Mindset: Do You Struggle or Do You Battle?
I listened to a podcast the other day called Overcome by Justin Wren. He was interviewing Jared Padalecki. Jared said at one point something to the effect of "I hate the word struggle. It speaks to a victim mentality. Instead I use the word battle. I'm battling this... or I'm fighting against that". He said, I have a choice to fight against it and potentially win IF I choose to fight and not just struggle.
I've used the word struggle my whole life and never thought of it as a victim mentality, until now. Whether my stutter, my youth, my faith, my "lot in life", I've looked through the lens of "Why did this happen to me? Why did life play out like this?" You see how I did that. Blame. Victim. Jared was right. In this framework, I resigned to the reality I perceived in my mind via circumstances instead of using that same reality to drive me to new heights and re-shape how my brain see's life. However, now that I look at it specifically, I was translating my circumstance as a problem that was dealt to me and that can't be undone. I taught my mind to say, "I simply have to deal with it." So my conclusion was ... I have to "struggle" with it the rest of my life. In other words, I am stuck with this lens that life has given me, and I will try to see the best I can through this fog.
I think Jared was right. We MUST replace the word struggle with the word fight and/or battle. Struggle is like surviving, just barely. Fighting or battling on the other hand is taking your personal mess that you are dealing with and confronting it head on with a fist. It shifts your perspective. It shifts your actions. It puts you on the offensive. You are fighting to knock down the walls and change the details that have hemmed you in your whole life so that you can push forward to new frontiers, to un-chartered waters.
I believe that words that you say and utter matter, and they ultimately have the immense power to depict to your brain how you will interpret and then determine what that outcome will be. Struggling equates to an effort that is: As best as I can muster.This is all I have. Ultimately, deep in your damaged psyche you know that the circumstances you have been dealt will always win; they will always supersede your wishes for something better, something different. For example, the theory goes if you're struggling to for example stay afloat mentally/spiritually, struggling with deep affliction, struggling with the daily grind of life, struggling to paying bills, struggling with joblessness, struggling with depression, struggling with abuse, struggling with a bad marriage, struggling with your parents, etc., you are saying - by this logic - I am powerless to change anything going forward because of what happened in the past. I just have to manage to my limits dictated by my predetermined circumstances and try to keep above the water line. It's as far and as high as I can go.
Let's be clear, fighting doesn't always mean winning. It does mean however that you might win, but more importantly it says you refuse to lose from a poorly dealt hand. This isn't about willing yourself into success (although there is a power in those words and those thoughts) but rather about how you see yourself going forward and the way in which you address challenge, given or self-inflicted.
So I agree with Jared. Change "I'm struggling with this or struggling with that" to "I am fighting against this or I am battling against that." Put this within a framework that you have the power to shift and alter your future, your conditions. Change your your view from a victim mentality to one fighting to unleash your designed, God given potential. See this potential resident deep within your DNA and accessible deep within your soul. See yourself as something more than those negative voices in your head have enslaved you think you are.