A while ago, I got this question: How do you keep your chin up when life's hard?

To be blunt: you don’t. You wait until you’re alone and then you sink into this stage full of self-pity and filled to the brim with tears, just waiting to push you over the edge and spill out. You wait until you’re not around others so that you don’t show them your weaknesses. Then, you pick yourself back up, even if only a little and carry on like nothing is wrong.

We all (most of us) carry ourselves like nothing is wrong and we’re doing just peachy in life. Everyone focuses on and worries about what they see as wrong with themselves too much to truly pay attention to the minor faults in others. We all have our faults, but it’s a matter of how much you let it weigh you down or keep you from seeing yourself as this shining person who’s fan-freaking-tastic and capable of any/everything they put their mind to.

Keeping your head up is a matter of self-confidence. Confidence in who you are. Confidence in your abilities. Confidence that you can see yourself for what the world sees. That, someone who has no insight into another’s life, can see you for someone who’s confident, strong, and knows what they want in life.

Although, those of us who truly realize the full effort it takes to keep ourselves going know that it isn’t easy. What is easy is to let us hang our heads in defeat, but it’s more about not giving up and proving not just to the world, but to ourselves and showing yourself the being of strength you are.

Don’t keep your chin up only to prove to the world that you’re okay, but keep your chin up to prove to yourself that you are strong enough to get through anything that life throws your way. Keeping your head up IS about self-confidence, yes, but it’s also about how you deal with whatever is in your path and how you overcome it.

Instead of pretending to be okay and keeping our head up as if to deny to ourselves and others that we’re not okay, it’s okay to find a shoulder to lean on and know that you aren’t as strong as you are at your best, but never hang your head in defeat. Never keep your head down, thinking “I can’t do this.” You can and you will.

The obstacles thrown in our path are difficult, but I had it explained to me like this once, “In the moment [of hardship] some hills are seen as mountains, but they’re never really as big as they seem”. Keep pushing through the climb of your own hills and mountains and someday you’ll see the journey you’ve taken and how you got there. While you’re at it, keep your head up so you can see where you’re going and where you’ve been. Life is about looking around you and having the confidence in yourself that you’ll get where you need to be.