Do you want an easy life or a hard life? If you picked one or the other, I want to offer you this; an extraordinary life is a mixture of both, hard and easy. And in this episode, I want to talk about you finding the balance between the two. So, let's dive in.
Welcome to the School of Self Image, where personal development meets style. Here's your hostess Master Life Coach, Tonya Lee.
What is happening, my friends? How are you doing? How are you feeling? What is going on in your world? I hope you're having an awesome day. If not, make sure you go back and listen to last week's episode. I share some of my favorite tips on creating an awesome day. I also want to let you know that the doors to the School of Self Image are open, but only for a short time. I think we're going to be closing down in like a few days from when this episode comes out.
So, if you listen to this podcast and it resonates with you and working on your self-image is something that you want to commit to this year, come join us! Go to SchoolofSelfImage.com/join. What I can tell you is that if you want to expand your life, you must expand your self-image how you see yourself. You've probably heard me say this on the podcast before if you've been listening for a while, but in case you're new, you can only create to the edge of your self-image, and this is why so many people struggle to create results in their lives, right?
They're taking a lot of action. They're trying really hard, but they keep going back to their old ways, and then they wonder what's wrong with me? Well, what I can tell you is nothing is wrong with you. You are not broken, but your self-image might be, and that's the work that we do within the membership. We do it by focusing on three areas which are your mindset, because mindset is everything. But there are also things that influence our mindset.
Such as our surroundings, our style, how we express ourselves, how we show up in the outward world, and those are the three components that we focus on to transform your self-image. So, again, the doors open for a limited time. I would love to support you on this journey of expanding your self-image. So, again, you can go to SchoolofSelfImage.com/join and come with us.
So, this morning I was actually getting ready for the Live Like an Editor workshop that I've been running. And I had gone to the gym early this morning and then came home and took a shower, and I was drying my hair. As I was drying my hair, I was thinking about this concept. So, before I tell you what the concept is, I want to share with you about an article that I wrote years ago that resonated with so many people. It went viral.
It was called leisurely hustling. The concept is that in order to live a fulfilling life, we must honor the part of us that's ambitious as well as the part of us that desires leisure time to relax and unwind. So, this morning as I was drying my hair, I was thinking about this concept within a different way. I really have come to the conclusion that an extraordinary life is a mixture of hard and easy, like finding the balance between those two.
This concept, I started talking about it with my man, and he said something, and it just led into a deeper conversation around this concept because I was talking to him about it. He was like, listen, everything in life is hard. And I was like, what? Then, I realized what he was talking about. You can choose hard now or hard later. If we only take the easy route in this moment, there is a payment that we're going to have to make down the road. It's just like using a credit card, right? You can, in this moment, choose to buy something, but you're going to be expected to pay for it down the road.
So, it really got me thinking about this idea of choosing your hard, and also, leaving space in your life for the easy. Because if we're only ever doing hard things, imagine living in the gym and working out 24 hours a day. Our bodies couldn't take it. Equally, I don't think we're meant to work all of the time. I don't think we're supposed to do hard things 24/7. There's a disharmony and balance in that that is not sustainable, but equally, a lot of people are choosing easy in this moment in an excessive amount that's leading to hard later on.
When I think about getting up in the morning and going to the gym, it's not easy for me. In fact, most mornings, I have a lot of resistance. My brain is telling me things like this bed is so much more comfortable; you can work out later. Basically, it tells me to take the easy road in that moment, and if I listen to that part of me, and I took that easy route day after day, think about the result of that, a year from now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now. It's going to be hard to not be in shape. It's going to be hard to not be able to physically do the things I want to do if I neglect my body right now.
I remember when I started shooting video, I was so scared to be in front of the camera. It was hard, and my brain was telling me to take the easy road. You don't have to do this. You're going to fail. You're going to look like an idiot, and I could have chosen easy in that moment, but I didn't. Because you know what else is hard, losing out on finding clients and sharing what I knew could change their life. What's hard is not showing up for your dreams long-term. That's hard. Even in relationships in the moment of a heated debate or fight, whatever you want to call it, in that moment, the easiest thing you can do is lose your temper and try to get rid of the emotion that you're feeling inside of you by lashing out and expressing yourself in a way that doesn't serve the relationship.
What's harder in those moments is to take a deep breath, center yourself, ground yourself, and try to communicate effectively. In that moment, it's harder to do that but think about what's going to be harder down the road. If you constantly choose easy in that moment and you react to those kinds of situations and conversations. Even doing the work around your self-image, like, in the moment, the easiest thing to do is to not show up for the practice. Long term, it's harder to stay stuck in a self-image that does not serve you.
So, as I was talking about this with my man, I was like, let's unpack this, let's go even deeper into this. Because the first question that came to my mind is, why is life hard? Now, some will argue that life is hard, is a thought, and I 100% agree. It is a thought, and when you think it, it doesn't feel so great. And so, I don't walk around saying life is hard, but I also want to address the realities of life that things happen in the world that we experience as hard because of our thoughts about them, and rightfully so.
If I see someone being hurt, if I see someone struggle, I don't want to be happy about that. I believe that life is hard because we're meant to experience the contrast. We're meant to experience obstacles because those are what grows us. Without hard, we wouldn't understand easy, and vice versa. Without easy, we wouldn't understand hard. So, I believe we need both. I was like, the reason why life is hard, this is the conclusion I came to, is because we resist life. We resist change. We resist discomfort, and that is ultimately what makes life hard.
So, when I talk about choosing your hard, I first want to address this, that things happen in the world that's outside of our control. Unfortunate things happen to people to the humans. I think about my mother. When she was three years old, she was diagnosed with polio, and it's been a hard that she's carried with her throughout her life. But she's decided how she's going to think about it that's actually made her life easier. She didn't resist it. She didn't fight it. She's like, okay, these are the cards I've been dealt.
How am I going to use this for me? And my mother, in her late 70s, has gone on to live an incredible life. I'm so proud of how she was handed this hard thing, and she used it for her. But when I talk about choosing your hard, what I'm really talking about is choosing your discomfort. It's going to be uncomfortable no matter what. Staying the same, not showing up for your goals, knowing you're not living your life to the fullest, it's not easy, even though in the moment, it is the past of least resistance.
In the moment, it's easy to overeat. It's easy to procrastinate. It's easy to not show up for your workouts. It's easy to not clean up your house in the moment. It's so much more fun in the moment to go and watch a little bit of Netflix and eat some popcorn, and lounge around. But what is the price that you are paying for that? You must recognize that you are choosing hard later on versus choosing the discomfort that's going to grow you, that's going to move you forward, that will make your life easier later on.
So, you get to choose your flavor of hard. You can choose a flavor that will make your life better, that will make you better. It's going to make you stronger. It's going to grow you. It's going to increase your confidence, or you can choose a hard, that's going to ultimately make your life even harder. So, here's the conclusion that I landed on for myself, and I want to offer it to you. I personally don't want life to be hard all of the time. I just don't.
I don't know of anyone that does. Life is already hard enough with the resistance that we have around change and just things that happen, unfortunate things. People get sick, people have disabilities, people have found themselves in unfortunate circumstances that are really difficult to get out of, and I want to acknowledge that. And for that reason, I'm always striving for how I can make my life easier how you can make your life easier.
But what I know doesn't work is trying to make it easy all of the time. So, I've come to the conclusion that we need to balance our lives with hard and easy. Choose to do the hard things that will move your life forward. That is going to depend on your circumstance, where you are in your life right now, and what your dreams and goals are. The hard part may be that you are going to go apply for ten jobs this week. The hard part may be that you are going to go exercise 5 days this week.
The hard part might be is that you're going to finally record the podcast or write a chapter of your book. It really just depends. And then, you also need to make sure that you are balancing that with some easy time to rest, time to rejuvenate, time to enjoy your life, time to have fun. That energy is what you need in order to fuel your emotional state to go and do the hard things. It's just like eating, right? We need to consume food to give us the energy to do the things that we want to do in life.
If we consume too much food, we end up with less energy. We don't consume enough food, we end up with less energy, and that's the balance I'm talking about. We need to find our balance of easy and hard. We need to have enough of the easy where we can refuel and rejuvenate than to go do the hard things in our lives. I also want to add you can tell I'm just sharing my thoughts with you right now, but we make the hard things even harder when we resist them.
When we run from the discomfort of them, and we procrastinate like, that just makes it even harder. Part of making the hard easier and having more easy in your life is not resisting the hard. Knowing that when you show up to do hard things, it's going to be uncomfortable. Don't fight the discomfort. Accept that as part of the journey. That's going to be what grows you, and at the end of the day, that discomfort's being caused by thoughts in your brain. That's it.
The brain wants it to be easy all of the time. However, when you listen to that part of your brain, you are going to end up paying a big price later on down the road. The other thing I wanted to offer you for any of you who find yourself choosing easy a lot and knowing that choice is not serving you, something that's really helped me is making it hard to choose easy. The way I do that, and it really helps me, is that when I'm tempted to choose easy when I know, I need to be doing the hard things. Like, recording this podcast, it would be so much easier for me to go watch something on Netflix.
It would be so much easier for me to go do something that doesn't require much of me. But I like to think about my future, and if I keep choosing easy, what is my future going to look like? What does that choice cost me down the road? I do this all of the time to sike myself up to go to the gym. I think about if I don't do this, what's it going to cost me down the road? And I also like to think about if I do, do it, how is it going to make my life so much better down the road?
And in doing those two things inspires me to show up for the hard things. And then, ironically, the more you do that, the easier your life gets down the road. Choosing hard now is like putting money in your piggy bank. Over time all of those pennies, all of those coins are going to add up into a big result. Equally, choosing easy is like taking money out of the piggy bank in the moment, and over time you're going to run out of money.
For me, I think about running out of energy, running out of health, running out of confidence in myself when I am constantly choosing easy. So, again for me, I have found that my most fulfilling days are the days where I balance out the hard and easy. When I get into my office, I get to work. I produce things. I go to the gym. I get my workout in. Then, I also carve out time to watch Netflix, and to enjoy good food, and to have good conversations with friends.
So, I don't want you to think that I'm encouraging you to always choose hard. What kind of life would that be? But I do want you to choose your flavor of hard on purpose and think about choosing doing the hard things that are going to add value to your life later on down the road and to figure out are you in balanced right now? Maybe you're someone that's choosing hard all of the time, and you're exhausted. Your body, mind, and your spirit needs a break. It needs to rest.
On the flip side, maybe you find yourself choosing easy most of the time, and therefore you're not creating the results that you want to create. It's all about balancing the leisure with the hustle, the hard with the easy. And what does this have to do with self-image? Well, self-image is you expanding how you see yourself. So, I always like to think of my future self and what her life is like. What I can tell you, is a lot of you are envisioning her life as so easy. I don't think that's the case. There's always going to be a little bit of hard and a little bit of easy.
So, when I think about my future self, I'm not envisioning this perfect woman who has no obstacles, no struggles, no hard to her life. She's still choosing hard. Why? Because she's still growing, and she knows that life is a balance. It's all about the contrast, but the difference is how she handles it, how she shows up in it. So, in order to become her, you have to practice being her now.
So, what are the hard things that you can do in your life today that will cause you to be more in alignment with her? Also, what are the easy things that you can choose on purpose intentionally that will add value to your life? It will make your days more luxurious and enjoyable, and that will give you the fuel and the energy to go on and do the hard things tomorrow. It's all about balancing the hard with the easy. Have a beautiful week, my friends, and I can't wait to see you in the next episode.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto, and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings, so that you can transform your self-image.