Just knowing something doesn’t make it easy

The work is always here.

When we’ve been doing the work for a while of growing and expanding ourselves, learning concepts and tools to help us evolve into who we want to become, sometimes we may think, “I should know this already. I should be better at this. Why am I still reacting this way? Why is this still hard for me?”

Why, friends? Because we are human beings with human brains.  

Just because we know the work, the tools involved, and the ways of thinking that can benefit us, doesn’t mean we no longer have human emotions and human experiences. That we no longer have to do the work. 

We learn the tools and beneficial ways of thinking in order to help us navigate our human experience on purpose, consciously and deliberately, with compassion and grace for ourselves and others. 

There isn’t a point where we get to stop doing the work–unless we choose to be stagnant and stay exactly where we are. It’s possible to do that, but also as human beings, it’s unlikely that we’ll want to choose that for ourselves.

We will always get to do the work. And that’s not a “bad” thing. It means that we’re continuing to expand ourselves and grow beyond where we currently are. That we want to be even more of who we are becoming.  

Our primitive brains evolved to want to be efficient (to do “easy” things), to avoid pain, and to seek pleasure to help us survive.

When we’re wanting to live a fulfilled life where we’re not just surviving but thriving, we can’t always choose the easy things, we will likely be uncomfortable facing new situations and experiences, and we will delay immediate pleasure/gratification in order to attain our long-term well-being.

So we do the work in order to overcome our primitive brains and utilize our sophisticated brains (our prefrontal cortex) to their fullest potential. 

Some thoughts for helping us continue doing the work:

  • I’m getting better at this, even if it’s not easy yet.
  • This is still hard for me, and that’s okay.
  • I’m learning something from this and that’s why I don’t already know better.
  • I’m reacting this way and catching myself instead of being unaware.
  • My awareness is helping me through this.

The work is always here. No matter how much we know, we don’t get to escape the work. And it’s worth it to see who we become.

Your turn: Are you willing to keep doing the work to become the best version of you? What are some thoughts that can help you when you feel challenged by doing the work? Instead of thinking “I should know this by now,” what is a more compassionate and empowering thought? Are you open to remembering that you always have a choice to do the work or to not do it, and to confront the consequences depending on what you choose?

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