we so often see if portrayed in magazine and on social media.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me a good self care routine and it is certainly important in personal development work. But this is not all rainbows and unicorns.

It is for everybody - because we all deserve to step into our own brilliance and truly know who we are.

But sometimes it is messy. Sometimes it is downright fucking difficult, and confusing.

There can be tears. Lots and lots of tears. I know it, because I’ve cried them.

It’s what happens down here in the trenches sometimes. We do the work. We do ‘the hard things’ and sometimes that means facing things that make us sad, or make us feel uncomfortable, or gets us so far out of our comfort zone that not even the memes can touch it.

We work on who we are and what we want not because we want to come out squeaky and shiny on the other side - it’s because we want to truly KNOW ourselves. We want to understand Socrates when he begged us to avoid living an ‘unexamined life’ - because in his mind, that is not truly living.

Any time I am faced with something I fear - a conversation I may not want to have, a place I’m not sure I want to go, a realisation that it would be far easier to have avoided - I tell myself, ‘I can do hard things’.

Because I’m in the trenches too. Just like you.

And we can do hard things.