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How To Keep Going When The Going Gets Tough

Written by: Dr. Dunni Atalabi, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you been faced with a challenge? Something that has happened while you are moving towards your goal? And that could potentially have made you stop, potentially have made you turn back, or perhaps give up? Today, we are going to be talking about how to keep going when the going gets tough. I know that, as mothers, many people expect a lot from us, and society expects a lot from us. And we also expect a lot from ourselves. However, when you expect much from yourself, do it with love.

I did something that many people thought was crazy. I decided that despite the fact that I had never run a marathon in my life, I had not been training as a runner. I was not part of a running club, I was going to do the marathon.

I told a few friends and someone said, ‘I do not know what is wrong with you. But it seems like you are going raving mad.’ And while that statement was funny, I felt that many people who heard what I was going to do thought the same thing. And so I decided to embark on this journey to go 26.2miles. But this time around, I tied it to a purpose. I wasn't running for running's sake. I wasn't running because I wanted to prove people wrong. I was running because I wanted to raise awareness of dementia, to raise funds for the research into the cure of Alzheimer's, for the care of people who suffer with Alzheimer's dementia, and also to support of the carers who care for those suffering with this silent killer. I will show you my journey from start to finish. It was a very interesting journey. And I am so glad that I went on that journey because there were many things in the way that would have stopped me in my tracks. But the gift of persistence kept me going and thinking about why was so key in this particular race. As I was going for training, what did I do as a mother? I did this when my children were either at school, or in an activity that would allow me 35 minutes or an hour to go on my training. On some occasions, I invited them to join me. My children are my greatest supporters. And so they said, Mummy, we're going to join you. I remember many times the cheers from them kept me going even when I was tired. I guess this comes when you are getting older.

There is an African proverb that says, ‘If you want to go fast, you can go alone. But if you want to go far you go together.’ And that's why a community like this is very important. So when it got very close to the race I heeded the advice to minimize my training by not making it too intensive. I however knew the value of preparing my spirit, mind, soul, and body for the event. In preparation for the event, I connected with my spirit of service which was the reason I embarked on this journey. The service to combat dementia is a disease that affects more women than men and can be devastating to families.

I needed to feed my mind with positivity and prevent the influx of negative reports, comments, opinions, or news that could make me doubt my ability to do this. There is a powerful quote by Henry Ford, ‘If you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are right.

Emotionally, I connected to my purpose and the emotions both negative and positive served as fuel that would drive me across the finish line.

For my body, I ensured proper nutrition, adequate hydration, and supplementation. I built my energy stores by the daily practice of Qigong and stretched my muscles and soft tissues during my yoga sessions. I did not forget the need for sleep as my body repaired itself ready for the big day. On race day, I had my game face on. I had positivity going through my headphones, a smile on my face, and my supplies in my bag hanging on my waist. I started the 26.2mile race. As I kept going past the cheering crowd, I was getting more excited until about 9.3miles, my knee decided not to work with me. It refused to flex. ‘How could I run without bending my knees?’ I thought. I tried bending and the pain was excruciating. I gave it a rub and a stretch and just kept hobbling along. There are some times in your life that things do not go as planned and this can make you feel stuck, discouraged, or even give up. That is the time to tap into some resources that you perhaps never thought you had. Here are some things that kept me going and you can use them as well: 1. A clear intention/goal This intention was specific and easy to understand. It was to cross the finish line. Sometimes we complicate matters by adding so many variations to our goal 2. A compelling reason We tend to do things for one reason or another. It serves as a drive to get things done. The more compelling the reason for aiming for a goal, the higher the likelihood of achieving it. If the reason you have for your goal is not compelling enough, you can re-evaluate and make it more compelling. You might need to go deeper into your emotional connections. 3. An unwavering faith When the going gets tough, our faith is tested. We start to doubt our abilities and the possibility of attaining our goals. This is however the time to turn up the flame of belief. It is said ‘Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Though you do not see things turning out the way you want it to turn out, believe that it will and it will. 4. Positive declarations Some call these affirmations, others, incantations, and others still, declarations. When you speak positive words to any situation, the changes that occur can be profound. A lot of research has shown how speaking positive words can positively impact growth and achievement.

5. An openness to ask for and receive help

One thing that holds us back is our ego. It is the thought that we need to do things alone. We need to be open to ask for help and to receive the help that would take us to the goal we desire. It is the desire to remember that you did not get to where you are or cannot get to where you want to without the help of others, whether they did it out of kindness, spite, or indifference.

Use these 5 tools to move you through a course of obstacles to a place of achievement. Here I am with my medal after crossing the finish line, achieving my goal and you can do it too.

Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, and visit my website for more information!


Dr. Dunni Atalabi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. ‘Dunni is a life & wellbeing coach, family doctor, international speaker, teacher, author, entrepreneur, and mum who empowers mums to eliminate the feeling of overwhelm and exhaustion by tapping into the super powers within while enhancing overall wellbeing so that they can live the life of calm and abundance they desire and deserve. This became her mission following the death of her father, her journey through grief, and her desire to promote wellbeing even when grieving.

She is passionate about mums not only because they deserve holistic wellbeing because of the myriad of roles they perform but because they are beacons showing their children and people around them how to enhance their overall wellbeing in mind, body, soul, and spirit.

She is proficient in using natural, scientific, and medical wellbeing concepts to explain in simple terms practical ways and strategies to avoid ill health and promote overall wellbeing. This is made available by provision of online courses, written content, books, coaching, and regular events such as challenges where practical self-care and wellbeing strategies and tactics are shared to enhance holistic wellbeing on a daily basis.



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