Admission Is the Hardest Part

Writing a master’s thesis isn’t hard for a writer. What might be hard is admitting that it’s the right writing project to take on. In my case, it meant agreeing with friends and family that, despite my decent start as an entrepreneur, I should finish my traditional education — and that’s the part I struggled with. Once I allowed that idea to sink in, the rest was easy. I finished a month before the deadline.

The word “admit” means “to concede” which, in turn, is synonymous with “surrender.” Nobody likes giving up. It’s not a nice feeling. But “admit” also means “to let in.” To make room for something for which there was no space before. Often, that’s the very aspect that makes us feel like we’re giving up.

Most of the time, you know the exact steps necessary to handle a challenge. You’ll know them from the moment the challenge appears. A thesis needs an advisor, a topic, a structure, an experiment, and a certain number of words. A drop in revenue needs an analysis, a few options on how to fix it, and then for those options to be executed one by one until some remedy works. And a calendar that’s too full needs honest reflection — and then for you to simply stop engaging with the tasks and people who aren’t actually important.

Once you get rolling on the steps, no problem is as bad as it looks. It’s tossing the boulder down the hill that makes us stop in hesitation. After all, as soon as we start working on it, we admit we have a problem. We concede that we were wrong or made a mistake. And we must let go of the person we were before the struggle. That is the struggle, actually. We solve problems all the time. But the ones that threaten our identity are harder to admit. To let in. Once they’re in the door, there’s no turning back.

Actually, that’s not true. If one challenge forces you to change in a certain way, who’s to say another can’t change you right back? Every day, you’re a new person — and with that, naturally, you’ll get new problems to solve. The faster you can admit what’s necessary, the more progress you’ll make, and the less friction in forward-movement you’ll perceive.

When you feel stuck, look for the truth your heart is resisting. Allow a new reality to come in. Admit it. As soon as you step up to the mat, the game can truly begin — and what is life if not an adventure for us to play?