Why is life so hard? This is a question that many people have asked themselves. Well, life is not that bad. However, if you ask yourself, it implies that you are either unsatisfied with what you have or are facing difficulties getting something you want. Just imagine you have the chance to die each night and then start your life afresh every morning after you wake up. Would you do it? We guess that is a ’no’ because even though there are struggles, there have been happy moments as well. But if your answer is a ’yes,’ then maybe there is a probability that you are missing out on something in life and lacking that sense of fulfillment. In such cases, finding out the reason for your dissatisfaction is important. So read on to know about a few reasons that make you feel your life is hard or complex and get answers to your question.
Why Is Life So Hard: 28 Reasons
Life is hard, even for those posting beautiful images from exotic locations on Instagram. So, don’t worry, you are not alone. And there is always a solution to every problem you face in life. So, let’s have a look at the possible reasons and what you can do about it.
1. You are always dissatisfied with what you have
You hate your car because you don’t like its color. You hate your phone because it is not the latest model. But have you ever been grateful for your car’s efficiency and low maintenance? Have you ever felt lucky to be able to make an emergency call even when your phone’s battery was low? When you fail to see the good in your life and turn your attention to only the difficulties, you feel frustrated and start thinking that life is very difficult.
What to do: Try to appreciate what you have and not complain about what you lack in life. If something is bothering you, turn your attention to its good side. Finding the silver lining in things is part of positive psychology and being able to express gratitude.
A blogger, Joe Gibson, asserts that mindfulness practices can help individuals distance themselves from worrisome thoughts. He says, “It’s no surprise to me that my mental health has suffered in line with me losing track of my meditation practices. I’m generally a daily meditator and obtain a great benefit from my 10+ minutes of meditation. Most importantly, meditation serves to remind me that I don’t need to engage with all of my worrisome thoughts. There is a way to disengage from them and it’s through present moment awareness. When I fall off the meditating bandwagon, I lose touch with this fact (i).”
2. You have impractical aims and goals
The goals you set for yourself should be such that they push you out of your comfort zone but not so much that you feel demotivated to work for it. For example, suppose you set unreasonably high goals such as lose 10 kilos in a month or learn professional ballet in a week, then chances are that the difficulty level of the goal is wearing you down, and you might give up without even trying your best.
What to do: Divide your goals into two types: small and big. Big goals should be something you wish to achieve over years. Small goals should be such that will help you get closer to your big goal. You will stumble a few times and get pushed away from your goal, but do not give up. Instead, stand up, dust yourself, and set out again to achieve your goal.
3. You fail to keep your promises
Imagine how your life would be had you kept all the promises you ever made to yourself. You tell yourself you will quit social media for a week but then succumb to the temptation in two days. Such a lack of self-control can make you repeatedly feel disappointed with yourself. You start feeling that you cannot do anything and that life is constantly testing you. It then may add to your insecurities, and you feel life is hard on you.
What to do: When you make a promise, be determined and relentless in fulfilling it. Sit alone, access your situation from every angle, and then promise yourself to do something. Once decided, never look back.
4. You refrain from taking responsibility
One of the biggest reasons life may seem difficult for you is that you refuse to take responsibility for your actions. Your car runs out of fuel, you blame the route for being too long, and not your mistake to refuel the tank. You lose out on a promotion at work, you blame the management for being unfair and not your performance. You are accustomed to playing the victim who believes that the world out there is to get you. Your attitude towards life makes you feel pathetic and miserable.
What to do: Change your attitude and learn to take responsibility for your actions. Stop blaming others for anything wrong that happens to you and start correcting your actions. When you do this, you’ll feel content with life and be prepared to face bigger challenges without feeling victimized or intimidated.
5. You focus on others
You may be the most amiable and kind person, but still, some people may dislike you for no reason. Having negative people around you is troublesome. If you pay heed to their poor attitude, it will leave you stressed and you will feel that life is exhausting. But they can affect you only until you give them the power to do so.
What to do: When someone is unreasonably rude or mean to you, identify the reason behind their behavior and try to keep away from them. Remember, rudeness is a sign of their shortcoming and has nothing to do with you.
6. You are overcritical of yourself
You bake a cake watching a video on YouTube, but the cake does not resemble the one in the video despite following complete instructions. It may taste good, but you are unhappy because it does not look perfect. The need for perfection gets the better of you most of the time. But when you are often after perfection and fail to achieve it, you get angry with yourself and start thinking that life is exacting.
What to do: Remember that perfection is a myth. Nothing in this world is perfect. Learn to find joy even in small achievements and celebrate your small successes.
7. You cannot accept setbacks
A journey without bumps and breaks cannot be memorable. Hurdles are a part of every journey, and overcoming them is what makes it worthwhile. When you start something new, you come across several roadblocks. But when you feel perturbed by even a minor setback, it indicates a lack of preparation. A little jolt, and you give up easily on your goal. Such a lack of commitment to one thing can lead to frustration.
What to do: Do not give up. It will be difficult, but if the outcome is worth the pain and hard work, do not let setbacks get to you.
8. You constantly compare yourself
Comparison is a vicious quicksand that can pull you down until you vanish. You tend to make comparisons to feel nice about yourself when you are doing better than someone. But when you see them doing better than you, it can rob your peace of mind and happiness. Their achievements make you lose focus, envy their strengths, and focus upon your weakness.
What to do: There should be no competition in the line with your work. Do not obsess over someone else’s trajectory. When you feel affected by their progress, turn your focus back to yourself and continue working hard for yourself. Chart your own path and realize the only person you should be in competition with is yourself.
9. You struggle with various insecurities
Be it outer appearance or financial condition, each one of us feels insecure about something in life. Even the glamorous and perfect-looking models you see in fashion magazines can suffer from body image issues. You may have your own set of other weighty issues to deal with. However, when these issues dominate your thoughts and take over your mind, you start feeling unhappy with life and cannot look at your strengths.
What to do: Remind yourself that it is okay to have insecurities. But do not let your insecurity stop you from enjoying life. The next time you feel pulled back by insecurity, remind yourself that your life is not only about it and that there is more to you.
10. You try too hard to make life comfortable
When you collect sand in your fist, observe that the more you tighten your fist, the more it slips out of your hand. Similarly, the more you try to get a firm grip on your life, the more chaos it creates. Solve one problem, and the next one stands waiting instantly. This constant battle with struggles in life can test your patience and make life seem difficult and problematic.
What to do: Some things are beyond your control. Instead of brooding about them or becoming grim, focus your energy on something that you can control. Learn to accept your current situation and be prepared for surprises that life throws your way.
11. You lack freedom in life
By the looks of it, you may be a free person. But what no one knows is that you are being held back by your fears, anxiety, and insecurities. You may have dreams for yourself, but your worries keep you from exploring your full potential. Each time you consider taking a step forward, you are pulled back by self-doubt and a lack of confidence that scares you with irrational justifications.
What to do: When confronted by fears, tell yourself it is only a fiction of your mind and that you need not fear something that hasn’t even happened. Avoid taking undue risks, but do not keep yourself from going after a goal only because you are afraid to confront your fears.
12. You make decisions based on your emotions
Have you ever slacked at work because you were upset with a colleague or missed a deadline because you were having problems with your partner? You are well-aware of the repercussions of your actions but still, act in a way that is not favorable for you. Why? It is because you function on your emotions. Your decisions are based on how you feel rather than what you are supposed to do, which puts you off track from your plans.
What to do: Before making a decision, ask yourself if it is the right thing to do. Determine if your decision in any way deviates from the path to your goal. If not, go ahead and keep focused on getting closer to the big goal in your life.
13. You do not want to give yourself time
Life feels impossibly difficult when you set out to achieve a target in an unreasonable amount of time. For instance, you decide to find yourself a partner in the next couple of months and get married by the end of the year. If things do not go your way, you start feeling frustrated and dismiss your life as too complicated.
What to do: Good things in life do not come too easily or quickly. To enjoy a good life, you have to practice patience and perseverance. Do not haste to get success quickly.
14. You are probably low on luck
You may or may not believe in it, but ‘luck’ is indeed for real. Imagine one day, because of an emergency at home, you arrive late to work, and that is the day when your boss has arrived on time. You have a record of reaching before time, but your bad luck made it a problem for you one day. Luck is a fact of life, and there is nothing much you can do about it. So, don’t fret over it.
What to do: Hard work and sincerity can beat bad luck. Do not worry about your boss. If your work is good, arriving late one odd day will not make much of a difference. Similarly, having a sincere approach to everything you do helps tackle bad luck effortlessly.
15. You are dependent on others for your happiness
Happiness is real when it comes from within. When you are not happy with yourself and seek happiness from people around you, you start living vicariously. Their state of mind becomes your state of mind. Your life is then dictated by their moods. And life becomes worse if they decide to make it difficult for you.
According to a survey, the majority of Americans feel “very happy” (42%) or “fairly happy” (44%) as of 2019—the lowest recorded in 71 years. On average, the percentage of Americans who reported being “very happy” (47%) is slightly more than those who said they were “fairly happy” (45%).
How happy Americans are (1948-2019)Source: Happiness Not Quite as Widespread as Usual in the U.S.; Gallup
What to do: Remember that no amount of money or love from another person can make you happy. External factors can fulfill your personal needs, but for happiness, you have to look inwards. Learn to accept yourself and be comfortable being who you are.
16. You expect life to be easy
Blood, tears, and sweat is not just the name of a Korean boy band but also what you need to put in when trying to achieve something in life. Nothing comes easy in life, and if it does, then it does not last long. The faster you accept this fact, the easier it will be to focus on your aims in life. But if you keep giving up on something because it is tough to achieve, you will not reach anywhere in life.
What to do: Whatever goal you decide to achieve in life, remember to give it your all. Be prepared to take on any kind of challenge that comes your way. Do not be disheartened by failures.
17. You are afraid of criticism
When was the last time you refrained from doing something only because you were afraid of what people would think of you? If your answer is a recent past, then you care too much about others’ opinions about you. This is especially true about criticism. You may not know how to handle critique for your work and may despite having your work judged. You take bad reviews to heart and feel inept and incompetent when someone finds faults in you or your work.
What to do: Do not be afraid of criticism. Listen to what someone says and see if you can improve on whatever they point out. Be flexible and open to change. When you are willing to change, you no longer have to fear being judged.
18. You expect too much from yourself
Your current capacity may be to run one mile in 15 minutes, but you expect to run a mile in eight minutes. And when you are unable to cover the distance in your desired time, you feel disappointed with yourself. It is good to aim high in life, but first, you need to check your current standing based on which you decide how much you need to work upon yourself.
What to do: Write down what you want to achieve for yourself. Then list down your strengths and resources you have. Also, list the resources you need such as a skill or equipment to get to your goal. Start working on it right away.
19. You are not a good judge of people
Relationships play a big role in our lives. A good and healthy relationship can bring out the best in you, while a toxic relationship can push you into the darkest pits of pain. You may be a naïve and loving person who is unable to see the wrong in people. When in love, you trust your partner blindly, and unfortunately have always had your fingers burned in the bargain.
What to do: No relationship is more important than yourself. Walk away from anyone who makes you unhappy. Also, heartbreaks should not deter you from falling in love again. Learn from your bad experiences but do not dwell in them.
20. You are unable to conform to society standards
No two people can be the same. Not even twin siblings. So, how can everyone conform to society’s set standards? Every single person is unique, and so are you. Your opinions, perception, and ideas make you different from others. And when you do not match with the majority, chances are you will face opposition and even ridicule for not fitting the mold set by society. You may feel lonely and may wonder if something is wrong with you as you cannot be like everyone else.
What to do: Know that it is fine not to blend with the crowd and be different. Leading your line is better than getting lost in a crowd. Respect your uniqueness and opinions.
21. You are unhappy with your current job
Spending eight hours a day, five days a week doing something you do not enjoy, can suck the life out of you. Being underpaid only adds to the injury. Being stuck in a rut can take a heavy toll on your mind and cause physical and mental health problems. When you are unable to cope with daily work pressure and the grueling and laborious tasks at work, life can seem impossibly unbearable.
What to do: Update your skills by enrolling yourself in a new course and get an additional degree that can help you secure a job of your choice.
22. You find it challenging to stay fit
You feel upset, you eat. You are angry about something, you eat. You are sad about a breakup, you binge eat. Comfort eating is extremely common and comforting. But the comfort is temporary, while the guilt may haunt for days. But controlling your diet can feel impossible because you are so accustomed to eating your sorrows, anger, and even guilt.
What to do: Do not struggle to maintain your diet alone. Consult a good nutritionist who can guide and help you develop good eating habits and curb excess hunger. Also, make time to exercise daily as it can refresh your mind and help shed excess weight.
23. You are financially unstable
No matter what one says, many things in this world are not free. No doubt, money is essential to living a comfortable life. If you lack money, life will certainly be hard for you. But if you have the will and determination to get out of a problem, you will be out of it someday.
What to do: Look for opportunities in companies that pay well and see what they are looking for in a candidate. Update your skills and personality according to their needs. Don’t be disheartened, and keep working on yourself.
24. You have a physical disability or a life-threatening disease
Being differently-abled can be challenging. People around you may not understand your disability and may isolate you. It can affect you emotionally and make life insufferable. Similarly, people suffering from severe and life-threatening diseases experience loneliness and depression. The harsh pain attached to certain conditions can break even the strongest of individuals.
What to do: As a differently-abled person, you need to embrace your individuality. Make efforts to be self-reliant as much as possible. Find friends who can relate to you and with whom you can share jokes. If you are suffering from a life-threatening disease, do not lose hope yet. Enjoy every precious moment of your life and hope for the best.
25. You are unable to adapt to the changing environment
The job you held for two years suddenly becomes redundant due to some technological advancement. The degree you secured five years ago loses importance because the related jobs are scarce. Our world is constantly changing, and you need to change with it, or you will be left behind. This constant change intimidates you, making you feel that you may not be able to cope with it, leaving you fatigued.
What to do: You need to change your mindset and not fear change. Your skills and specialty need some honing every few years. A little effort can take you a long way to help you survive and thrive.
26. You seldom have the time to indulge in hobbies
Meeting the needs of a modern lifestyle is no easy task. Managing work and home can leave hardly any time for yourself. And if you have a side gig, you can say goodbye to personal time to make some extra bucks. Your work and personal commitments may spare you no time to indulge in activities you enjoy, which can be arduous, leaving you unhappy in life.
What to do: Take as much work as you can complete easily. Do not stretch too much as it will eventually impact your health and you will be spending more on correcting the damage. On holidays, keep free of any kind of commitments and spend time doing only what you do not get to do otherwise.
27. You find it difficult to change
Lastly, all the solutions mentioned above are futile if you are unwilling to change yourself. Timely and appropriate change is crucial for the growth of every human being. But if you make no efforts to change, then nothing can help you. You need to be open to changing yourself from time to time and learn to adapt as per circumstances.
What to do: Convince yourself that change is good for you. Make yourself feel excited to help yourself. Have a firm belief that healthy changes will make your life more meaningful and beautiful.
28. You might get too anxious
Whether it’s general anxiety or social anxiety, some aspects of everyday life may make you feel uneasy. You might experience persistent and excessive anxiety about various aspects of life, such as work, health, family, and everyday situations, which can affect your well-being. You may have recurring negative thoughts about yourself, impacting your self-esteem and making your life difficult.
What to do: Take professional help if you find it difficult to cope. Talk about your worries to a medical professional or therapist for various therapeutic remedies. Also, seek support from friends, family, or support groups to manage anxiety and improve social connections.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do some people seem to have it so much easier than others?
Life can be unpredictable, and many factors can contribute to some people appearing to have it easier than others. These factors may include socioeconomic status, family support, education, and opportunities. Recognizing that everyone faces unique challenges is important, and comparison can be counterproductive.
2. Is it possible to find happiness and fulfillment in a world that can be so challenging and unpredictable?
Yes, it is possible to find happiness and fulfillment even in a challenging and unpredictable world. We can increase our sense of purpose, satisfaction, and joy by cultivating positive attitudes such as gratitude, compassion, and resilience and pursuing meaningful activities and connections with others.
3. How can we cope with life’s difficulties, and what can we do to find hope and positivity in the face of adversity?
Coping with the difficulties of life involves adopting healthy coping mechanisms such as seeking support from loved ones, practicing self-care, and developing a positive mindset. To find hope and positivity in the face of adversity, it is essential to focus on the things within our control, practice gratitude, and look for opportunities to learn and grow from our challenges.
Some things in life might make one wonder, “why is life so hard?” However, there is a solution to almost every problem humans face. If you have been feeling stuck lately and like none of your efforts matter, you may seek professional help. However, understand that your life may not change immediately. You might have to remain committed to your efforts and sacrifice some things to make life better. Start with making a few minor changes to your life. Although this may not alter your life overnight, it is still the beginning of a better tomorrow.
Infographic: Bible Verses For Difficult Life Situations
The Bible is a tremendous literary source for any situation in life. Whether you are troubled by life’s challenges or just having a bad day, a relevant Bible verse can help give you the much-needed motivation to keep you going. Go through this infographic as we bring you inspirational Bible verses to uplift your spirits and seek courage and strength during tough times.
- When you overlook the positive aspects of your life and instead focus on the problems, life appears to be challenging.
- Stop blaming people for your misfortunes and take responsibility for your own actions.
- Recognize that setbacks are a part of life, and if the outcome is worthy of your hard work and pain, do not let them stop you.
- Know that it’s okay to defy society’s expectations; value your individuality and opinions.
Personal Experience: Source
- Lauren Eskreis-Winkler and Ayelet Fishbach; (2022); You Think Failure Is Hard? So Is Learning From It