Do you believe life should be hard?

Nearly 10 years ago, sitting opposite my coach I sighed, defeated, and said: "well, because life's meant to be hard."


She paused, letting the words I'd spoken out loud for the first time settle, before asking: "said who?"

At that moment, I didn't have an answer. That would take time to uncover.

But it was a powerful awakening to the fact that we all have beliefs, deep inside of us, that we don't realise are running the show. Beliefs that often go against the life that we want to create for ourselves.

You see, children are like sponges, absorbing everything from their surroundings so that they can understand the rules of life. So that they know how to show up safely in the world.


  • if your primary caregiver prioritised work and sacrificed pleasure
  • if a parent always had the next chore waiting for you or didn't let you play
  • if your teacher celebrated you on how hard you worked rather than the quality of your work
  • if your aunt mocked you, repeatedly touting no rest for the weary

... you might have unconsciously internalised messages that life is supposed to be hard. That activities offering pleasure or relaxation are a luxury you can't afford, even don't deserve, because there's always something more that needs to be done.

​I've said it many times before but I'll say it again; society wears busyness as a badge of honour.
There is this generally accepted view that the harder you work, the more successful you are. The more full your diary is, the more worthy you are.

And so we cram every moment of our day with tasks, to-do lists, projects, and chores. Because if life isn't hard, we must be doing something wrong. If we're not working as hard as we can, are we essentially sabotaging ourselves? Or worse, jeopardising our safety?

For me, the conditioning that life should be hard, that I needed to be working 24/7 in order to be successful, was deeply ingrained. If I had a spare hour, I tended to fill it with something that will ‘better’ me, be it reading, studying, listening to a podcast, or watching something that inspires me.

And in many ways, I love this about myself. My curiosity and desire to learn have enabled me to become the transformational coach I am today. I know that I'll continue to explore my passions, refine my skills and grow with the latest insights in the field.

But I'm also aware that this drive hasn't always come from a healthy place. That there were times in the past that it stemmed from feeling that I wasn't not enough. I'd catch myself falling into the trap of believing that I need to always be busy, always be achieving, and always be progressing. That to be 'doing life' right, it ought to be hard.

Learning that it’s safe to take time for me, to walk to the sounds of nature, to paint for fun hasn’t exactly been easy because it required rewiring patterns and beliefs of a lifetime. The voices in my head that like to tell me that I need to be doing something productive are loud and can be so convincing!

​But the reality is that I get to choose the beliefs that serve me and this one really doesn't! I have the power to change my beliefs to something that aligns with my values, my desires. ​

​I get to choose my thoughts and so do you!

What thoughts do you have about how the world should be that are holding you back? Not sure? Let's chat and explore what current limiting beliefs you might unconsciously be clinging onto that are getting in the way of you showing up as your most beautiful, authentic self.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London SW6 & Lymington SO41
Written by Alexandra Taylor, Holistic Life & Mindset Coach for Women
London SW6 & Lymington SO41

Alexandra, is an experienced Integrative Coach supporting her clients in overcoming their inner critic and reaching their full potential. She helps people to make the changes that they wish to make so that they can lead happier, healthier and more balanced lives.

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