Calling something easy doesn't make it easy

I see a lot of people (especially disabled people hate themselves for struggling with things that they think of as easy, often along these lines:

  • Person: I need to do this thing. 

  • Person: It’s not hard. This is so easy. Why don’t I just do it?

  • Person: I know I need to do the thing. It’s been weeks. What’s wrong with me? This isn’t hard. I need to just do it already.

If you’re having trouble doing something, the thing you’re struggling to do is not actually easy. There is no objective difficulty scale. Tasks aren’t inherently easy or difficult — it depends on the person and the situation. Different people find different things easy and hard. Sometimes you will struggle with things that other people find easy. That doesn’t mean you’re failing to do an easy thing. It means that for you, the task is hard.

Sometimes things that are hard at first become easier with practice, or become easier when you learn new skills. Sometimes things never get any easier. Sometimes solutions that work for people who can do the thing without much trouble will work for you too; sometimes you might need support that other people don’t need. 

Sometimes you might need to find an alternative to doing the thing. Sometimes the only solution is to have someone else help you do the thing or do the thing for you. It doesn’t matter if you think it ’should’ be hard or easy, if you’re having trouble doing something, that means the thing you’re trying to do is hard. (And sometimes, it might mean that the thing is impossible.)

Calling something easy does not make it easy, and you can’t make hard things easy by hating yourself. Hard things become much more possible when you accept that they are hard, stop trying to overcome the difficulty through sheer force of will, and seek out solutions that will work for you.

 “Calling something easy does not make it easy” in a graffiti font on a brick wall background.

“Calling something easy does not make it easy” in a graffiti font on a brick wall background.