Strong people struggle too

May 16, 2024

We are often told by our loved ones, and our society, to ‘be strong’. And we are told to take pride in our ability to withstand life’s struggles. And it’s true. You should be proud of the fact that, no matter what hardships you have been through, you still keep going. You are pursuing your career dreams and striving to build a better life for yourself. Your resilience and determination is admirable, and you should celebrate these qualities. 

But the pressure of being ‘strong’ and showing the world that we are ok can make us feel trapped and alone. Many of us grew up being told ‘don’t cry’, or ‘be grateful for what you have’ and we learned to hide and ignore our feelings. But ignoring our feelings doesn’t make them go away – and the more we run from our problems, the bigger they can seem. This way of living can have a big impact on our physical and mental health. But we don’t have to suffer alone. 

The truth is, that everything we go through in life affects us. No matter how small, every positive and negative leaves an imprint on who we are, and how we think, feel, and act. It is totally normal for the struggles we go through (past and present), to cause us to feel difficult emotions like stress, pain, anger, resentment, guilt, frustration, and sadness. And when bad things happen to us we need a little bit of help to feel better. 

Here are some tips and resources to help you keep going if stress and pressure feel too much.   

5 things to remember if you are struggling with your feelings:

  1. Your feelings are normal and valid. No matter how you are feeling, you are not weak or ungrateful for reacting to the situation you are in. Struggling with your emotions is not a sign of weakness. It is part of being a human.
  2. If it matters to you, then it matters! You don’t need to justify your feelings to anybody. We are all unique, and we have different lives and personalities. What is a big deal to you might not be to someone else, and that is ok! 
  3. Stop comparing yourself to others. Suffering is not a competition. Different people will react differently to the same situation. And different things will make us feel better. So just focus on you. Let go of any guilt or negative judgment – it’s not helping you, in fact, it is probably making things worse. 
  4. Wisdom is knowing when to ask for help. You don’t have to go through everything alone, so don’t let pride stop you from getting the support you need! Sometimes simply talking openly and honestly to someone you trust can help you feel better. People who care about you want to help you – so give them a chance. 
  5. Try different things to figure out what helps you the best. It can be difficult to know where to start when you are feeling down and struggling to manage. There is so much advice out there on the Internet, so break it down. Just pick one thing that sounds good to you and see if it helps. Then try another. Then another. Take it one small step at a time, and take the pressure off. Eventually, you will find which tips work best for you and help you to feel better.

If you are feeling down, depressed, or stressed, here are some resources that you might find helpful. 

Influencers/therapists to follow