How to Redefine Challenge and Endurance

The life I want isn’t quiet, calm, or easy. I want my comfort zone to crack, I want my walls to shake, I want my glass ceilings shattering left and right. Somewhere along the way not wanting to take shit became ungrateful and lazy. I don’t agree.

Once upon a time I found out my life path is endurance and my low-level, chaos loving, naive ego whispered into my ear “That makes sense, you can take an inordinate amount of shit and keep on going.” Somehow just running a marathon wasn’t enough if I didn’t have to wade through muck and ruck uphill. My life has taught me to embrace a certain amount of suck and that isn’t a bad thing, but challenge doesn’t always equal as suffering. It took me a long time to understand that this life path of endurance wasn’t an excuse to put my sanity on the line. I needed my endurance to lend its energy to something different; I needed something more than I can make it through the crappy situations that I keep exposing myself to.

I have found that there are three courses you can take through this metaphorical marathon of life.

The first course feels like stagnancy, but is really more like comfortable and boring as hell; you’re still moving forward at a steady pace, but there is nothing to challenge and there will never be any change. This may be the most comfortable path for some, but they will never be challenged, never grow, and if something blows into their path they will have no idea what do about it. Life as they know it would come to a screeching halt. On this path everyone is running their own race with blinders on. The runners are barely aware that anyone is beside them let alone willing to stop and help.

The second course is rebellion; this path is full of fire and brush and swamps and looking for love in all the wrong places. Upon first look one might think this is the path less taken, but this has its own special kind of miserable comfort. On this path people are only waiting to trip you up or bring you down to their level because, well, misery loves company.

The last course truly is the one less taken; this path transforms with you. As you grow to meet the current challenge it will push you further and further out of your comfort zone. This path knows you and your deepest fears, but the course is built for success. This is the path you will find the most support and love within and you will run faster and jump higher than you ever thought possible if you just put in the work.

Sometimes you change the course. Hell, I did a few times over.

I don’t want comfortable, I never have, but I have changed what I am willing to endure. Sure, life will throw curve balls. Sure, bad things may happen, but I am unwilling to intentionally run into the line of fire anymore in the name of endurance. Challenges may be uncomfortable, but ultimately result in growth. How do you know if you are suffering needlessly? One wonderful way to know the difference – you’ll end up right back where you started. If you’re on a hamster wheel there is no real forward momentum, only tireless scrambling and one hell of a leg cramp.

What patterns aren’t working for you anymore? What course do you think you’re running? I’d love to hear!

Love Always,
Me