Do you shy away from the struggles in your life?
Are you failing to turn your struggles into your greatest strengths?
Life is a struggle. One way or the other, there will be tough things that come your way.
Running away or finding accessible routes through tough times is selling yourself short.
It’s in these struggles we can learn, can grow, and become empowered.
Today, I want to tackle these issues and help you learn how to embrace the struggle for empowerment.
Let’s add another tool to our toolbox for stepping into greatness, my friends.
Looking At Struggle
I was on the fence about how to name this post because what I wanted to say was embracing the empowering struggle, but I know some of us aren’t quite ready to embrace a struggle.
What are you crazy, Kenny? Come on! I’m trying to eliminate struggle from my life.
I want to empathize with you.
And I want to honor that.
Let’s get some clarity today around allowing the empowering struggle because there are struggles in life.
There are struggles in leadership.
There are struggling business relationships.
I’m going to touch on a few of those today with you, but I want to be just super clear and transparent.
You know, I’m always transparent with you as a follower, as a listener, as a fan, as a client, as a reader, or whoever you are in my life.
I’m honored to serve my part of the relationship.
And one of those areas that I serve is through transparency.
The longer you’re with me here, the more you’ll see this and stick with me.
By the way, don’t forget to share this article, check out the podcast, and all that good stuff.
It helps what we’re trying to do here.
My Childhood Struggles
I spent a lot of my life working to eliminate the struggle.
I grew up in a lot of pain and was challenged a lot.
You know, I was the short fat kid in school from the normal broken home thing.
Most of us are used to broken homes, multiple marriages of parents, moving all the time, and all those different things.
I’m not here to make you think: Oh, poor Kenny woe is me.
What am I am here to do is realize that all of us had some struggle growing up, and I think it makes normal sense and human nature to want less of that.
I mean, isn’t that the whole point that we evolve as human beings to learn?
If there’s going to be a struggle in my life, then I want to make sure that I learned from it so I can take on different struggles later on.
That’s why today, I want to zero in on an empowering struggle.
Using Resistance To Your Advantage
I tried to eliminate struggle in my life, and I’m going to share a little bit more of how this looks for you in a moment.
But I also want you to remember the article where I talked about how to use resistance to your advantage.
Think through that because today, when we talk about struggle, there are all kinds of different labels and categories and psychologists and psychiatrists have.
I’m about simplicity.
Call it whatever tools and labels you want as long as they work.
I’m a blue-collar guy with a simple mind that gets massive results.
One of the ways I do that is by just speaking my truth into my existence, my world, and what I want and helping clients do the same.
Two Types Of Struggles
I believe there are two types of struggle.
There are empowering struggles, and there are destructive struggles.
Give me a head nod if you agree.
I know for me, my friend, I spent many, many years in a massively destructive struggle.
As I got older, I realized that maybe I shouldn’t be trying to eliminate all struggles in my life. Perhaps I should be working to eliminate the destructive struggle.
As a younger Kenny, I worked tirelessly to eliminate the destructive struggle of growing up with very low self-esteem.
I grew up believing that I was destined to be fat, believing I was destined to be broke, and believing that life is supposed to be super hard.
When I talk about an empowering struggle, I’m not talking about life being hard.
I’m going to encourage you to move to a place where you can embrace it because the struggle is life.
I hear you:
Wow, Kenny, I thought you were a motivational guy. Let me hire you for my next keynote.
Save the sarcasm, my friends. I hear you.
As you’re from your speaking side of the business, let me go ahead and read your next book as soon as I can.
You know, and if you haven’t read Six Dimensions of Change, 2.0, I would encourage you to get in there because I do share some of the struggles that I’ve gone through as I gained clarity and challenge habits, worked through action, never giving up, around gratitude, and enthusiasm.
Struggle Is Necessary
I realized that struggle is necessary. And here’s where I want you to zero in today.
I want to share an experience that recently happened to us.
I was in Costa Rica for almost a month, and I’m going to share some stories and experiences that happened over the next couple of articles with you because it was very impactful to my life. I’m able to see clarity sometimes.
Maybe it happens for you when you’re walking down the beach when you’re meditating.
I had the same meditation experience in Costa Rica that I do in my home here in Scottsdale.
I mean, it’s the same experience.
And I don’t need to go get on a plane and go to a different beach somewhere.
I love it, and don’t get me wrong, I’ll be going again to different beaches in July.
But here’s what I want you to write down.
Love and respect yourself enough to seek the empowering struggle.
Seek the empowering struggle.
See, what I know is that I actually love and respect myself enough that I will look for things that stretch me.
I will look for things that grow me.
You know, I decided to turn Blue Collar into a market-leading entity because I knew that I would grow as a CEO.
I knew that bringing in a president to run the day-to-day operation would challenge me and challenge the company and challenge the team.
Those are growth struggles that I want.
I’m still seeking those growing challenges now.
You may want to check out my article on the 3-step process for sustainable growth in business.
Your emotions may tell you to steer clear, avoid those struggles.
And maybe you ought to honor yourself and love yourself and respect yourself enough to look for what those are.
Maybe when you and your spouse have a challenge, maybe there’s an empowering struggle there of the two of you getting to clarity.
I’ve worked with a client recently around an intimate relationship of how communication just hasn’t been very truthful if you will.
Not that they’re lying to each other on any stretch or anything like that, but maybe they just haven’t been quite as transparent as it could be in the relationship, though.
They’ve been together a long time now where all of a sudden it’s a new learning curve. Like:
Wait a minute. I didn’t know you felt that way.
Where else do you have that miscommunication with others and even your self?
We have the opportunity to seek and allow empowering struggles in many different categories, capacities in our life and business situation.
Where are their struggles with your team?
How about with your children?
There are empowering struggles with your kids.
What about parents?
This is something we don’t think about a lot.
My father is gone for a long time; My mother is still alive.
I have both of my in-laws on my wife’s side.
They’re alive and kicking.
What about an empowering struggle with those relationships?
Struggle With Your Business And Boss
If you’re a leader that isn’t the CEO or the “highest person” in the org chart or whatever, what about your boss?
What about who you report to do you sometimes need to allow them to go through an empowering struggle?
My team will do that with me sometimes. They’ll give me a bit of an empowering struggle, and we’ll all be stronger for it.
Think about this in regards to struggle.
First, we don’t seek them out just for ourselves.
Second, love and respect yourself enough to seek them out now.
Love and respect those that I mentioned, team kids, parents, and bosses, love and respect them enough to allow them to have their empowering struggle.
In today’s world, what we’ve done is we’ve worked hard to eliminate all struggle.
And there’s different things showing up, whether it’s through government, whether it’s through programs, whether it’s through different things we’re trying to eliminate all struggle for people.
That is a recipe for disaster.
We need to struggle to grow in our lives, and how we frame it is massively important.
Now, when I was a drinker, when I was partying, when I created a ton of destructive struggle, there’s no question about if I was out late or having too many drinks and night.
That is clearly a destructive struggle. Don’t do that.
But if I’m up journaling and I’m working through a thinking process, and maybe I don’t get the same, you know, an eight-hour night of sleep or seven hours that I generally get, or whatever, maybe there’s an empowering struggle going on that I need to allow.
Which is it for you and those around you?
Resist The Urge To Fix Struggles
We, as leaders, have driven minds.
We’re always going, thinking, and fixing.
You’re a problem solver.
You’re a people pleaser.
You like to fix things. You like to eliminate pain.
I know one of the number one things that I work to do is eliminate pain in my own life and others.
But if I interject and fix the pain of struggle, I’m eliminating opportunities for people to grow.
And I’m not interested in that.
I don’t want a team dependent on me for success.
I’m interested in powerful, independent thinking and loving relationships where we stand on our own, where we come together to build incredible things together.
That’s what you can do in your family, in your businesses with your peers, with your parents, with your children, or whoever.
All of these things are amazing, but if we eliminate struggle, what else do we eliminate?
We eliminate some lessons.
We eliminate some growth.
Ultimately, we eliminate life.
Don’t Juggle Struggles
If you’re going to be on the planet, you’re going to deal with some struggle.
Let’s say that I’ve got a big house and I’ve got a yard that needs to be taken care of.
Then, my yard turns out poorly. Plants are dying, and things look like garbage.
I could give up and avoid the struggle.
I could get rid of the yard or pay someone else to take care of it.
My mind may think:
I don’t want the hassle. I don’t want the headache.
So I’m going to downsize.
I downsized from my big house to a smaller yard.
I’ve eliminated the struggle.
Now I have new struggles.
I can’t host yard parties.
Now, I have to deal with landscapers.
I’ve just replaced one struggle with another.
Instead of just juggling struggles until you find a smaller one and sell your life short, take a look at the struggle.
Find a way to make it empower you.
Find a way to learn from it.
I’ve said it many times: life is a struggle.
It’s part of existence.
You can’t avoid it.
But how do we embrace the struggle for empowerment?
We get rid of destructive struggles, the ones that are just bad.
We take an honest look at ourselves and lean into the pain and learn from it.
Don’t buy into the myth that things should be easy.
Empower your life through struggle and step into your greatness.