What To Do When Things Get Tough

“When life hands you lemons, just say fuck the lemons and bail.” 

Paul Rudd, Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Yesterday we had a great discussion in our members-only Facebook group around mindset during a workout. It was fun to see so many people sharing the strategies and tactics they use to push through when things get tough. We can gain many valuable lessons from the gym, and it can give us valuable insights into how we respond to adversity in our daily lives.  

I’m a big believer in the idea that how you do anything is how you do everything. Here are three tactics I use in my life when things get tough:


Saying, “don’t stop” or “don’t quit” can actually send a message to your brain that makes you more likely to quit. If you tell yourself not to quit, you’re implying that you are or possibly could be a quitter. Rather than saying, “don’t quit,” change your talk to “keep going” or “one more rep.” 

The mantra of “one more rep” is something I was fortunate to be given in college during preseason training camp, and it’s stuck with me ever since. In everything you do, inside or outside of the gym, when things get tough, keep repeating to yourself, “one more rep.” If you keep doing just one more, you will get where you need to go. 


This goes for everything in life – not just fitness. Suppose you have a problem that you don’t know how to solve – ask for help. Find a coach. It’s the fastest way to get you from point A to point B. 

Is there a new skill you need to earn a promotion at work? Find a to teach it to you. Want to start a business but aren’t sure how? Find a coach who will mentor you.  

The biggest issue many of us run into when trying to complete a difficult task or solve a problem is that we don’t know what to do next. A great coach will provide you with clarity and tell you to do this right now to move forward. 

And then, once you do that thing, you go back and ask what’s next? 

And do the next thing. 

And the next thing. 

And the next thing (one more rep). 

Suddenly, you will find yourself with momentum and heading in the right direction because you were willing to ask someone to show you the way. 


In whatever struggles you are going through, I promise that you are not alone. Someone else is experiencing the same thing that you are. Be vulnerable enough to ask your peers for help if you are struggling. This is different than talking to your coach. Often (hopefully always), a coach has already transcended the level you strive to reach. You may find yourself saying, “easy for you to say.” While it’s not the ideal attitude you want to have, the thought will occur from time to time. When it does, you need a group of people to voice your frustrations to who have maybe just completed that step, so you know that it is attainable for yourself. 

Besides fitness, what area of your life could use these tactics to shift your mindset and move yourself forward?