Home » Blog » The Need to Struggle

The Need to Struggle

Man pushing a giant, heavy stone, rock over the mountain. ConcepAre you tired of struggling? Do you want to reach your goals without having to work so hard? Do you yearn for the glamour without the grit? Achieve! Accomplish! Actualize yourself! Yes, you want to do all those things. But why does it have to be so hard?

It used to be fun. You were excited about stuff. As a kid, you wanted to do everything. You picked out a few notes on the piano, played a tune and poof, you were a pianist. You displayed a coin; let the coin drop into your pocket, disappearing from view and poof, you were a magician. You were enjoying yourself. You were having fun. You were not constrained by pesky problems such as rules and realities.

Now the years have passed. You’re an aspiring adult; wrinkle-free or weighted with wrinkles, it matters not. There’s much you need to learn, if you want to be a comeback kid. Your old enthusiasm needs to meet new requirements, restrictions, and reprimands. Rather than letting these ridiculous realities sap the energy right out of you, you must summon the courage to continue ahead.

Continue ahead without flitting from one idea to the next. Continue ahead without diving into distractions of fresh sights and sounds. Continue ahead even if you’re not in the mood to do so. Continue ahead even when the only thing you feel inspired to do is watch another episode of your favorite reality show.

When seeking success, in whatever endeavor you choose, you must rely on:

  • Discipline, not feelings
    Feelings are fickle and fleeting. You want to do something, then all of a sudden you don’t. You’re too tired. You’re uninspired. You’re discouraged. Tell those feelings to hush. Not now. You’ve got work to do. You are becoming a self-motivated person. You do what you need to do, even if you’re not in the mood to do it.
  • Discipline, not inspiration
    Inspiration is great. Make use of it when it’s there. The work will be easier. But when it’s not there, don’t quit. Don’t keep questioning why. Instead, introduce “why” to “why not.” Then, get back to work. When you do, your inspiration will return. Rejoice. The work will now be so much easier.
  • Discipline, not perfection
    Perfection may be the one thing that you think you want; yet, it will be the one thing that will kill your energy and enthusiasm. “It’s not perfect” quickly morphs into “it’s not good enough” and then, “it’s not good at all; why even keep going?” You’ve worked so hard and now what do you have? A mountain of self-doubt and uncertainty.

How can you go on? And yet you must. But first, you must tell that need for perfection to get out of your way. It’s sabotaging your efforts. Yes, you can patch up your problems. Yes, you can tune up your thoughts. And yes, you can move on and accomplish what you want to accomplish, without it being perfect.

There’s no getting around it. To get to where you want to be, you need to struggle. So, whether you’re learning a new skill, returning to the job market, wanting to write your memoir, or planning to run for President, I hope you reach your goal.

It will be easy to continue your efforts on the good days when you feel inspired. It will be tough on the bad days when you feel discouraged. It will take Herculean effort on the horrible days when the worst happens. But stay with it. Stay with it. Stay with it. Then one day, in the not too distant future, you will rejoice in your achievement.

Michal Bednarek/Bigstock


The Need to Struggle

Linda Sapadin, Ph.D

Dr. Linda Sapadin, psychologist, success coach and author is proud to announce the publication of her new book, Overcoming Your Procrastination: College Student Edition – Advice for 6 Personality Styles available on Amazon. Now more than ever with remote learning, this book is a must-have. If you’re a perfectionist, dreamer, worrier, crisis-maker, defier or please, grab your copy. No longer a student? Get my book How to Beat Procrastination in the Digital Age – 6 Change Programs for 6 Personality Styles. Visit to subscribe to my free e-newsletter. Contact her at

2 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment
APA Reference
Sapadin, L. (2018). The Need to Struggle. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 27 Jun 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.