Struggle to Strength

Why we struggle to thrive

Life is busy, we have work, family, kids, friends, exercise, housework and it never seems to end.

We can look back at the end of the week and say “I wish I had exercised, eaten better, spent more time with …(fill in the blank) , had more time to get to know my staff”.   Let alone doing anything for ourselves. 

So why do we struggle to thrive? 

As a coach I’ve had many clients tell me they want to do something, whether that be break a habit, lose weight, get that job, make more money, be more confident or a myriad of other dreams, goals or desires .  And in our first session quite often they say, maybe I should just stop doing X, or eat more healthily or apply for a new job.  And, Yes, those things would probably work, but they won’t do it, because something unconsciously (or consciously) is holding them back and stopping them, even though they say they want to.  

So what’s stopping them from doing what they want or getting what they desire? 

Let’s look at some of the most common reasons why:

1. We are busy being busy.

It’s common to be on the busy roundabout.  We have work, kids, family, other commitments and we run from one to the other and there’s no time left over to cook healthy meals let alone find time to do something for myself.

2. We fail to prioritise.

We are so caught up in having to do it all, that we don’t stop to work out what’s really important.  Changing the sheets and doing the washing every day isn’t that important – ask yourself, what’s the worst thing that will happen if I don’t change the sheets this week?

And what if you spend that time sitting with your kids, or parents having a chat and enjoying their company?

Which one of these activities is more precious and valuable to you?  It’s easy to get caught up in routine and doing all the little things often, but think about how you can combine tasks or delay them to free up time on the more important areas of your life.

3. Technology

We’re a connected society and being online means we can communicate so easily – but is spending hours each day scrolling through social media, watching funny video’s or ‘liking’ posts really connecting you to those you care about?  Maybe… but maybe not – it depends on what you’re doing ‘online’.

Would that time be better spent doing something else? Maybe giving someone a call, seeing them in person or scheduling that hour for yourself, for reading, a massage, a walk to recharge? Look at what you do online and create a routine that works for you, that gives you sense of connectedness but doesn’t draw you away from other important areas of your life.

4. Mindset

When we have a thought about doing something different, we get a rush of excitement, then our brain kicks in and pulls us back to our schedule and off we go on auto pilot, being busy. OR, things are going well and you’ve actually planned and made time to do something for yourself and you begin to feel guilty.  You start to think I should be doing something for the kids, school, work.

Recognise that’s your inner critic popping up and it might be saying stuff like you’re not worthy, what makes you think you deserve this, you haven’t even done XYZ, and this is where we unconsciously self-sabotage.

We either don’t do the planned activity or we beat ourselves up and feel guilty about doing it.  Self-sabotage can hold you back and stop you from leading a great life, unless you have a friend or coach to help you reset, focus and retrain your mindset from struggle to thrive.

5. Fear

Fear of being judged.  If we start to do things that make us happy, where we can thrive, others might judge us.  But what if they don’t?  What if they see a strong successful person doing things that make them happy, empower them and they can see you’re living your best life – you’re thriving and secretly, they want what you’ve got?  What if that happened instead?

Tips on how to change your mindset and create the life you want

Know what you want

Write down your ideal day, week, month.  Be specific.

  • How would you wake up?
  • What would your day look like?
  • Where would you be?
  • What would be the best thing about each day?

Know where you’re at

Where are you now?
Write down what’s different from your current day to day to your ideal day?
What’s ONE thing you can do differently today and this week to move you closer to your ideal?

Create a plant to move to the ideal state you’ve identified

Create a list of what you need to do each day or week to take one step closer to that ideal?
Then prioritise, what is the ONE thing you can do each day that will make the most impact on helping you create the environment and space for you to thrive?

What resources do you have available to you? 

When have you done something like this before? What did you use? What do you have available to you now?
eg: Your planner, who can ask for help or guidance, create a close-knit group to do drop off and pick up, get up 30 mins earlier to plan your day and prioritise, delegate and remove yourself from meetings or committees, create a cleaning schedule for the home and get others involved in doing the more simple tasks, book in ‘me time’ once a week or month to allow you to reset and recharge?

As a coach I know the importance of carving out time for yourself to fill up your cup, to recharge yourself, because if you’re not prioritising and looking after yourself, how can you look after, help or lead others? 

Life gets busy and we can get distracted, so I have regular sessions with my coaching peers to keep me focussed on what I’m doing and where I’m going.  Do you have friends or family that you share your goals, hopes, dreams, desires with and do they lift you up, encourage and support you in your quest to thrive?  A coach can help you unlock your self-sabotaging behaviour and help you create a plan to thrive.  

I’d love to hear your thoughts – what habits or tips do you have to help you thrive?

About the author

Helen Luxford is a Leadership Coach, Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner.  Helen’s passion is helping  stressed professionals turn overwhelm and uncertainty into calm and confidence in 6 weeks or less.

Helen is an experienced Executive and HR Leader.  Helen combines her corporate experience with her qualifications and skills in coaching, Neurolinguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy to provide tailored programs for her clients. 


Helen is the co-author of Amazon best-selling book, Heart Centred Leadership.


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