We all have stretches when life doesn’t go as we’d want it to. No matter the cause, everyone experiences tough times in life that can destabilize us, make us question our own abilities, and keep us from realizing our hopes. Yet, these phases of life have their purpose: the more tough times you persevere through, the more equipped you become to get back up after falling down. In this post, I wanted to share some things that could keep you going when the going gets tough, based on my own experiences.

Wanting to test your own limits

Tough times are exactly that: tough. They push you beyond what you’re comfortable with. While this means they can be painful moments, they can also be opportunities to grow and challenge yourself. Whether it’s that one project everyone thought you’d give up on but you tried one last time and succeeded, or that time you made an extra effort to meet people in a new city and found your best friends, pushing your limits just a little bit more can be very powerful. Yes, it’s more exertion and is rarely fun, especially when you’re in a rough patch. But there’s often a big reward on the other side of this process. Even more importantly, the next time you’re in a rough patch (and you will be, sorry!), you’ll know that you have what it takes to push through and succeed once again.

Remembering your people

It’s often the case that our hopes and dreams are tied with those of our friends and family. Personally, I believe that this should never be a source of pressure, but could serve as a source of inspiration if you’re struggling with motivation. In my case, I tend to think of the fact that my grandparents used to live in a small village and never got the privilege of a university education. Likewise, my parents’ apartment growing up was so small that they’d have to sleep in the living room or kitchen. So now that I have the immense good fortunate of studying in the US, I have made it a point to make the most of my time here. Of course, university is tough at many times and in many ways (academically, socially, etc.), and so when tough times inevitably arise, I keep my parents and grandparents’ stories as a source of fuel. While I’m not persevering for their sake but for my own, keeping them in mind often helps ME cross the finish line.

Reframing your perspective

In some sense, tough stretches are so dreadful simply since we perceive them that way. There is no denying that life can sometimes get very painful, but even in these moments, we have some autonomy to choose how we look at it. Our biggest obstacles can often teach us the most profound lessons, if only we’re willing to look at them as stepping stones on our path rather than solid brick walls. I’m a tennis player, but once wanted to quit the sport because of how much I kept losing. I was so focused on my losing that I didn’t stop to learn from my losses and analyze my game. I had to change my perspective to focus on how I could get better rather than purely winning, and although it still took a while to return to winning ways, I started to enjoy the game so much more.

Bonus: it makes for a great story

What kinds of stories that you tell your friends and family really capture their attention? Chances are it’s not bragging about your accomplishments or recounting all your sorrows, but rather stories where you had to overcome significant hurdles but did so anyways. The next time you find yourself knee-deep in a tough situation, think about that. When you eventually do find yourself out of the situation, you have a great story to tell that will not only entertain, but also inspire. Why? Because everybody goes through tough times. I personally see my life as a collection of stories wrapped up into a larger book, and my goal is to write as many entertaining stories as I possibly can. I can’t do this without embracing tough times and persevering through them one-by-one.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, so thank you so much for reading this! More to come as I will be graduating college and starting a new life soon. Also, a quick shout-out to Verrel, who has been producing some consistently great content recently that you should check out!

Till next time,


Featured Image: Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

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Love the story telling perspective! Never thought about it that way. Thanks Dvij!

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