Challenges: The Other Why

This is the third post to our “This Is Really Hard’ blog series:
- Read Part 1 Here
- Read Part 2 Here

In the last post, we discussed a reason we try something new off the start is that we are generally looking for something fun to try. There may be a few other reasons you want to try something new:

  • exercise (whether it’s for health and wellness, weight loss, increase in strength, etc)

  • self-expression

  • explore sensuality

  • build confidence

If you are looking for a way to build confidence or strength, it’s important to choose something that looks relatively fun to you. You should not choose training for a marathon, for example, if there isn’t anything remotely appealing about that to you. If you do, you may find that it’s very hard to stick with because there isn’t a positive emotional connection on some level. Despite all the layers that come with challenges, at the core, we should still go back to having a general sense of enjoyment about the activity you’re doing. Why? Because when things get really hard, it can be difficult to stick with the things you love let alone the things you don’t.

So take a moment to really define why doing this matters to you. Do you want to express yourself creatively? Take an hour or two a week just for yourself to recharge from life? Spend time connecting with others? Now put that into an ‘I’ statement:

  • I am doing this because it makes me happy connecting with others.

  • I’m doing this to take care of myself, whether physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

  • I’m doing this to keep encouraging myself to grow.

  • I’m doing this to feel sexy.


Whatever your reason, it’s really important to have a core reason to go back to because that’s what keeps us going. If you have a particularly challenging dance class, for example, having the core statement can keep things in perspective. You are less likely to make things mean something about you that isn’t true. For example, you may be less likely to say ‘I’m a terrible dancer, I didn’t get all the choreography, I don’t know if I should come back. I don’t fit in here.’

Is that really true?


But your core statement can direct you to the truth about you and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Instead you can come out of that class feeling, ‘I’m doing this to grow, and that definitely helped’. Or ‘This is my one hour a week for me, it’s ok if I didn’t feel completely comfortable with all the choreography, I got to move my body and have fun laughing with other participants.’ Having a clear ‘why’ can help reframe your experience to keep you moving in the direction you want to go.

Your ‘why’ will also keep you in your own lane. Someone coming to a pole class once a week for fun with her friends has a completely different ‘why’ than a person who wants to become an advanced poler with the goal to compete. They will invest different time, energy and effort. If that person comes in and trains 4 times a week and is getting things faster, that doesn’t mean anything about either of them. They simply have different goals. And it’s a good opportunity to go back to the ‘why’ being to have fun once a week with friends. If there are different goals, different time and energy will be invested which give different results. Your ‘why’ keeps you focused on what you hope to get out of it and not looking at what everyone else is. This also helps build a supportive community because we all realize we’re in this together, on different paths yet walking in the same direction.

Now that we have a foundation of why we’re doing what we’re doing, our next blog post will discuss the different types of challenges we face and how to deal with them.


Sarah Longpre