Let’s start with this juicy question: Are you wearing struggle like a badge of honor?
Oh my goodness! The pre-LoA version of me absolutely wore struggle like a badge of honor. Efforting and striving were my MO.
I had struggle and success all mixed together, as if you couldn’t have the success without the struggle.
And the badge of honor part? Well, when I look back on that version of me, I can see I was sort of martyrdom proud of my struggle. Hey, look at me, look how busy I am. Look how hard I hustle. Look at everything I put on my To Do list. Look at everything I get done in a day.
When I rediscovered Law of Attraction a few years ago, I immediately bumped up against the very flawed premise of how I had been living. Because if you know anything at all about Law of Attraction, it’s a joy-filled philosophy, not a struggle-filled one.
Many Abraham quotes have stopped me in my tracks over the years, but the one I’m about to share with you caused my jaw to drop and my eyes to widen the first time I heard it.
I felt the words were speaking directly to me. Perhaps you’ll feel the same.
Here it is. Abraham says:
“Most people have a hard time delegating, or even wanting to delegate, because you have been justifying your existence through your hard work, and you equate success with struggle; you equate results with struggle.
And so, you sort of wear your struggle like a badge of honor.
And all of that is opposite of allowing the Well-being. The only thing that ever matters in success or achievement is your achieving the things that you want to achieve.
So if you are setting standards and you’re feeling uncomfortable about the standards that you’ve set, tweak the standards back a little bit. Ratchet it back a notch.
Give yourself a break. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Lighten up. Be easier. Go slower. Take it easy. Have more fun. Love yourself more. Laugh more. Appreciate more.”
Now, we can’t really get to the part about going slower and taking it easy and having more fun—none of that will truly land—until we embrace the first part.
And I have to admit, that first part actually stung a bit the first time I heard it.
“Most people have a hard time delegating, or even wanting to delegate, because you have been justifying your existence through your hard work”
I had never once considered that I was justifying my existence through my hard work, but the moment that frame came into view, I knew there was truth in it.
- I’m so busy, therefore I am.
- I’m productive, so I’m worthy.
- I’m getting all this stuff done. I matter.
Suddenly I could see that I had, indeed, been justifying my existence through hard work.
I had been equating success with struggle and I had been equating results with struggle.
Somehow if there wasn’t some struggle involved, I wasn’t working hard enough or trying hard enough. There was this underlying belief that only struggle would take me where I wanted to go.
Granted, I wouldn’t have said these exact words, I have to struggle to succeed. Instead, I might have talked about work ethic or said entrepreneurs just have to hustle to make it (by the way, I no longer believe that).
While I might not have said the words—I have to struggle to succeed or struggling is the only way to get results—but the way I was living, the way I was showing up in my life, the way I was working—all reflected struggle.
I spared no effort, I exerted, I was always striving.
I understood hustle and hard work, I lived in the energy of buckle down and get it done. I took myself to task big time if I procrastinated. My standards were sky high. My To Do list was long.
I was living in the energy of struggle to try to make what I wanted happen. I believed struggle was simply the price you paid for getting the results you wanted.
And I’ll say it again: I was justifying my existence through hard work.
Back then, Abraham’s advice to take it easy and have fun would most definitely have been foreign concepts.
That’s how it used to be for me. Does any of that sound familiar to you? Have you been justifying your existence through your hard work, and as Abraham says, wearing your struggle like a badge of honor?
The badge of honor part is so interesting to me. When we wear something as a badge of honor, it’s because we are proud of it, right?
So to wear struggle as a badge of honor means we must in some way be proud of all that struggle. How can that be?
What is there to be proud of when it comes to struggling? Most of us would say struggle is not a good thing, not ideal, not wanted.
Why then are we wearing struggle like a badge of honor? The only way I can figure it is we are, indeed, justifying our existence.
I’ve noticed this struggle-badge-of-honor often shows up when people get together and have a sort of unintended contest as to who is busiest, who has the most to do, who is juggling the most plates in the air.
Have you noticed those conversations? Or been a part of one?
Or when someone asks, How are you?, is your answer some variation of Oh my gosh, I’m so busy. Followed by rattling off all that you’ve been doing or all that you need to do as evidence of your worthiness.
Bottom line: All of that is opposite of allowing the Well-being.
If you are wearing struggle like a badge of honor—in whatever form it takes for you—that is the opposite of allowing the Well-being.
Struggle and Well-being are not on the same frequency. You can’t struggle your way to Well-being. And you can interpret Well-being broadly—as in you can’t struggle your way to Well-being, to abundance, to success.
Abraham goes on to say: “The only thing that ever matters in success or achievement is your achieving the things that you want to achieve. So if you are setting standards and you’re feeling uncomfortable about the standards that you’ve set, tweak the standards back a little bit. Ratchet it back a notch.”
Too many of us act as if we have zero agency in the standards we are struggling to live up to.
We’re believing this is just what I have to do to get ahead, to get promoted, to buy a house, to reach my fitness goals. This is just what it takes to be a good parent or improve myself or reach my goals. This is the standard if I want success.
Law of Attraction 101: Your beliefs become your reality. Deciding to believe it takes struggle to succeed is self fulfilling.
You can just as easily believe what Abraham is suggesting—that if the standards you’ve set feel like too much, tweak them back a little bit, ratchet it back a notch.
For many of my clients, the initial reaction to this advice is, What?! What a minute—lower my standards? Do less? Delegate more? The mere suggestion of tweaking their standards or delegating brings up so much resistance.
Their standards are not bringing them joy. Refusing to delegate is causing them to struggle. But the initial reaction is, Oh no, I can’t. I mustn’t.
I can’t lower my standards. I can’t delegate. I have to do everything and do it all perfectly. I can do it better than someone else would. I’m the only one who can do it right.
- Do you really have to celebrate the holidays to a Norman Rockwell-Martha Stewart perfectionist standard? Are your high standards more important than your enjoyment?
- Are you really the only one who can clean the bathroom or do the laundry the right way—as in to the particular standard you’ve come up with?
The bottom line is many of us, upon hearing the advice to lower our standards, dig in to defend our standards, dig in with all the reasons—aka excuses—why we just can’t delegate.
And so we continue to justify our existence with all that hard work.
But Abraham doesn’t just encourage you to tweak your standards a little bit and delegate. That’s really just the beginning.
Things get really juicy and life changing with what comes next: “Give yourself a break. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Lighten up. Be easier. Go slower. Take it easy.”
Through the lens of Law of Attraction, you are always either allowing or disallowing. You are headed downstream or upstream.
- When you lighten up and go slower, when you take it easy, you are turning downstream and getting in the flow of allowing.
- When you have more fun, love yourself more, laugh more, and appreciate more, you are raising your vibration.
You are shifting away from the energy of struggle and vibrationally aligning with all that you want to manifest.
It’s time to stop justifying your existence through your hard work. It’s time to stop wearing struggle like a badge of honor. Let me share two real-world actions to help you do just that.
First, tweak your standards back a little bit—or even a lot.
So really consider: What is a standard in your life that you can—and will—tweak? What standard can you ratchet back a notch?
One of my clients was living by a standard she hadn’t even realized she’d set for herself. It seemed good, in theory. It seemed life enhancing and rewarding. Her standard was to read at least 30 books a year.
Again, in theory that sounds great. Reading surely is a good thing, right? Think of all she’ll learn or be entertained by with those 30 books.
But here’s the thing: Her standard of reading 30 books a year was stressing her out. It had turned her great love of reading into another To Do, another goal to monitor and track, another task to tick off a list.
Her personal standard of 30 books a year was causing her to feel negative emotion.
I have a hard and fast rule about my standards. If my standards cause me to feel negative emotion, it is time to change that standard. Period.
This applies to a standard I came up with all on my own as well as societal standards I’ve internalized. If the standard allows me to feel good, it’s a keeper. If a standard causes me to feel bad, it’s time to ratchet it back a notch.
A second real-world action you can take is to delegate.
Delegating isn’t just for business owners or managers with a team or even confined only to a work environment. Delegation is available to all of us, no matter what we do for a living or whether we are married or have kids.
You can outsource meal planning or grocery shopping. You can delegate home repairs and household chores. Those are both examples of delegating.
You can delegate running your errands to companies like TaskRabbit. It’s a way to delegate taking packages to the post office, pick up a prescription, drop off your dry cleaning, hanging lights for the holiday.
- I’ve had clients who delegate house cleaning to a cleaning service.
- I’ve had clients delegate house cleaning to their spouse or their kids.
- I’ve had clients delegate house cleaning to it’s not getting done right now or it’s getting done, but to a lower standard.
These clients went from the struggle energy of Oh-I-have-to-do-everything to wait-a-minute, I don’t want to keep struggling, I don’t want to keep justifying my existence by doing everything.
Some of these clients marvel at how much they now delegate and how easily it comes to them.
One of my favorite kinds of delegation is to delegate something I used to do to the I’m-simply-not-going-to-do-that-anymore heap. That’s not how we usually think of delegating, but I like the freedom I feel in realizing I can delegate certain things to nope, not doing that anymore.
So let me ask: What can you delegate? Who can you delegate to?
If you want to shift away from the vibration of struggle, if you want to stop justifying your existence by your hard work, if you want to stop wearing struggle as a badge of honor, tweak a standard and delegate. And then enjoy what happens when Law of Attraction responds to the raise in your vibration.