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  • Gabriella van Rij

Hurdles Are What We Make of Them

Worrying is not going to make the hurdles disappear. What are the different hoops we jump through that we find challenging? From lack of motivation to exercise, to juggling kids, to self-doubt, to worrying, to pleasing everyone, and, finally, daily having to decide what to make for dinner tonight! If you are smiling because this sounds familiar, let’s explore this further. Most of us live very busy lives, with lots that must get done in a day. In this blog post, I want to concentrate on the daily hurdles we try to overcome, without even being conscious of them, because we perceive those hurdles as just a part of life… But are they? We worry about everything, from getting the kids off to school or your dogs walked in the park to getting ready for your professional day. The question I ask myself and that I want to pose to you, too, is how can we overcome the hurdles and live a life that is freer—not only of worries—but also of nagging self-doubt. Here are some of the daily hurdles we face: - Self-doubt - Pleasing others - Family - Self-motivation - Money issues - Kids - General worrying - Hardships - Illness So, how do we keep it all together and keep going day after day? We often are on automatic pilot, thus not seeing or noticing the accumulation of all this mental baggage and before long we have thought of all these hurdles as daily life… But what if we could be kinder to self and be a bit more patient with ourselves? We live in a world that thinks we should be “super achievers” and successful. By buying into this type of lifestyle we lose ourselves totally. What if we start with the small step of recognizing these hurdles for what they are. They are there not for us to eradicate them all in one day, but to acknowledge their existence and then, without putting super expectations on ourselves, we handle them one by one through patience and with the strength of knowing that we do our best. I am a big believer that most of us are our own worst critic. When you are too hard on yourself, you will always not be good enough for yourself. Let’s try a new measurement. Consider this: You are already an accomplished person that has accumulated reasonable logic during your life up until now, which you use often in the advice you give to others. Now, take that same advice and give it to yourself and set the bar reasonably and you will be able to walk around the obstacle instead of having to stumble against it every day. What about the hurdles that are very common, like worrying, for instance? I have noticed the more I worry, the more the hurdles accumulate… Have you ever noticed this? Whereas, when you let go of the worry, often the solution appears. I have found understanding this to be very beneficial in my own life. We cannot avoid having hurdles; none of us are immune to that. However, we can control how we react to the hurdles and that is the message. For example: Am I truly responsible for making everyone in my household happy? Of course not! Your logic knows that, but if you think you are trying to be a super achiever then you probably feel you must make it right for everyone. Because somewhere in your own experience you have made assumptions that lead you to believe this is so. Unlearn it fast… Leave the hurdle. Step around it. And continue to do your best, and especially try to daily include something that you love doing, even if it is just for 30 minutes. You will be less on automatic pilot and more capable of handling what needs to be done and especially what you decide needs to be done that day. Don’t forget that you are at all times in the driver’s seat.

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