Advertising
Advertising

Published on January 13, 2021

How to Keep Fighting When the Going Gets Tougher

How to Keep Fighting When the Going Gets Tougher

Life can get tough, but it’s important to keep fighting for the better times. In particular, due to Covid-19, many more people will be struggling with various challenges right now, whether that’s redundancy, illness, inability to move around freely, a reduction in contact with friends and family, or the death of a loved one.

Let’s explore a few ways in which you can keep fighting and get yourself through the difficult times.

1. Meet Your Basic Needs

If there is only one thing you manage to do, ensure your basic needs are met. Our bodies are often very forgiving to us during those odd occasions where we might abuse them, but over the long term, it’s certainly much happier with some simple TLC.

We’re not talking about running a 5K every day. We’re talking about two things:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating regularly

If that’s all you achieve, that will give you the foundation to start fighting when you’re ready. It’s extremely difficult to keep up the fight mentally if you are physically drained. They are interlinked.

It’s okay if all you did today was survive.

Advertising

2. Change Any Expectations You Have of Yourself

It is okay to slow down and reduce the number of things you have on your plate. In fact, it’s unrealistic to think that you can perform at your full potential when going through a difficult time.

Understand and accept that you are going through a rough patch and allow yourself to adjust to this period in your life. If you do not understand and accept this, you will undoubtedly feel guilty or disappointed for not being able to perform at the same levels as before. This, in turn, will reduce your ability to keep fighting.

The likelihood is that you will not have the same level of productivity or energy as before. So, reset the bar of what “good” looks like.

There might have been a time where leaving the house wasn’t even something you gave any consideration to. Now? Well, the days you manage to leave the house might be a big accomplishment. Get through each day, one by one, by resetting what success looks like relative to what you’re going through.

3. Tackle the Problem Head on

Once you find small moments of mental or physical energy, use this to start tackling your problems head on.

If you’re grieving over the lost of a loved one, and you’ve been struggling to accept it, start allowing yourself to think of them along with whatever emotions come to surface. Do this in small bursts so that you start allowing your brain to process what has happened without overwhelming yourself.

Advertising

Then, once you feel like you’ve exhausted all your energy, go back to focusing on those basics until you’re ready to try again.

If you’ve been made redundant and feel at a dead-end with new opportunities, take small bursts of energy to start reaching out to other people for help: call friends to see if they know of any opportunities at their workplace or walk around locally to see what’s available.

Switch up your approach now and then so that you are not always trying the same thing day in day out, as that can be extremely demotivating.

You might not be lucky right away, but the point here is to be comfortable with small and consistent effort over time so that you do not burn yourself out. It’s better to apply for 100 jobs over the course of 3 months than to apply for 100 jobs on one day and then taking your foot off the gas for the following month. If this happens, the next time you are ready to apply for another 100 jobs, it will seem like a mountain of a task.

4. Be Kind to Yourself

Whatever it is that you’re going through, make it part of your routine to do something every day that makes you happy. Don’t focus on the big, unsustainable gestures like trips abroad, especially if you are experiencing financial difficulties.

Focus on the smaller pleasures in life, like having a cup of really good coffee or a hot bath. Something small and something just for you, every day. Also, remind yourself often what you’re fighting for and why.

Advertising

Being kind to yourself will give you that little extra push to keep going[1]. Care about yourself as you would care for a friend going through a similar thing.

5. Remember That Life Is About ups and Downs

Sayings like this are so well ingrained in our minds often because they are true. It might be unhelpful to hear this when you’re on a downwards path because hearing it doesn’t automatically change anything. However, the perspective is important.

You only know what “down” feels like because you’ve previously experienced the “‘up.” The reason why you keep fighting when you’re down is so that you can experience the opposite once more.

6. Reduce Your Exposure to Things That Trigger Negative Emotions

When you’re feeling weak, the last thing you need is to allow into your life are things that trigger negative emotions in you. Cut them all out, whether that’s the news, social media, or unhelpful people in your circle.

This advice stands at all points during your life. It would be wise to remove as many of the things in your life that make you feel worse, but it’s especially true when the going has got tougher because you’re less likely to be able to maintain perspective on your life.

For example, when you’re mentally strong, you might be fine watching the news, which constantly reports on disasters, tragedies, and other negative events, because you know that life is not always like this. But when you’re mentally weak, you might convince yourself that life is all doom and gloom. The news hasn’t changed—your state of mind has.

Advertising

Surround yourself with positivity as much as possible. It will make a difference. And if you feel like you might be creating your own negativity, read 7 Powerful Ways to Stop Negative Thinking.

7. Get Help

Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you feel like you can’t keep fighting. We’d all like to think we’re capable and strong enough to get through everything, but the reality is that we all need a helping hand sometimes. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Most people find that when they are open and vulnerable with somebody, that person is open and vulnerable in return. It’s also a humbling experience, and one that can allow you to release a lot of anxiety and grief.

Sharing is best done with others who understand what you’re experiencing—whether that’s because they are experiencing the same thing right now or because they’ve experienced the same thing previously. The trick will be finding this person or people.

Think about how guarded you might be about your feelings, and you might realize that other people are the same. We’ve been brought up to think that showing weakness is a negative thing, which is a shame because there is probably somebody out there who could do with your ear as well.

Online forums are a great way to find support because they focus on the problem at hand, and you’ll always find people going through similar issues. You may not get a solution to your troubles, but sometimes just being able to share your feelings is enough.

Final Thoughts

It can be difficult to maintain the energy to keep fighting when things get tough in life, but by practicing a few of the simple tips above, you can rebuild your mental stamina and get back to fighting for a better life for yourself. Take care of yourself, and then focus on taking care what’s outside of you.

More Tips on Getting Through Tough Times

Featured photo credit: BBH Singapore via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] TED Ideas: How to be kinder to yourself

More by this author

Nicky Shah

Writer at freedomwanted.com, ex-business exec, University of Oxford - Inspiring you to live more of the life you want

How to Keep Fighting When the Going Gets Tougher Designing Your Life: 5 Steps to a More Well-Lived Life

Trending in Staying Motivated

1 Why You’re Not Interested in Anything And Have No Motivation 2 How to Find Motivation When Tough Times Won’t Seem to Pass 3 12 Things That Will Always Motivate You to Do a Good Job 4 5 Things to Do If You Don’t Want to Get Back to Work 5 How to Increase Motivation When You’re in a Slump

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2021

Why You’re Not Interested in Anything And Have No Motivation

Why You’re Not Interested in Anything And Have No Motivation

Let’s clarify something before we move forward: This article is in no way meant to cure, treat, or diagnose depression. Actually, this article isn’t even about depression. Depression is the result of a combination of unique events and genetic, psychological, and environmental predispositions.[1] When you’re depressed, you lose all hope for the future, always have no energy, consistently feel sad without knowing why, and are not interested in anything. If you feel like you might be suffering from this illness, you need to seek psychiatric help as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, what we’re talking about here focuses on something similar to yet entirely different from depression: lack of motivation or interest.

The purpose of this article is to help you figure out some practical solutions for getting back that zest for life and motivate yourself to find and do things that interest you.

If you’re not interested in anything and have little to no motivation, this article will help you.

Let’s dive in to the reasons why you feel unmotivated and uninterested.

1. You’re Stuck in a Rut

You wake up, work, eat, and go to sleep… Wake up, work, eat, and go to sleep… Wake up, work, eat, and go to sleep.

Advertising

Multiply those activities enough times, throw in some mindless web-surfing and YouTube-bingeing, and congratulations — you’ve got yourself in the middle of a bonafide rut.

Being stuck in a rut is like getting stranded in the middle of nowhere with nothing but saltine crackers and water. It feels as if you have no choice but to eat the same bland, flavorless food every day. You do it because you have to, not because you want to.

Lucky for you; you can get yourself out of that rut and reignite your interests by trying a couple of solutions.

Solutions:

  • Get out of your comfort zone by injecting new and challenging activities into your life.
  • Do more things you’re scared of.

Check out this article for more ideas on how to get out of a rut: Stuck in a Rut? 5 Ways to Get Out and Move Forward.

2. You’re Not Playing to Your Strengths

One of the reasons why you are probably not interested in anything right now is that your daily activities aren’t tailored around your strengths. In other words, you’re not doing things you’re great at.

Advertising

To find your strengths, try my GPS Formula by asking yourself:[2]

  1. What am I GREAT at?
  2. What am I PASSIONATE about?
  3. How can I combine the two mentioned above in SERVICE to others?

The convergence of your answers is the key to finding your strengths.

Solutions:

  • Conduct the GPS Formula exercise described above.
  • Experiment with new ideas and potential hobbies.
  • Consider starting a side-hustle like an online business based around something you’re great at.

3. Your Subconscious Beliefs Hold You Back

Sometimes, we hold back and prevent ourselves from embracing exciting changes because we’re afraid of failure. Maybe you’d like to try picking up a new skill or sport, but you make up reasons for why you’re not interested in learning more. You tell yourself you’re not interested… But is that really true?

Do you lack interest or courage?

Often, a lack of the latter keeps us from exploring more of the former.

Advertising

Solutions: 

  • Challenge yourself to try more activities to see if they might peak your interest, even though you think you might fail.
  • Think of them as trial runs or tests, if you will, to help you determine whether they’re worth pursuing.

4. You’re Not Aiming High Enough

Regardless of what we seek to accomplish in life, it’s how much we desire to achieve our goals that end up becoming crucial to fulfilling them. Unfortunately, too many people try to set limits on their desire and tell themselves and others that they don’t need incredible success.

However, this kind of thinking is dangerous. When we limit the scope of our desire, we put a cap on what we’re willing to do to reach our goals and succeed in life. When that happens, we limit the scope of our motivation and interest on any given activity and a general sense of fulfillment.

A lack of exciting and desirable goals easily lowers your motivation and makes you feel like you’re not interested in anything.

The solution to this problem is what’s known as The 10X Rule,[3] which states that: You must set targets that are 10 times what you think you want and then do 10 times what you think it will take to accomplish those targets.

While some folks will tell you that setting impossible goals kills motivation and that it’s better to “underpromise and overdeliver,” this line of thinking is foolish. 10X-targets (commonly called stretch goals) will only spur you on harder to do more and try more than you ever have done before.[4] Besides, even if we fall short of achieving our 10X-level aims and ambitions, it is still better to fall short of achieving a massive target than merely achieving a tiny one. If you aim high enough, you’ll demand more from yourself and become better in pursuit of a massive goal.

Advertising

Nonetheless, setting a high target is only the first step. The next step is to take ten times the amount of action you think is necessary to reach that target.

Solutions:

  • When we have small, uninspiring goals, we tend to feel lethargic and unmotivated to achieve them. On the flip side, when we have vast and ambitious goals, we feel empowered and invigorated to take action towards achieving them.[5] Bottom line? Set massive goals and take massive action.
  • Push yourself to your outermost limits. The more action you take, the more motivated and interested you become to work towards your goals further.

Time to Spark!

Try the methods described above, and you’ll be well on your way to reigniting the interest and motivation you need to lead a fulfilling life.

More on Overcoming Lack of Motivation and Interest

Featured photo credit: Joshua Rawson-Harris via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next