The Upside of Struggle Archives

June 2023:

Fun fact:

Some of the best wine comes from grapes vines which have been intentionally planted in an environment to force the plant to struggle!

Isn’t that interesting! And so incredibly applicable to our lives. So I just ask what’s your relationship with struggle like? Do you resist it? Do you welcome it? Do you turn a blind eye and hope it goes away on its own.

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In my culture there is a sense of pride that comes with La Lucha (the struggle).

Some of the strongest people in my culture and in my family were born of struggle. Coming from countries with political and economic hardship allows for survival mode to activate. For those who pull through, surviving the struggle is a badge of honor indicating ones strength and will power.

If theres such an upside to struggle then why do we find ourselves resisting it?

As human beings we can’t help but avoid difficulty. Facing difficulty raises the statistical risk of failure. The human ego HATES failure! To the ego failure is very much like death. Keep in mind that the ego’s primary language is black and white. This or that. There are only two options to the ego win or die. As extreme as this sounds it’s the reason why we tend gravitate to black and white thinking. It’s a way to compartmentalize the gray aspects of the world that may be too ambiguous to comprehend making the ego uncomfortable. So along comes the black and white brain to filter things into these two buckets to save us from feeling discomfort (a second cousin to death).

Welcoming discomfort, difficulty and any other form of “death” may serve to be beneficial as long as it’s within its appropriate balance, just like everything else. Everyone has an ego. The sooner we accept it the closer we are to developing a relationship with the very aspects of our psyche which may be getting in the way of our very own success.

In session avoidance is by far the greatest roadblock that I find patients fall victim to. Avoidance as a form of self preservation and potentially survival can really give off a false sense of safety. This is why so many of us are guilty of avoiding something. It’s so easy! Just hit the ignore button and poof! Like magic.

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So what can we do to come to better terms with the very things that we are evolutionarily designed to reject?

  1. Accept that you are human. Period.
  2. Because you are human you are built for survival and self preservation
  3. Be aware of all the unique human aspects which might kick in in a moment of perceived danger or “death”
  4. When you want to pull back that’s when you lean in closer. If it is not literally threatening your life it’s just challenging your ego.
  5. Keep a tight circle of loved ones that care unconditionally but also keep you accountable (you don’t want a group of enablers to feed into your egos desire to always win)

As I always tell my patients when we first meet, rule #1:

Be real real with YOURself first and foremost.

If you find it difficult to be real with yourself there is no amount of professional guidance that can help you. You must come to the table with an open mind and an open heart. Accept that life is hard and declare the desires you wish to claim in your lifetime.

Be open to the upside of struggle and you never know you end up aging like a fine wine.

Reach out today

Dr. Cristina Dominguez provides compassionate, professional care with no judgment. Elite coaching sessions can help with career advancement, successful relationships, burnout, and more. Reach out today to schedule your free consultation. 

The Upside of Struggle Archives