Our Words Matter - You can do hard things

We’re co-creating a “new language.” It’s a language where the emotional response matters.

I look at this list, and today one jumps out at me:

It’s not that hard.

Wow, I’ve told that to myself. And it’s felt like a lie. Some things (so many things!) are “easy” on the surface… with a deep emotional laboring needed that can be really HARD.

You can do hard things.

Oh, I wish and want more of that kind of encouragement from people who know and love me… and to share that kind of encouragement to those I know and love and have witnessed them do Hard Things so many times.

I used to “should” on myself all the time. I used to “have to” myself all the time. That changed, because it wasn’t the vocabulary but the energy behind it that mattered to my well being.

I don’t necessarily resonate with all the shifts in energy of these above, while also deeply appreciating that each is a very different emotional energy.

Are there shifts you’ve made in Word Energy with your kin and kids that has made a difference in how your presence is felt by them (and by yourself)?


I have definitely told my son “it’s not that hard!” When clearly it IS hard for him in the moment… especially if he’s not well-resourced, physically (hungry, tired) or emotionally.

Not so helpful…

I’ve been trying to rephrase to ask:

how can we help make this easier?

I like that because it acknowledges the challenge of the moment, but means that it doesn’t have to stay “hard” — things can get easier, and sometimes shifting our perception of them is all it takes! (Sometimes it also takes practice, or learning other skills, or taking a break to have a snack or nap, etc, too.)

While I like the family sentiment that “we can do hard things”, I also feel like it’s more empowering to say “we can do hard things, AND there are ways to make them easier — what would help this feel easier?”

Maybe because I grew up with an almost glorification of “doing hard things” that it made me assume that “things have to be hard” or that there’s something wrong if I wasn’t struggling — which isn’t true.

We can do hard things AND we can co-create more Ease and Flow, in the spirit of curiosity, collaboration, and Power With all parts of ourselves and each other.


Oh thank you! Yes, if it stays hard and we haven’t yet found ways to bring more ease and flow… it’s okay. We’ve done hard things before. We will again.

And… the glorification of “doing hard things” really does often end up turning into systems of working “hard” and being “busy working hard.” THAT doesn’t feel so good, and feels to me like a frame of mind that leads to chronic disease. (well, it did for me long ago.)


Yes, the glorification of “doing hard things” and being busy working all the time certainly does tend to lead to chronic disease! Of individual body, mind, spirit… and of our relationships and larger social fabric, too…

It feels good to be appreciated (by ourselves and others) for overcoming challenges, and it also helps a lot to shift the vocabulary and the perspective about what is “hard” and what is “valuable” or important to us, especially if we do the inner reflection to find that what we find challenging usually does become “easier” (or at least worthwhile) once we tune into the deeper value it holds for us, too.

(Tuning into that in terms of working towards Health or Wealth is an all too common conundrum! Which, with some creativity, doesn’t necessarily have to be an either/or choice, as many think it does… which can be quite liberating!)


I wonder how much of our Storytelling Culture around the Hero’s Journey contributes to this attitude of overcoming hardship as the premier way we get respect, recognition, acclaim…

I mean, who would read Harry Potter if there was just happy magic everywhere with everyone? Hmmm…

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Ha! Indeed…

There’s value in doing hard things and acknowledging the challenge, as that’s a natural part of life. I think stories about that are helpful in supporting resilience, courage, etc. (And in feeling appreciated for our contributions, so they’re nourishing rather than draining!)

The glorification of only doing hard things is different… or of feeling pressured (or pressuring others) to work so hard that we neglect our health and other aspects of our well-being… There are plenty of those old stories floating around that are ready to change!