How to Get Through the Hard Stuff

Image from www.frmtr.com

Image from www.frmtr.com

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

~ Christopher Robin to Pooh (by A. A. Milne)

Life. It’s just hard sometimes.

I know, I know. There’s a library full of books out there on the magic of positive thinking, positive attitudes, thinking beautiful thoughts to create beautiful realities.

And that’s terrific.

But…

Sometimes life is just hard. Or unfair. Or filled with the sorts of things that make you wonder how you’ll ever keep going, or ever get back on your feet.

When you’re in that hard place, it can be impossible to think about rainbows and puppies and sunshiny happiness. Sometimes life is all sad unicorns…

So, my friend, I’ve put together a small list of suggestions and strategies that I have personally tested while in that hard place. Perhaps something here might be useful for you. If you don’t need this right now, tuck it away for a rainy day, or save it for a friend. No one’s immune to suffering. We all get our shot at the hard stuff…

1) Whisper positive encouragement in your own ear. Tell yourself that you can do it. Be your own cheer squad. And if it’s really, really grim and no encouraging words can be summoned then simply grit your teeth and remind yourself ‘this is not how it ends!’

2) Hold a picture in your mind of what you want your end result to be. Visualise it often. Make sure it is positive. Make it as real as possible. The sort of image that inspires you! Keep it fresh in your mind.

quote-formulate-and-stamp-indelibly-on-your-mind-a-mental-picture-of-yourself-as-succeeding-hold-this-norman-vincent-peale-143240

3) Know your why. Why are you doing this? Why? For you, your children, your future, your health, your security? To get the deposit for a house? To never have back pain again? So you don’t die early? So you can finally get out of the rat race? When our why is clear enough and strong enough, we can get ourselves through anything.

Image from Weight Watchers

Image from Weight Watchers

4) Give yourself some mini-breaks. When the going really is tough, and the road is a long one, letting yourself have a moment to catch your breath and get your strength back is always a good idea. Do all you can to make this journey sustainable.

Image from www.webmd.com

Image from www.webmd.com

5) Don’t look back. Always keep looking forward. Keep your eyes on where you want to go. Looking back can fill us with regrets, slow us down, weaken our resolve. Live in the moment, not the past.

Image from Studded Hearts

Image from Studded Hearts

6) Break it down into the smallest possible increments. Smaller, smaller, smaller if you must. Then deal with just that small bit. Then the next one.  Then the next one. Bit by tiny bit. That’s how you make it through.

7) Distraction therapy. You know what I’m talking about. You get through the chemo or the transfusion by listening to music. You survive the weekend with the in-laws by painting the fence or cooking the world’s most complicated dinner. You scrub mold from the walls while you plan your next vacation. As you do the hard thing, let part of you be somewhere else or engaged with something else.

8) Stay away from the non-believers. It’s hard enough without all those people telling you just how hard it is, or that you can’t do it, won’t do it, don’t deserve to succeed etc etc… If you can’t stay away learn the blah-blah song (sing blah-blah-blah in your head to drown out their negativity. Smile at them or put your best ‘I’m-really-listening-to-you’ face on as you do this – you’ll find it’s quite empowering) . Or wear your psychic raincoat.

Image from Traffic Scene

Image from Traffic Scene

9) Celebrate the tiny milestones and look for the smallest wins. Cheer yourself on. Remind yourself that you’re making progress. Chart it on the wall. Sometimes hour by hour IS a victory. Don’t kid yourself it’s not. When the going really is this hard, just hanging in there is worth celebrating.

Celabration Cake 015

10) Have faith and develop a support network. Draw on whatever uplifts you and gets you through. Pray; meditate; spend time in nature; hug your dog; play music; light candles; talk to your Guides, your Nana in heaven, your best friend, God, the sun and the stars. Make positive little signs to remind yourself of the why, and place them around the house. Choose a daily Angel Card. Put a magical rock in your pocket. Or maybe Elvis is your thing. The point is, go with what works for you! Oh, and did I mention that maintaining a sense of humour and a healthy appreciation of the absurd is also very useful?

Image from Charlie

Image from Charlie

We are human. In this cycle of life we shall all know victory and defeat, pleasure and pain. There is a buddhist saying that has served me very well during the hard times, and it is this: ‘This too shall pass’.

It’s true. There is always an end to difficult times. Hang in there, my friend. I’m thinking of you and sending love. {{{HUGS}}} Nicole xx

18 thoughts on “How to Get Through the Hard Stuff

  1. Beautiful article, thank you. Love.

    Lauren Tekverk Certified Pilates Instructor Health Coach

    In 10 sessions you will feel the difference. In 20 sessions you will see the difference. In 30 sessions you will have a whole new body. -Joseph Pilates

  2. Great post as usual. I love the Music to Make Housework Easier album cover. Oftentimes I drink a martini while vacuuming. Well I really don’t, but I found that picture quite amusing and laughter is the best medicine. Thanks for all you do, Nicole.

  3. Your ‘radar’ must be very finely tuned as this is very timely yet again! Aaah I know what I want but it is not happening of late and not just once but regularly. So thanks again. I am ever hopeful xx stay well Nicole

  4. I especially loved #7… the photo and the in-law example in particular. Big grin. Even an ah-hah moment with regard to the over-complicated dinner. Interesting perspective. Nicely done. The view must be great from up there. 🙂

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