In the game of life, if it often seems like you’re on the losing end of things, you’re not alone. Life can be one giant conundrum filled with ups and downs. When you feel like you’re experiencing more downs than ups, sometimes it helps to get a little tough love once in a while. That’s why we put together this list of 10 harsh truths that will help you grow.

1. Life isn’t fair.

Life will hand you lemons, often when you least expect it. The sooner you embrace this harsh truth, the better prepared you’ll be to handle tough situations that are sure to arise.

2. The first step is always the hardest.

Let’s face it: changing bad habits is tough. Research proves it. Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So if you want to change something, start with baby steps. Take a small action–any action–and grow from there.

3. Good things usually don’t come quickly.

Great accomplishments in our lives normally don’t come easy. And if you think about it, would you have it any other way? There’s a basic psychological principle called instant gratification, which means that we expect to get rewards instantly. But sometimes you need to fight the impulses your brain throws at you and trust that the journey you’re on is the right one.

4. Not everyone will support you along the way.

In life, there’s no shortage of doubters, haters, and pessimists. Overcoming this harsh truth is simple: don’t listen. Choose to stick with your guns, trust your instincts, and forget about people who don’t support your goals and passions.

5. You can’t always be in control of everything.

Listen, letting go is hard, especially if you’re a go-getter. But if you want to continue to grow, there are times when you need to relinquish your control on everything and let things unfold how they’re meant to be. This doesn’t mean your mentality for everything should be “wait and hope.” You can still strive for greatness, but put the work in and then let go with complete faith that the universe will make things right for you. You’ll be amazed at how well it works.

6. You can’t accomplish great things without taking great risks.

Here’s another harsh truth many people have trouble grasping: if you don’t take risks you will have a lot harder time accomplishing what you want in life. People who truly change the world are the biggest risk takers. They’re the ones who are willing to put everything on the line and fail for something they believe in. And they treat each failure as an opportunity to grow and get better.

7. You may be better off without some of the people you currently care about.

This one is tough to hear, I know. But chances are, there’s someone in your life you care about deeply who is holding you back. That’s not to say you should give up on the people you love. However, there comes a time when you need to make the tough decision to say no to people who aren’t helping you grow.

8. Death is a part of life.

Nothing can prepare us for the earth-shattering pain of losing a loved one. The harsh truth of life is that it’s a viscous cycle. However, there’s something you can do to make losing someone you love a lot less painful: make them a part of your life right now. Don’t put off making that phone call or paying a random visit to a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while. Treat every moment with your loved ones as if it’s your last, and you won’t have any regrets.

9. You are the only thing holding yourself back from greatness.

Often we get so caught up hoping for the next great thing that we don’t realize what’s unfolding right in front of our faces. Don’t hold yourself back with negative thoughts. Instead, focus on the positive things you have going in your life. Choose to be happy right now.

10. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.

Suffering is part of life. But here’s the cool thing: it makes us stronger. There’s a randomness to how the world works that’s really hard to understand. We see evidence of this every day, and it can really make you question the future of mankind. How you choose to view the world is up to you. Just remember, the truth, however harsh, will set you free.

More truths: 7 Harsh Truths That Will Improve Your Life

Featured photo credit: Portrait of a happy smiling boy. via Shutterstock

Love this article?