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What to Tell Yourself During Tough Times?

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Whether you want to believe it or not, tough times are bound to come in your life from time to time. It’s easy to go tumbling down the rabbit hole of despair, to blame yourself, to blame others, or to give up.

It’s easier for self-doubt to seep in and for negative thoughts to take the front seat.

“Why me?”

“This always happens with me.”

“This is how I am going to be always.”

“I won’t ever succeed.”

These are just some of the thoughts that take over our mind when tough times strike. Even if the difficult phase passes, sooner or later it reappears in another form. The sooner you accept that tough times are a part of life, the sooner you will learn to not be fazed by them.

Positive thoughts don’t appear magically in your head during times like these, you have to actively work towards getting that mindset. One thing that is going to get you through difficult patches of your life is a positive and healthy mindset. To achieve that mindspace, there are some things you need to remind yourself and keep working towards.

1. It will pass

tough times will pass

“This too shall pass. It might pass like a kidney stone. But it will pass.”


-Anonymous

I don’t know who said it but it makes real sense here. No matter what kind of time you are going through, it is going to pass. Even the most happening days don’t last so why will the tough time. When you make up your mind and convince yourself that this predicament you are in will be over in some time, it is easier to deal with.

A deadline, an end date have the power to drive us through life even when we don’t want to. So, putting a clock on your tough time is a good thing to begin with, you don’t have to know the exact date but just the thought of it being over soon is enough to get you into action.

2. This will make me stronger

tough times will pass

“I have no regrets in my life. I think that everything happens to you for a reason. The hard times that you go through build character, making you a much stronger person.”

-Rita Mero

Tough times, negative experiences, glitches in plans, every unfavorable thing teaches you something and that something helps you become stronger. What do you think people mean by being a better version of yourself? It simply means learning from your mistakes and using those lessons to grow yourself as a person. It might not seem like that at the time but once it passes you will realize how it made you a better person.

“Hard times are like a washing machine, they twist, turn and knock us around, but in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before.”


-Anonymous

3. Don’t stop – Small steps go a long way

tough times will pass

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”


-Winston Churchill

It is tempting to tuck yourself in your comfy blanket and never get out. When things got tough, this used to be my go-to solution. Just go to sleep and wake up when everything passes but things seldom work as we want them to. After I woke up, the problem that had me in a time like was still there, and albeit calm I was still at the same place as before. No solution, no steps taken to fight this thing.

Then I realized that while feeling safe and hiding inside a bubble might be my preference, it wasn’t going to sustain me in the long run. What I needed to do was find a way out. Once this sunk in, I started finding outrageous ways to get help or help myself out of a situation. Well, the ways, they weren’t exactly outrageous but you get my point. For example, there’s an exam tomorrow and you don’t even know the name of the textbook, and you decide that it is possible to learn a 1,000-page book in the just 8 hours.

While that might seem ideal, it is far from it. What it did to me was put me under a lot of stress. Finally, I understood it was about taking small steps, you didn’t have to win the world in a day, just a small something was enough and that is what helps you win the world one day. Just keep taking baby steps, don’t stop.

In the end, it all boils down to your determination to not stop and to not let whatever it is get the better of you. Your mind is the only thing that is going to drive you in situations you would rather not be, so the only thing you have to do, to build yourself up from the ground, is convince yourself that whatever it is, you can get through it without breaking, and it is going to benefit you, and you are going to win because as someone wise said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Motivation

Don’t Give Up: Lesson From Famous Failures

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don't give up

When nothing seems to be going in your favor, it is easy to just give up. It is easy to blame the situation, the whatever, than to keep going. There will always be thousands of reasons to give up, but what matters is that one reason to not.

When nothing seems to be going in your favor, it is easy to just give up. It is easy to blame the situation, the whatever, than to keep going. There will always be thousands of reasons to give up, but what matters is that one reason to not.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”


-Anonymous

Look at it as a bend in the road rather than a dead end. Giving up on your dreams means giving up on everything you have worked on up until that point, giving up on yourself. When you give up on yourself, who do you think is going to take a chance on you?

Just because you failed doesn’t mean you have to stop. It means you need to change your course of action and try again. Try again and again, you have to keep working. Failures teach you the lessons that you wouldn’t have otherwise learned. Think of them as a wise teacher you have been blessed with.

If you hadn’t failed in one thing, you wouldn’t have found out a more efficient way to do it, and wouldn’t have been better because of that.

When you give up, you might not have to face failures in that field again, but you end up failing big time. Let me tell you why, when you don’t work hard enough, try every hand at the game, you disappoint yourself. You can deal with others being disappointed in you, but when you are the one disappointed in yourself, it has the power to turn your life stagnant.

Popular proverbs from different cultures all point towards not giving and trying until you succeed.

“Try and try until you succeed.”


-English Proverb


“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”


-Japanese Proverb

When we were younger, most of us read the story, “Robert the Bruce and a Spider.” It is a perfect example of this proverb.

Robert the Bruce was the king of Scotland and was at war with the King of England. They fought six times, and finally, the army was scattered. The King was forced to hide among the mountains. One rainy day, while he was hiding in a cave listening to the rain, he saw a spider trying to throw her thread from one edge of the wall to the other. The thread fell short each time, it happened six times.

“Poor thing!” said Robert the Bruce. “You too, know what it’s like to fail six times in a row.”

But the spider didn’t lose hope. She threw her thread the seventh time, and this time she succeeded. Watching this, Robert the Bruce gained hope, he called his men and prepared to fight for the seventh time. This time they won the battle.

There are various versions of this story, like the spider climbing the wall and falling, or even the spider being replaced by an ant in the story. The moral remains the same. If you really want to achieve something, no matter how many times you fall, you have to get back up.

“If you are not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you are not doing anything innovative.”


-Woody Allen


The struggle stories of successful people are something that inspire others and give hope. I read a lot as you might have figured if you are a regular reader. How many times do you think popular authors or books were rejected?

When something is popular, the possibility of it ever being rejected doesn’t cross our minds. Do you know, a lot of popular books were rejected hundreds of times. Let’s talk about a few before we jump into a discussion.

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul faced 144 Rejections. This book eventually ended up becoming a bestseller, and then a series.
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig was rejected 121 times.
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, that sold over 30 million copies worldwide, was rejected 38 times.
  • Carrie by Stephen King was rejected 30 times.
  • The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a book that sold millions and is revered by literature students, was rejected 21 times.
  • Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling, one of the highest selling books, was rejected 12 times.

What do you think is common among these authors?

Let’s take it a step ahead and look at people who failed in various stages of their life, and still managed to sail through.

  • Charles Darwin: dropped out of University twice, was considered a failure by his own father.
  • Albert Einstein: couldn’t speak until 4, failed an entrance exam, struggled to graduate from university, did poorly in his course.
  • Colonel Harland Sanders (Founder of KFC): worked lots of odd jobs, started a motel which was destroyed by fire, sold his business during the war and got divorced, another failed restaurant, and when at age 65 he set out to sell his franchised-chicken model, he was rejected by 1,009 restaurants before one agreed.
  • Oprah Winfrey: Lost one of her first jobs because she was “unfit for TV.”

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”


-Oprah Winfrey

These are just a few stories that I have mentioned for you to understand where I am coming from. What do all of these people have in common? They did not give up. This many rejections can break anyone’s spirit, but if you believe in your work and yourself, and you can find it in yourself to keep going, chances are, you will see the result.

Why do you think their words mean so much to us now, may it be in the form of quotes, speeches, articles, books, interviews, why? We try to grab onto every piece of advice they have to offer. That is because they dared to do what many of us can’t or rather don’t do. They dared to get back up, no matter how many times they fell, no matter how hard they fell, they managed to turn the hurt into success.

don't give up

Rejections and Failures are part of life, the sooner you accept it, the sooner it will lose the power to destroy you.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”


-Winston Churchill



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