Ruth Clare

9 things to remind yourself when you are going through a tough time

  1. Sometimes keeping your head above water and making it through the day takes every ounce of your energy. Now is not the time to push yourself or measure your journey against anyone else’s.  
  2. Feeling sad, bad, angry, scared or any other feeling you might think of as negative, does not mean there is something wrong with you, it means you are struggling and you are human.
  3. You don’t have to meet a minimum standard of suffering to earn the right to your pain.  Just because someone might have experienced “something worse” doesn’t make your pain less valid. You have the right to feel how you feel and to look after those feelings no matter what anyone else has been through.
  4. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time. It might feel tough right now. But the one certainty in life is change. Just as good times don’t last, neither do the bad. Remind yourself that this too shall pass.
  5. You don’t have to know how to solve all your problems right now. If you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and trying things when you have the energy, your perspective will shift, answers will come and solutions will appear. Just keep swimming.  
  6. You, like everyone else, are doing the best you can. You might learn new skills to help you cope better in the future, but it isn’t helpful to judge your past self on your future self’s awareness. Life is hard and you are not perfect and that is okay.
  7. It’s okay to do the bare minimum. Instead of beating yourself up for not being productive in the way you think you “should” be, ask what standards you might drop, what things can be left undone for now. Don’t make yourself feel worse by calling self-compassion laziness.
  8. You don’t have to hide your pain or pretend you are doing well. There is nothing wrong with having a tough time. Though admitting you are struggling can be hard, it is part of being human. Being brave enough to be vulnerable can allow you to form deeper and more authentic connections and to find out there are people who care and want to help.
  9. If you don’t feel safe to talk to people you know about what you are going through, there are free phone counselling services who can help. There are books you can read from people who have been through the exact same thing as you. You are not alone.

Ruth Clare is an award-winning author, TEDx and motivational keynote speaker, professional actor, qualified scientist and authenticity, resilience and change expert who learned by necessity, first to survive, then to thrive. Ruth weaves research and hard-won lessons with powerful, relatable stories from her lived experience overcoming adversity, to help others find the courage to own the stories that are holding them back so they can rewrite their lives. With a rare knack for distilling the neuroscience and psychology of human behaviour into simple ideas and practical strategies, Ruth shows people how to embrace uncertainty, stay hopeful when times are tough and harness their potential for growth and change. Ruth’s TEDx talk, The Pain of Hiding Your True Self, has had over half a million views.