Stop Struggling Just to Struggle!
There is a fine line between the willingness and ability to successfully work through struggle and having a desire to be immersed in it. It’s a difficult task to determine when the affinity for struggle begins. Somewhere in the process of navigating through life and work, most of us become addicted to the feeling of being in the trenches. It makes you feel like a warrior, made of Teflon. However, at some point you must ask yourself, “Am I making progress?”
There is nothing wrong with being proficient at overcoming struggle. In fact, this is where all progress is born. The problem is when we as individuals, or members of organizations, begin to feel productive within struggle that is never ending. We fool ourselves into believing that we are comfortable with conditions that are far less than ideal. To make matters worse, we believe that simply being a survivor is an admirable trait.
Surviving is only half of the requirement when working through struggle. The point is to come out better on the other side. Making progress should always be your focus. Careful examination of many of the ongoing deficiencies in our personal and professional lives quickly reveals dangerous repetitive patterns. To identify them, start with a simple timeline.
Struggle should not be permanent. If you have been working on the same problem, using the same approach, for an extended period of time, you are likely getting the same results. This is a sign that you may have become addicted to struggle. All forms of abuse, personally and professionally are examples of this dynamic. Also, beware of situations where it is in your job description to “manage adversity”. If you are just managing an unruly situation, you are helping to limit the potential of everyone involved. No matter how little you start with, progress is the absolute goal. Without a clear plan, and evidence of steady progress over a period of time, there is really no point in you doing what you are doing. YES, money may be made and your checks are printed each week, regardless. Do not be fooled. That is not enough and it never will be.
The suggestion here is NOT to avoid struggle. Again, there is no hope for progress if we hide from it. Instead, evaluate your situation, look for ways to measure progress (not always by the numbers), and be sure there are signs of actual forward movement. If you find that there are none, you must address the situation immediately. Do not trade your valuable time, talent, and energy just to effectively stand still. Try something different, learn new strategies, ask potent questions, and commit to improvement.
SoS Coaching and Professional Services is here to help!