How to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough

Everyone has challenges.

When we are having a low point, it is very easy to start to think that we are the only ones who has challenges and upsets.  I remember when I was a young teenager, I used to often wonder how everyone else had everything figured out whereas I went through times when I didn’t know what I was doing, or I didn’t know how to overcome something I was experiencing.  I really wanted to learn how they were able to go through their lives without the same insecurities and bumps in the road that I experienced.

Of course I now know that everyone has challenges and moments where they feel like they are failing.  I haven’t ever forgotten that feeling though, as I believe it is something we all experience at some point.  Why is this happening to me?  We look around and everyone else seems to be doing just great.  Social media is not helping in this aspect.  Always remember, when you are looking at social media feeds, people are showing their highlight reels, and not the tough, not so pretty parts.

Facing challenges and hard times is just part of life.  Nobody gets through life without moments or periods of time when it all seems a little dark.  In our lives, it can’t always be summer season where everything is bright and growing.  There will be times of fall and winter.  Being mindful that these tougher times is just part of life can help us gain perspective.  We may not be able to avoid difficult times, but knowing it is a normal part of life can help us move to being open to finding ways to move through the pain.  A key part of being successful is to allow these emotions and events to keep moving and not stay stuck in a never-ending loop.

This Too Shall Pass

I like to look at life having its seasons, as I mentioned above.  There are times when we are in summer and everything is sunny and bright.  We often have more energy, and events and situation in our lives flow with ease. That summer doesn’t last forever, just as it doesn’t in nature.  Fall will come, and then winter.  We even change our behavior and activities in the colder months.  We often spend more time being sedentary, staying indoors and our appetites often change to more comfort foods.   Then think of how you feel when the first sign of spring starts to come.  We often see new life breaking through the soil in the ground, perhaps some colorful new flowers and leaves gracing us.  The weather starts to get warmer and we feel refreshed and new.  Life is constantly evolving and changing as is nature.  If you are going through a difficult time, know that it won’t last forever.  You will get through it and you will be stronger for having that experience. 

I believe that we aren’t ever given events and circumstances in our lives that we can’t handle.  I really don’t have any proof of this, except that I have made it through all of life’s challenges to this point.  Whether you want to ascribe to this or not, is purely your choice, but I encourage  you to ever ponder this thought and see if it resonates with you.

Successful People Fail…A Lot

A common misconception is that successful people are somehow graced with the ability to achieve their goals and dreams without failing.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  People who continually push the outer limits of their abilities continually miss the mark and suffer defeat.  When they hit these challenging moments they don’t stop, set up camp and dwell in them.  They learn what they need to, do what needs to be done to rectify anything that requires their attention and they move forward.  They understand that challenges and tough times are part of the process.  Let me repeat that…challenges and tough times are part of the process.  They are not an indicator that you are failing.  They are an indicator that you are trying new things, learning, growing, pushing the limits.  A perspective shift on what challenges mean can be extremely empowering.  Consider that challenges maybe are a sign that life is changing, life is taking you in a new direction.  Maybe they mean that you are learning, growing and developing.  A perspective shift can be very powerful in assisting you in moving beyond your situation.

Ask Empowering Questions

When we are going through tough times, we often ask ourselves disempowering questions.  They resemble something like “why me?”, “why do I always mess up?” or “why does everyone else succeed except me?”.  The law of attraction is always working, whether we want to acknowledge it or not.  This means that when we ask a disempowering question, we will get an answer that is likely not going to help us move through whatever is challenging us. 

There are questions that we can ask that are much more empowering and can help us progress and move forward with more ease.  Questions such as “what am I supposed to learn through this situation?”, “what are my next best steps?”, “what new perspective would help me in this situation?” or “how do I move through this with as much grace and ease as possible?”. 

These types of questions start moving us towards resolving the situation and finding what to do next, or what lesson we may be learning.  I have not found a challenging situation that didn’t have something to teach me.  It does take a level of humility to be able to start to see the lesson, but it does help us move through the situation quicker and with less pain.  They help us start to focus our attention on solutions.  Once we start to focus on solutions, the answers will begin to appear. 

Discipline and Commitment Are Your Friends

Discipline and commitment often seem to get a bad rap.  They are looked upon as something negative and imposed by some external force.  In reality, they are a very powerful tool to assist us in moving forward.  They are also very effective tools to increase our confidence.  When we keep commitments to ourselves, we positively impact our self-esteem.

If you are going through a tough time, look at what you are doing to keep yourself in a negative head space.  Once you see what you are doing to keep yourself there, look at the methods you could use to move yourself to a more positive state.  This can be done through the above steps, but there needs to exist a level of discipline and commitment in wanting to move forward.  Acknowledge that everyone has challenges and that this too shall pass.  Acknowledge that all successful people fail.  Ask yourself empowering questions and be open to the answers.  This does take some work and a conscientious choice to want to change your circumstances. Sometimes, we want to wallow in a pity party and it takes a commitment to our goals and dreams to move us out of this.  Keep asking the empowering questions, keep reminding yourself that it’s all part of the journey.  You may have to keep doing this for days or weeks if necessary.  Doing it once and hoping you will move on may not always work, it all depends on how serious or severe your challenge or setback is.

I am reminded of the expression that says “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond”.  This is an idiom that can help us all through tough times.  Accept that they are going to occur, just choose how you respond with great care.