Sometimes,  you need a little country music to get you through the tough times. Country music has a rich history of telling relevant stories in unbridled terms and often addressing controversial issues. These emotional songs go back generations, including such great hits as the “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “The Pill.” In the long standing tradition of country music, Rodney Atkins hit a homerun with his timely 2006 release of “If You’re Going Through Hell.” It was his first big hit and launched him into stardom. It resonated with listeners and became a motivating anthem for those “Going through Hell” at a time when everyone seemed to be hoping for the difficulty of the recession to end. Over a half decade later, people identify with the undying message of the song; You are not alone and there’s always hope. Of course, when times are tough, it probably feels like the following verse of “If You’re Going Through Hell:”

“Well, you know those times

When you feel like there’s a sign there on your back

Says I don’t mind if ya kick me.

Seems like everybody has

Things go from bad to worse

You’d think they can’t get worse than that

And then they do.” 

Some say horrible things happen in threes. One disaster rolls into the  next. You lose your job, then your house and finally your marriage. Instead, it might be a dead-end job and the emotional turmoil of the death of your father or a seriously sick child. They compound into one large bundle of colliding problems. It seems so dark and endless. The trouble overtakes your thoughts and then consumes your life. Rodney Atkins sings it like this.

“Well, I been deep down in that darkness

I been down to my last match

Felt a hundred different demons

Breathing fire down my back”

It’s almost inevitable that you will face tough times and these moments of hardship will strengthen you. Acknowledge what keeps you up at night. Which one of the following major life events keeps you up at night?

  • Divorce
  • Foreclosure
  • Health problems
  • Career stalemate
  • Unlucky in love  / Broken Heart
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Job loss
  • Unexpected financial difficulties
  • The future

These are all issues you may be facing, but you’re not alone. Hundreds of people have the same issues you do. Why else would a strong titled “Going Through Hell” rocket a previously unknown artist into the mainstream? Tough times enviably pass, but it’s how you handle it that matters. 

 The most important thing is to “keep on going, don’t slow down

If you’re scared don’t show it

You might get out

Before the devil even knows you’re there.”

The refrain is your mantra. Repeat it over and over until it fills you and gets you ready to face the changes taking over your life. 

     Perhaps, the strongest advice in the song for handling the tough times “is there’s angels everywhere out on the street, holding out a hand to get you back up on your feet.” There are people, like me, who can help you find your way out of the hole where you’ve found yourself. You just have to keep moving through the darkness and I can help you face the fire of your life. 

As a life and career coach, I help you navigate the waters of change. Sometimes, you get too emotionally involved–how can you not–in the circumstances making your life a disaster. You feel helpless. My greatest attribute would be that I listen with and for you. It’s your story that’s powerful. Our lives are quite frankly sometimes inundated with challenges. I can help you develop the following plans and strategies:

  • A skills portfolio
  • Negotiating techniques
  • Defining your goals
  • Managing your stress
  • Developing a financial plan
  • Charting your career path
  • Identifying what you need to do to obtain your goals

Your life doesn’t have to feel like you are going through hell without support. So, I’ll leave you with the powerful words of the refrain of “If You’re Going Through Hell.”

If you’re going through hell

Keep on going, don’t slow down

If you’re scared, don’t show it

You might get out

Before the devil even knows you’re there

If you’re going through hell

Keep on moving, face that fire







Curt Canada,Board Certified Coach advises and coaches clients at Adapting2change in Washington DC. Adapting 2change is a DC Chamber of Commerce Member.