Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Finding Motivation For Difficult Things

We’re wired to be hedonists, we seek pleasure and run away from pain. And yet we still convince ourselves do difficult things. Why? Because we know that overcoming certain difficulties leads to reward.

Exercising at the gym hurts our muscles, costs money and uses up a portion of our time. But it also gives us a better mood, better health and more energy. Pain leads to reward.

So why doesn’t everyone work out? Because the first time doesn’t feel particularly good. Neither does the second session, or the one after that. For many, exercise causes more pain than it’s worth.

Luckily, you can lead a perfectly pleasant life without ever doing a bicep curl. But there are countless of other difficult things we can’t avoid in life without seriously sabotaging our happiness.

Such as asking your boss for a promotion. Giving a toast at your best friend’s wedding. Speaking up when a loved one hurts our feelings. Or saying hi to that cute stranger across the room who’s made eyecontact with you for the hundredth time now. 

So how do you do hard things when your brain tells you to hide or run away?

You accept that you’re feeling afraid and do it anyway. You don’t need to feel great to do great things, you just need a little courage.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach