Everything Is Hard Before It Gets Easy

Everything Is Hard Before It Gets Easy
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

We’ve all had moments in our lives when we want to try something new. But often, we tell ourselves, “this is really hard!” and so we stop. We just go back to our old routines. Instead of continuing to try, we  throw in the towel with surprising ease. We forget that everything is really hard before it gets easy.

Trying new things and getting into new habits is wonderful. Learning new things is good for you. But even if we are aware of this, it’s hard to break out of our routines and make a change. It’s not easy to leave your comfort zone. After all, you’ve been building your comfort zone for years!

But if you take a look back, you will realize that nothing is ever easy at first. Everything, absolutely everything, takes effort. There is always some degree of difficulty at the beginning before it gets easy.

The learning process

If you look back on your early years of life, you realize that you learned to walk, talk, add and subtract, write… Can you imagine if you had thrown in the towel then? It was really hard for you to do all of those things. You fell down, you made mistakes, you had a hard time internalizing the information. Nevertheless, these things now all seem very easy.

“Difficult. This is the word we sometimes cling to so we don’t have to try and see what is possible.”


Most challenges seem hard at first because you have to go through a learning process. This process requires willpower, motivation, desire, and goals. Think about when you got your driver’s license. Wasn’t it hard at the beginning to do so many things at once? Even so, now you can drive almost without thinking. It is practically automatic.

When we are learning to walk, we fall all the time but keep trying. However, when we fail at a project in our adult lives, we give up completely. Why is that? As you get older, it seems that you become more resistant to the learning process. You’re always looking for the easy way out. People tend towards things that don’t require a lot of work or any radical life change. Even when you know that change is beneficial.

It’s easy to forget that it’s normal for a new thing to be hard before it gets easy. After all, you aren’t familiar with it and you lack knowledge and experience. Nevertheless, negativity gets old. You get tired of telling yourself, “I can’t do this… it’s too much for me…this is really hard…I’m not going to make it…”

If you were able to learn to talk, write, and drive, then why can’t you do this? What is the difference?

Everything is hard if you tell yourself “I can’t”

The difference is in the excuses that you make to avoid making change in your life and getting off autopilot. When you live on autopilot, you go through your day without enjoyment, without anything new. You feel secure because it’s the same thing you always do, no extra effort required.

However, sometimes you find yourself obligated to submit to the learning process. Whether it’s getting a driver’s license or taking a course for work, you manage to persevere and achieve your goal in spite of how hard it is. Why? Because you get past the most difficult point and start to feel comfortable and confident with your challenge.

If you abandon the learning process, difficult things will never become easy.

Everything is really hard if you tell yourself “I can’t.” This is self-sabotage. It’s an excuse to avoid achieving something that would do you a world of good. It happens frequently when you’re trying to quit a bad habit like smoking, for example. It also happens when you want to get into a new habit that will change your routine, like meditating every day.

You tell yourself you can’t when that’s not really true. What you should say is “it’s not that I can’t, it’s that I don’t want to.” You are comfortable in your comfort zone (hence the name). You don’t have much to worry about, and you don’t have to make much effort. Starting to meditate, going to the gym every day, trying to quit smoking, signing up for a writing class… All of these things take work and a modification to your daily schedule.

trying new things: hard before it gets easy.

If you think about it, so many uncompleted challenges are related to your personal growth and your health. It’s as if you didn’t see yourself as important enough. You put yourself in second place and make excuses to avoid doing things that are good for you. Forming new habits definitely takes work. It’s not easy. But the benefits that they bring are huge. Anything worth doing takes work. Before it gets easy it will be hard.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.