12 signs you’ll be okay when life gets unexpectedly tough


Life takes a sudden wrong turn many times over throughout one’s existence.

This article, in a way, is the advice I would have given to myself when I lost my job or went through a bad romantic breakup or left behind a business I loved.

From every bad experience and difficult situation, life always ends up teaching you a valuable lesson. If nothing else, that’s what you can take away.

Even more profound is that no matter what happens to you, you’ll be okay. You’ll find a way through the situation or perhaps find a way around it. Here are 12 signs you’ll be okay.

You’re trying not to complain

Being conscious of whether you are complaining like a child and dumping your toxicity on everyone you encounter is one sign you’ll be okay.

If you can reduce your desire to complain and replace it with a desire to observe, you’ll be okay. Complaining does you no good. There are no answers found in the middle of a dirty string of complaints.

Turning those complaints into bite-sized points of self-reflection is one way to extract and mine a little bit of gold from each one.

You’re letting frustration motivate you

When your life gets tough, frustration kicks in. There are two choices when this happens to you:

Be frustrated and get annoyed

Be frustrated and be inspired and motivated by it

This second choice has helped me a lot when facing a tough situation. Frustration motivates me to try harder and find other avenues. When I tried earlier in the year to get into a publication that resonated with my writing style, they rejected me. Every time I pitched them they rejected me.

The frustration I felt motivated me to pitch them every week. Instead of holding back the story pitches, I bombarded them. Every day the editors woke up to their inbox, my face was right at the top with a compelling headline in the email subject line to tempt them.

Eventually, after months of frustration and rejection, I got the email I wanted:

“We accept your story and would like to publish it.”

That’s one way frustration can motivate you. Don’t be defeated and bitter because of frustration. Let frustration energize you to keep showing up.

You’re doing the best you can

Even if the situation is dire, if you’re doing the best you can, you’ll be okay.

As long as you’re not giving up, you’re making subtle progress that perhaps your mind can’t see right now.
You can’t control the situation but you can control your effort. Work through it. Do your best. Control how you show up rather than trying to control the situation.

Life is happening for you, not to you.

You’re watching your mental health carefully

Anxiety and depression creep their way through the backdoor of your mind and into reality really quick.

This is exactly what happened to me back in 2011 when my life went into meltdown and I was diagnosed with mental illness. If your mental health is working against you, it doesn’t mean you’re broken — quite the opposite.

If you’re watching your mental health carefully and looking out for anxiety and depression, you’re going to be okay.

And when you do see your mental health going backwards, seeking professional help is certainly going to help a lot.

You’re getting outside advice

Your mind is one big fat liar when life gets tough.

It tells you crazy stuff like you’re going to lose your money, or become homeless, or be alone forever, or die a horrible death. None of that is going to happen and it’s all going to be just fine.

A sign you’ll be okay is if you’re getting external advice from friends, mentors and even people who have gone through a similar situation.

External advice is how you stop your mind from lying to you and see the truth: you’re going to be okay no matter what happens.

You’re being uncomfortable

When a situation is tough and you feel uncomfortable, you’re actually growing at the same time. Growing is how you become okay and make it to the other side where you’ll look back on this period of your life one day and be damn proud of it.

A tough situation can be turned into an opportunity when you’re prepared to be uncomfortable and consider a different reality.

You’re being occasionally kind

If you help others get what they want and treat people well, you’ll be okay. A tough situation becomes worse when you lock yourself up at home and turn all your focus inwards.

Selfishness prevents you from overcoming a tough situation while being occasionally kind and selfless helps you get through it quicker. When you’re helping someone else, you’re getting away from the situation and changing your focus.

By changing your focus and seeing how you can help others, you’re simultaneously creating a powerful and empowering meaning for what is happening to you.

You’ll be fine if you’re kind and help others when your ideal life is burning to the ground in front of you.

You’re prepared to work harder

If your life has taken a wrong turn and you’re working even harder to overcome it, you’ll be okay.

Standing still and giving up is not going to help you be okay once again. This year, when I lost my job, the one thing that kept me going was increasing my workload. Instead of taking no for an answer, I kept asking how one might get hired or be considered for a role.

When recruiters tried to block me or exclude me based on job history, I stood tall and told them my truth. I fought. I went to more interviews. I wrote more articles.

I controlled what I could control: my work ethic.

The days where I felt sorry for myself and did no work were the hardest. Those days consumed me and told me that things wouldn’t get better.

If you’re prepared to work harder when things get tough, what you’re subconsciously saying to yourself is that you’re not giving up.

You’re spending time with loved ones

Loved ones help remind you why you’re playing the game of life.

Your family and friends are there for you and will love you regardless of whether you are facing a tough situation or not. This is a calming thought when everything else in your life feels terrible and broken.

If your life is tough and you’re still making time for your family, partner, pet or friends, you’ll be fine and they’ll tell you that too — don’t take my word for it.

You’re watching your ego

You’ll definitely be okay if you watch your ego and be on the lookout for entitlement and becoming a spoilt adult brat in a diaper.

Your ego can get out of control when things get tough. My ego told me that everybody was wrong when I left a startup I loved. The truth was I’d become an asshole and worshipped money.

If you’re conscious of your ego and watching the negative side effects of getting ahead of yourself, you’ll be fine.

People won’t help someone who is letting their ego rage but they will help someone who deserves it and has become humble from their tough situation.

This article is a sign

The very fact you clicked on this article and decided to read it means you’re open to being okay again. You’re considering a different possibility and pondering new ideas.

You’re attempting to learn through someone else’s experience and that’s creating neural pathways in your mind that may even rewire your brain.

You’re not giving up. Ever.

If you swear a blood oath that you’ll never give up, you’ll be okay.

Giving up is really the only way to reinforce your tough situation and ensure it continues. You’ll be okay if you don’t give up.

You’re going to face tough situations just like I have this year and giving up is one choice you can and must make.

Of course, life is going to be tough. Imagine life wasn’t and you got everything you asked for. How boring would that be? It would be like playing your favorite computer game with cheat codes turned on. That’s no fun.

You can learn from a tough situation or you can give up.

Continuing on is voting for yourself and your future progress. Do that and you’ve got the biggest bright red, flashing sign with alarm bells ringing, you could hope for that tells you and all of us that you’re going to be okay.

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