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When The Going Gets Tough

By Charles Hopkins Published 10/23/2007 | Entrepreneur
As we all know sometimes in life things can get rough, either from personal experience or from the experience of others. In those moments many things tend to go wrong simultaneously. When you discover the fact that problems are often social in that they seldom travel alone, it can actually feel as if everybody has it in for you.

Be careful not to mention this to the wrong people though, or they might think that you're some conspiracy theory nutcase and start treating you as such. Even though that might not directly create additional problems for you. As a matter of fact, creating some distance between you and less supportive people from your environment could actually do you a lot of good. However when you're taking hits left and right you might be a bit more susceptible to criticism than you would normally be. And that of course could hurt your already battered spirit.

Now let's suppose that you're one of those people who have read some books on personal development. Perhaps you've listened to audio programs in your car or in a quiet place at home. If so, you are likely to have learned that you don't have to be controlled by your emotions. Instead you have a great deal of influence over your emotions. Some state that this influence is absolute. The underlying idea is simple: "You can not control everything that happens to you, but you have full control over how you feel about what happens to you." Many people have learned that this belief can have a dramatically positive effect on their life and the lives of people around them. A very wise and successful man once said that: "Mastery of emotional response is the key to winning." It's pretty much a universal law and it's most certainly true in many, if not all, situations.

Many successful people have achieved their success because they were simply willing to do those things that other, less successful people are not willing to do. This poses an interesting question to all those people that want to be wealthy and successful: "Are you willing to do the things 95 percent of the people are not willing to do, in order to have the things 95 percent of the people will never have? Sounds easy enough until you start to get a grasp of the price you may have to pay. A high degree of control over your own emotions are paramount if you dream of ever achieving anything truly worthwhile.

Now let's suppose that you know all this. You believe all this. But sometimes, when nothing seems to be going your way, you can't help but feel down. Somehow you just can't help being negative. Why is it that even if you know, you still don't act like it. You know full well that negativity will bring you no good whatsoever, but you still buy into it. The path of least resistance is too tempting for you to withstand. Is it that you're weak? Can you only be positive, committed and strong willed in the face of good conditions? Does your strength of character leave you when you encounter anything a little bigger that minor obstacles? For some people this would seem to be the case. But certainly you're not one of them. You're not a loser. You're a winner. Right? Then why don't you feel like one?

To give you a small hint: maybe it's just because you're only human. We all make mistakes from time to time. If you don't it just means you're not taking enough chances. Temporarily buying into the wrong mindset is nothing more than a mistake. It doesn't have to be a big mistake either as long as you don't hang around there for too long. Just because you don't let adversity stop you doesn't mean that it can't knock you down from time to time. Whenever that happens it won't feel good because just like a punch-drunk fighter it won't feel all that dandy when he's given eight seconds. What ultimately sets you apart from the rest though is not that you don't experience the feelings that come with adversity and setbacks, but that you won't allow them to knock you out. Whether you feel good or bad, after you lick your wounds you're back in the game.

So when you find yourself in the dumps and on top of that you realize that your mindset is not where it is supposed to be, don't beat yourself up. Probably the last thing you need at that moment is you putting yourself down even more. Don't worry too much about it either. The fact that you realize it is actually a good thing. Most people never stop to thing why they behave the way that they do and whether or not their mindset is appropriate. So just give yourself a break, but make it a short one. Then get back on track and make sure that Lionel Richie's "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" applies to you.