Step #2: Turn your pain into action.
Do the hard thing.
Once you’ve defined your pain, you have a framework to experiment with an exercise Precision Nutrition calls “difficult-easy” and “difficult-difficult.”
Difficult-easy describes things you do that are hard, but still within your comfort zone: going to work every day even though you hate your job, for example. Or giving up carbs again even though you love pasta and cookies.
Difficult-difficult, however, is the stuff that’s truly challenging—the actions you shy away from because they seem overwhelming or even impossible. This is the place where you grow.
Here are some examples:
What are you afraid of? Difficult-easy tasks tend to annoy us. Like when you say “yes” even though you don’t actually have any room on your plate for another task. Because saying “no” is too scary. The things that scare us are usually the difficult-difficult ones.
Difficult-easy stuff grinds you down, but you keep doing it anyway. Take a moment to consider: How’s that working for you? What could you do that’s new, that would force you to grow and put you on a new path? That’s your difficult-difficult.
Make one change at a time.
Once you’ve identified your difficult-difficult, chip away at it one small piece at a time. It might sound weird, but focusing on less can help you achieve more.
Pick one small, new habit.
Select one habit that supports progress toward the body and health you want. Make it something simple and reasonable, that you think you can practice every day.
Let’s say you want to get fitter, but you’re terrified of the gym because you feel like an outsider. Your difficult-difficult is hitting the gym on a regular basis.
Consider starting with a habit that gets you closer to that goal, but doesn’t go all the way.
For your first habit, you might choose one of these options:
Practice your habit.
Do your new habit every day for at least two weeks. Some days, it’ll feel like a grueling climb up Everest. Other days it may feel like you’re flying. Eventually, there will be more flying days than Everest ones. That’s how you know you’re ready for the next step.
Build on your habit.
Now maybe you’re ready for four home workouts per week, or two exercises when you go to the gym. Practice this new habit for another two weeks. Keep repeating this cycle.
With this practice, your difficult-difficult will become easier. As a result, you’ll get better at facing your pain and fears… and better at changing.
Hope this helps! Stay tuned for part three tomorrow!
Nourish your purpose now,