Getting Tough With Yourself

When the world is on fire, it’s time to settle differences with a good old fashioned fight. Whether you’re in the game or not, this article should help teach you how to get tough with yourself and survive any situation.

“How to get tougher physically” is a blog post about how to get stronger and more resilient. This blog post covers topics like strength training, nutrition, and mental toughness. Read more in detail here: how to get tougher physically.

Vintage military sailor portrait serious looking face.

Marcus Brotherton contributed this guest article as an editor’s note. It first appeared on Men Who Lead Well (

Self-coddling is a detrimental mentality that may prevent a man from realizing his purpose and potential. This is the point at which he convinces himself that he deserves a break and turns to something that will hurt him.

For weeks, the WWII Marines of K/3/5 had fought on Guadalcanal. C-rations had run out, so the soldiers were forced to eat coconuts and wormy rice taken from the Japanese twice a day.

Sid Phillips, left, with W.O. Brown wwii soldier.

W.O. Brown, left, and Sid Phillips

PFC Sid Phillips (who played W.O. Brown in HBO’s The Pacific) became more worried about his local buddy, who was suffering from acute dysentery. W.O. couldn’t eat anything since it went right through him. There was no medication available. There are no cots available. The ill were just lying on the ground, sprawled out. W.O. had become so thin that he couldn’t even sit up. Flies buzzed about him as he lay in his own feces.

In an interview with me, Phillips said, “It was horrible.” “I didn’t believe W.O. would make it.”

Sid Phillips WWII soldier looking at troops.

Phillips brought W.O. to the beach every day and assisted him in getting clean. Phillips was asked whether he recalled any particular chats he had with W.O. while carrying him. I was hoping for a moving narrative here. I imagined a young battle-hardened Marine dragging his nearly-dead friend to the water’s edge. Phillips would murmur, “Keep holding on.” “Have courage,” says the narrator. “Think about your mother and apple pie.” That kind of stuff.

Phillips, on the other hand, merely laughed. “Oh, sure, I remember. I ordered W.O. to take a salt pill and quit being such a liar.”

I was taken aback by the answer. I inquired about Phillips’ method (he went on to become a medical doctor).

“Well, commiserating with a guy didn’t assist him,” Phillips remarked. “If you did, it just made him sad.” However, if you made a joke at his expense, he would grin. The teasing was all in good fun. He’d respond with a wisecrack, and then he’d go back to fighting.”

What does this mean for today’s manhood?

W.O. Brown was someone Phillips admired for his ability to get up and keep going. As a result, let us think the same thing about ourselves.

A guy is inclined to become unduly empathetic with himself if he feels displeased, furious, exhausted, wounded, lonely, worried, or disappointed. He develops an insidious, disturbing, pampering attitude that convinces him that he deserves a break—just this time.

I’m not talking about sitting back with a bag of Doritos on the sofa. That’s not the type of break I’m talking about.

I’m referring to the myth that it’s appropriate to succumb to a beloved vice. We all have them. We go to whatever eventually hurts us because we believe it will assist us. It’s the most heinous kind of coddling.

So, what’s the answer?


Make an effort to be harsh on yourself. Make a fool of yourself, you phony. Return to the struggle with a salt pill. Frustrations are unavoidable. You don’t, however, need that bottle. That porn is unnecessary. You don’t have to give in to that angry outburst on the highway. You have merely persuaded yourself that you do.

By the way, the approach is effective. W.O. Brown made it through the dysentery, as well as the war.

Valor Studios provided all of the photos.

Valor Studios provided all of the photos.

Editor’s note: If you’re interested in learning more about Sid Phillips, I suggest viewing this feature for HBO’s The Pacific. A fantastic timepiece:




“Anxiety and being hard on yourself” is a phrase that has been used for decades. People who use this phrase, usually mean to say “being tough with yourself.” The meaning of the phrase can be found at Reference: anxiety and being hard on yourself.

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