Two years ago I wrote a post about the challenges of improvement and how I found winning a Most Improved award somewhat embarrassing. In the time since that original post was published, I have continued to make improvements slowly but surely and mostly without embarrassment.
Enter 2020–the doorway to a new decade and when I hope to make another improvement to my life–an undertaking I’m referring to as the Onerous Self-help Challenge (OSHC) or the Onerous Self-help Task (OSHT). Calling it a challenge inspires me more than calling it a task, but I like how the latter acronym could be read as “oh sh*t.” Like “oh sh*t, I better take this on for the sake of my future self.”
The issue at the center of the “oh sh*t” is one I’ve been aware of for awhile but have had trouble making progress on because the work to address is it hard. Hence the O for Onerous.
In some ways, it’s like trying to accomplish a strict pull-up, another challenge I’ve struggled with over the past few years. I want to do a strict pull-up, and I’ve been close to doing it. But I’ve fallen off on my training multiple times because the work hurts (e.g., just gripping the bar can be painful).
In my original post, I talked about several obstacles to improving including not wanting to acknowledge the need for improvement. What I didn’t talk about then was the situation I’m facing now: being quite aware of the need for improvement but finding it formidable to undertake.
For me, it’s physically uncomfortable to grip a bar with my bare hands and hang for an extended period of time. But I have to be willing to bear that discomfort if I’m going to meet my pull-up goal. Similarly, it’s both physically and emotionally tough for me to confront my “oh sh*t” issue. I know that being able to sit with that discomfort is the challenge that lies ahead. It’s the skill I need to develop to tackle the “oh sh*t” and hopefully transform it into an “oh, okay” or maybe even into an “oh, yeah!”
Here’s hoping. Happy New Year.