Ep #8: Honoring the Struggle

When I was in the middle of building my business, when everything felt really difficult and frustrating, I came across an idea that resonated so strongly with me that I had to stop in my tracks. It’s the idea I want to dive into with you today: honoring the struggle. 

We all face our own unique struggles when we’re building a business. Maybe for you it’s getting your marketing plan together, or making the jump to group coaching, or signing clients in the first place. Whatever it is, it probably feels like you’re swimming upstream when you’re working on it. There’s tons of resistance and difficulty, where there should be clarity and ease. 

In today’s episode, I’m talking all about honoring the struggle and what it looks and feels like to do just that. I’ll tell you a bit about my own version of honoring the struggle and why things shifted for me so significantly after I started doing it. And we’ll also talk a bit about accepting your circumstances and making space for creativity and good decision-making once you stop denying your struggle. 

To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away three free VIP strategy sessions to listeners who leave a rating & review in Apple Podcasts. We’ll dive deep in your business and come up with a strategy for the next ninety days. Afterward, you’ll be able to create real results in your business and start gaining momentum. This is the same session I offer to all of my highest-level clients – and I can’t wait to offer them to you. Click here to find out how to enter!


What You’ll Learn:

  • What I mean by honoring the struggle.
  • The crucial difference between accepting your circumstances and giving up.
  • How you can start to honor your own struggle.
  • What I’ve learned in my own journey of struggling to build and scale my business.
  • How honoring and accepting your unique struggles clears so much creative space in your mind.
  • Why this concept will help you achieve clarity and let go of actions and thoughts that are not aligned with your goals.


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Download a Transcript for The Life Coach Business Podcast

Welcome to The Life Coach Business Podcast, a show for coaches who are ready to up-level their business and take their impact, leadership, and results to a whole new level. If you’re ready to start taking powerful action and become the leader your business needs in order to grow and thrive, this show is for you. I’m your host, Amanda Karlstad, certified life and business coach, and entrepreneurial leadership expert. Now, let’s get down to business.

Hello, and welcome, everyone. I hope you are all doing well. For those of you in the US, happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are, or are about to enjoy the holiday. And for those of you that are outside of the US, I hope you’re having an amazing week.

I am doing great. I’m really excited to talk to you all today. I have been having so many amazing conversations with my amazing clients. They are so fantastic. And they are upleveling in so many ways and having so many breakthroughs and getting great results in their business. It is so much fun.

I love this work. I love my amazing clients. And it has been so much fun to see them step into these next levels as true business owners who are getting it done. Alright, so let’s get to it.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and gratitude, I wanted to talk to you all today about something that has really helped me in my journey over the past couple of years as I’ve been building my business. And it’s something that I feel very strongly about because it’s made such a huge difference for me. And I know it can make a huge difference for you too.

And so I decided to do a podcast on this today because I believe that if you can really get this, or at the very least just start to understand this, it can change so much. And for me, it has been a true gift, and that’s what I’m hoping to give you today with this podcast. And it’s been interesting because it’s been surfacing in a few areas lately and I’ve been inspired by some recent conversations I’ve had surrounding what we’re going to talk about.

And it’s been on my mind to share this with you all week. And especially as we’re heading into Thanksgiving here in the US, and as you’re listening to this, for those of you in the US, it is Thanksgiving, it just felt really aligned to talk about this today.

So, before I dive in, I want you all to know that I believe that every one of you, no matter where you’re at in your journey of building your business, I know that you’re going to be able to relate to this on some level. And I know this is something that many of you are struggling with because this is all part of the process, and I’ve been through it myself.

And I see so many of my clients and I see so many coaches just in the industry that are going through it as well. And so what I want to talk to you about today is a phrase, it’s a concept, but for me, it’s really become a way of being that has really helped me to stay grounded in my work and it’s something that I’ve done a lot of intentional and internal work on in myself.

And so this phrase, this concept is honoring the struggle. And when I first heard this phrase some time ago, as soon as I heard it, it completely struck a chord within me because when I first heard the phrase and I really started to process it and I took a step back to really think about why was this striking such a chord within me and process what it meant for me at the time, what it did is it allowed me to see and process my situation, my circumstances, in a completely new light.

And when I heard it, I was really at a point in my business where I was just trying to figure things out, okay. I didn’t have real clarity in my business. I didn’t have a game plan. I was doing what I call throwing spaghetti at the wall hoping that something would stick. But at the end of the day, all I was creating was a whole lot of nothing, okay.

And I remember feeling so frustrated that I wasn’t farther along in my business and having the thoughts, “It shouldn’t be this hard.” And I remember being so frustrated with the level of results that I had compared to the level of results that I knew I was capable of.

And looking back, I was in total scarcity. My belief, my belief in myself and in my business was completely wavering and I didn’t even have the belief that this was going to work out, to be honest.

And I can remember, in fact, that there was a time when I started considering other side gigs and kind of a plan-B just in case, and I remember so clearly, when I was in that place and thinking about getting my business to, frankly, a level that it’s at today, I can remember it literally felt impossible to me at the time.

If you would have asked me if I would have the business that I have today, I would have told you no. It felt completely impossible to me. And it felt so true to me at the time. And as you can imagine, it wasn’t a pretty place to be.

So, when I heard this, this honor the struggle, it immediately hit me and it was like I knew this was a message for me. And I also knew that the only way that I was going to get to where I wanted to go was that I needed to do some real work. I needed to really start shifting things. And I knew I needed to shift them in a major way.

And so that’s what I did. I went to work and this whole concept, this really became a mantra, like I said, a way of being for me of honoring the struggle that helped me completely shift my inner game at one of my lowest points. And so I want to dig into this with you all today because I know so many of you can relate to this. I know so many of you might be there right now.

And when I look back on this time, I can say that without a doubt, I have grown such a whole new level of reverence for the journey, for this whole process of transitioning into entrepreneurship and building a business, everything that goes along with it. I have such deep respect for this process.

And I’ve grown such a deep respect for the “Struggle” right? And I’m so grateful that this hit me the way it did at the time and that I chose to consciously develop this deep respect for it, for the struggle that I was having because it’s been so helpful to me in my journey.

Okay, so let me explain why this has been so helpful to me and also what this means to me and how I’ve used it, especially when I was in that low point in my business.

So I’ve been talking a lot over these past few weeks in my podcast episodes about how our beliefs, how our thoughts create our reality. And I’ve given you the science behind all of this in last week’s episode and I’ve talked about why it’s so important to have awareness to what our thoughts and our belief systems are so that we can consciously move forward in a much more intelligent and intentional way as we’re going about our day to day and especially as we’re building our businesses.

And so to me, this phrase, this concept, this way of being of honoring the struggle is really that next step, once we have the awareness as to how our beliefs and as to how our thoughts are actually dictating our reality. Once we can really see that our circumstances are in fact just neutral, then we can move into this next step, which is acceptance.

Now, I want to be clear that when I’m talking about acceptance, I’m talking about it in a way where we can accept ourselves, where we can learn to accept our circumstances for what they are while also being in this process of working towards more, okay. I think this is a really important distinction because, a lot of times, when talk about acceptance, we talk about it, without even realizing it, in a way that it’s actually giving up.

And that’s not what I’m talking about here. In fact, the way that I’m talking about it here is the complete opposite. It’s about being able to see the circumstances that we’re dealing with, the circumstances in our business, the circumstances in our lives in a way that we can understand that they really are neutral and understanding that, at the end of the day, our circumstances are just facts in our lives.

So the difference comes in with how we choose to then perceive our circumstances, how we choose to perceive our situation that makes all of the difference. And this is the level of acceptance that I’m talking about. So I want you to think about this in terms of working towards acceptance while also still working towards greater results in your life, greater results in your business.

It’s about being in this process of working towards more. That’s the level of acceptance I’m talking about. And so when I heard this phrase, and I took the time to step back and reflect on it and question why it was hitting me so hard, it’s because I saw clearly for the first time how much I had been resisting and fighting and trying to escape the inevitable challenges that go into building a business.

And for all of you that are currently in the process of building a business, I know you know what I mean by that. And for all of you, and for anyone, frankly, that’s building a business, it’s going to look a little different, although the challenges, really, at the core are probably very similar.

So for me, when I took a step back and I realized that what I was doing was essentially just wishing things were different and that so much of my focus was actually being focused towards fighting what was, I realized how much energy I was spending there, how much time I was in this mental battle that clearly I wasn’t winning.

And so when I decided that, you know what, enough is enough, and I made the powerful decision that I was going to figure things out, I decided to start to instead start honoring the struggle. And when I made that decision and I took that step back and I started to really question my belief systems and my thoughts surrounding what I thought building a business should look like, or where I thought I should be at the time, I saw so clearly that I wasn’t honoring the struggle.

And in fact, everything I was doing was instead completely fighting it. It was fighting the struggle and trying to resist it as hard as I could. I wasn’t accepting it. And I wasn’t respecting or trusting the process for what it was and I wasn’t processing and seeing how it was actually making me better, how it was actually making me a better coach for today.

And this is the big key with all of this. It’s really reaching a level of understanding and knowing that, on a deep level, everything you’re going through, it’s knowing and trusting that without a doubt. It’s preparing you for that next step in your journey. That is what this means to me.

And when I look back on the time and I was spending so much time in wishing that things were different and putting my energy towards fighting what actually was, I really just wanted to skip the struggle and I wanted to get to my goals as quickly as possible.

And I want to make a quick side note here. I want to be clear that I have learned, and I think I’m evidence, and I see many that are evidence that you can reach your goals very quickly. In fact, that’s something I focus on with my clients is how do we get you to your goals as quickly as possible?

I’m all about acceleration. And I’ve built that into my program, and that’s exactly what we do.  But we also do it in a way where we’re honoring the struggle through the process because here’s what I believe and what I’ve come to know. The struggle, whatever that looks like for you, maybe it’s trying to enroll your first few clients so you can pay your bills, or maybe it’s learning online marketing so you can enroll clients on a more consistent basis.

For some of you, it might be getting your business foundation built so you can finally make a transition from your corporate job into your business. And for others of you, it might just be a day to day struggle of how to keep yourself mentally in the game.

So whatever that looks like for you, I want you to know that right now, whatever that struggle is, it is meant for you. And it’s here for you to experience so that you can learn and step through it on the other side with more skills, more knowledge, more wisdom, and you can emerge as a better version of yourself because that’s exactly what it did for me. And I believe that it has the potential to do the same for you.

Honoring the struggle you’re in right now is knowing that, without a doubt, it’s 100% meant for you and you believe that. I want you to think about this for a minute. Think about the struggle you’re facing. I want you to consider how this could actually be meant for you. What is that reason?

I want to share with you what it meant for me. For me, it was so that I would do my own internal work and that I would learn the necessary skills that I needed to learn so that I could help my clients at a much higher level than I could before.

For me, it allowed me to go all in on my business and make intelligent decisions along the way. It allowed me to better manage my energy, my time, my focus, and my resources. And through this process, I went out and I learned the best strategy to build a coaching business. I learned Facebook ads from the best in the industry.

I learned how to market online. I learned how to build and grow a business that’s not only profitable but that’s also scalable and is now allowing me to expand into groups and teach my clients how to do the same. It’s how to create hybrid programs and offer the resources that my clients truly need to build their business, resources that address their businesses in a holistic and in a complete way, not just focusing on one piece of the puzzle.

For me, it allowed me to understand and know the systems that are needed along the way, knowing what to focus on when, truly understanding the growth stages when you’re growing a business and knowing how to move through each of those stages and how to reach revenue goals, not just from the perspective of creating the goal and working from a mindset perspective, but also from the place of an actual effective strategy that supports the mindset, to really creating the blueprint, the step by steps so my clients can accelerate their results and achieve real long-term success that they can sustain.

That is what honoring the struggle has taught me. And it’s taught me a whole new level of emotional resiliency. It’s taught me how to stay focused and forced me to cultivate my own unconditional belief in myself and in my business so that I didn’t get sidetracked and I didn’t spend time spinning out in my business.

It taught me the value of going through the process and applying the tools and learning even more tools and learning even more effective tools that I can now guide my clients through their own business-building journey.

And I have full confidence in doing that. And when challenges did come up, I could really focus on solutions and take necessary actions that I needed to take in order to solve those problems. So by honoring the struggle, I was in a much clearer headspace so that I could make intelligent decisions about the current state and the future state of my business and approach it in a much more holistic and strategic standpoint that’s really set things up for the long game.

It taught me to constrain my inputs, to stop doing things that didn’t feel aligned and authentic to me. It allowed me to get a level of clarity that I would have never had before had I not gone through the struggle of the identity shift that I had to go through, all of it.

I am so grateful that I chose to honor the struggle and it’s been invaluable to me and it’s invaluable to the future of my business. So what I want to offer to you today with all of this is know that everything is truly meant for you.

I want to offer that you honor your own struggle and know that it’s meant for you so that you can learn from it, you can grow from it, so that you can transform into that next version of yourself and you can acknowledge that every choice you’ve made, every situation, every challenge that you’ve faced up until this point, you know that it’s all part of the master plan.

It’s so much more of an empowering and productive place to operate from because what happens when you spend time resisting the struggle, when you spend your time and your energy instead being consumed with it, you start to identify with it and you start to believe it and you don’t see it for what it is and you start to lose sight in your vision and you lose faith in your dream.

And from there, you start operating from lack and from scarcity when instead you could be operating from a place of abundance and knowing that things will and always do work out for your highest good. And you block so much creativity and clarity when you’re in this space because so much of our needed mental energy of that white space that we need to be productive is being clouded by the struggle, by this resistance to what is.

So I want to encourage you to move to a place of acceptance and really work to honor your own struggle because once you do, you’ll be freed up and you’ll be able to cultivate the energy and the focus and make much more intelligent decisions that you need to be making towards what really matters.

So I want you to acknowledge it. Acknowledge your struggle, whatever it is. Make peace with it. See that it has brought you to exactly where you need to be today. Stop resisting it and allow yourself instead to honor it, learn to honor the journey. You’ll have so much more reverence for the process and you’ll have the capacity to move forward so much faster than you ever have.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, to all of you in the US, and for those of you outside of the US, I wish you an amazing week. I’ll talk to you all again very soon. Take care.

Hey, before you go, I have something amazing I want to share with you. To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to be giving away three free VIP strategy sessions where I’ll be diving deep into your business and helping you put a strategy in place for the next 90 days so you have a real game plan on how to create results in your business and finally gain momentum.

I’m going to be giving away one free VIP strategy session the same VIP strategy session I offer to all of my highest level clients to three lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts. Visit amandakarlstadcoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. Thanks so much.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Life Coach Business Podcast. If you want to learn more about how to build, grow, and scale your business and accelerate your results visit amandakarlstadcoaching.com.

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