Today I woke up with a song in my head. As I went about my morning routine I found myself singing Billy Ocean’s “When the Going Gets Tough.” The funny thing is that I don’t actually know this song. The only part I really know is “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Since I’d had some recent stressors and a few setbacks, I figured this must be my subconscious speaking — so I went with it.
I began thinking about this phrase and questioning just exactly how the tough get going. The reality is that we all face times when the going gets tough. Whether they are related to work, home, finances, relationships, or friendships, we all experience tough times.
So when the times get tough, don’t get discouraged and don’t feel defeated. Hold your head up, stick your chest out and find your inner strength to forge forward. Here are some ways to help you (“the tough”) get going. You may be stronger than you think you are.
- Remember it’s only temporary. “Temporary” is a funny word. We often hear it or see it and immediately think that it means short-term. However, that’s not necessarily true. What it means is that it will come to an end. With that in mind, you can rest assured that this too shall pass. Whatever the situation is, there will be an ending. It may take a while and it may not always end as planned, but it will end. You just have to remain strong and allow this notion to enable you to get through.
- Surround yourself with positivity. You many have noticed that I didn’t simply say surround yourself with positive people, but positivity in general. We must surround ourselves with positive things. These positive things can include people, surroundings, readings, and any form of entertainment. It is important to remain in a positive space. When surrounded by negativity, we become negative people. Once we become negative people, we breed negative thoughts, and eventually our thoughts become our actions.
- Pay it forward. Sometimes the best way to forget about how tough things are for you is to realize others’ struggles and lend them a helping hand. Try helping someone else and see how much smaller your issues become – even if just for a little while.
- Practice gratitude. When we take the time to recognize and be thankful for the things that we have, we tend to think less of the things we lack.
- Don’t be afraid. One of the biggest barriers to facing a tough situation is the fear of the unknown. The truth is, most of the fears we have never actually come to exist. Let go of your fears. They serve no positive purpose. They create negative energy and prevent us from moving forward.
In addition to those tips here are just nine of my favorite quotes that serve as motivation to get me going when the going gets tough.
“Sometimes we stare so long at the door that is closing that we see to late the one that is open.” ~Alexander Graham Bell
“Inside of a ring or not, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.” ~Muhammad Ali
“It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~ CharlesDarwin
“Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein
“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.” ~Unknown
“He knows not his own strength until he has met adversity.” ~William Samuel Johnson
“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” ~Lou Holtz
“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” ~Duke Ellington
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” ~Robert H. Schuller
It is my sincere hope that you find this article to be motivating and inspiring – that you will take at least one thing and let it be the one thing that helps you get going when the going gets tough.
White, D. (2013). How to Get Going When the Going Gets Tough. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-get-going-when-the-going-gets-tough/00015202
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Feb 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.