When The Going Gets Tough…

Hiking through urban Taipei, Taiwan as part of a landscape project.

You're probably heard the phrase before:

When the going gets tough ... the tough get going. 

Sometimes, when the going gets tough, I want to head home, curl up in my favorite blankets, turn the lights down low and eat cookies and watch TV. (That's my escape, at least). Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed with the projects in front of me, with my dreams and aspirations, and with the sheer amount of work on my plate that I just want to give up, stop, quit, throw my hands up in exasperation, or just plain hide out for a while.

And, as a small confession: sometimes--actually a lot of times--I do hide out. I look at the person who was writing and smiling confidently a few days before and I peer out from behind the virtual mirror like a kid hiding inside a big store, wide-eyed in the corner, watching, and I wonder--I did that? I can do that? It's not possible ... it's just me over here!--and for a short time I retreat back into my home space, escape the world with some good old-fashioned "Terrible Television," procrastinate like mad, and eat delicious cookies. You might call it my vice.

But, when I'm done hiding out--or on the days when hiding out isn't a proper option, because often, as much as we want it to be it's not--I have to come back into reality and figure out how to deal with the tough stuff. This year has at times been a particularly tough one--and at the same time, an amazingly wonderful one. It's like each time I make it through a challenge or adventure, life ups the ante. And yet each time I face the new obstacle, I have more confidence and gumption because I tackled those previous challenges and made it through most of them.

The best way to build confidence is by doing things. Not by thinking. Not by worrying.

Sometimes the hardest part of the race is getting started. One step at at time is all it takes. Ask anyone who's already finished.

Breathe in, breathe out. There's beauty in adversity. Maybe do a handstand or two. And get back into the ring.

When the going gets tough ... the tough get going.

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