Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. – Thomas Carlyle
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. – Marie Curie
Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. – John Quincy Adams
Perseverance. A reality so many of us face in today’s world. Perseverance – a personality trait and skill so many of us NEED in today’s world. Perseverance is a term that often seems connected to hard work and diligence, but I personally believe that perseverance is something that is often applied to many life circumstances – from employment to living situations, to emotional challenges.
Every person I know has had to endure life circumstances that tested their ability to sustain. Perhaps they struggled to maintain a positive attitude or perhaps they struggled to find a reason to keep on keeping on. Life’s circumstances can get in the way of our willingness to carry on. Sometimes we wrestle with our desire to give in, to throw in the towel, to stop fighting. How is it that some individuals find it easier to persevere than others?
I believe there are many obstacles to perseverance that individuals wrestle with – these are things that get in the way of our ability to prolong our determination.
- Trauma (as it causes emotional responses that can be deeper than our ability to sustain and often require intervention)
- Substance abuse (when abusing substances, we are not in a space where we have the intellectual capacity to sustain)
- Physical exhaustion (when we are overworked, often we do not have the physical energy to be able to be persistent)
- Emotional exhaustion (if we are experience circumstances that deplete us emotionally, we may not have the mental strength to maintain)
When you are able to remove these obstacles it is more likely that you will be able to persevere through the rough circumstances life throws at you. I find the when the following things are in place, perseverance is much easier:
- A strong support system
- Loving family and friends
- The ability to take breaks
- Being in touch with your feelings and allowing yourself to say “I am overwhelmed” – simply acknowledging your feelings empowers you to continue to persevere
- Physical rest – tackling challenges is exhausting and it is so important to get the sleep we need in order to rejuvenate
- Emotional rest – when coping with tough situations it is critical to take emotional breaks – read a book, surf the internet (read blogs!), watch TV, take a walk, go bowling, eat Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby Ice Cream – do whatever it takes to be able to turn your brain off for a few moments – mentally perseverating on a given situation can often exacerbate exhaustion, which is not a good thing
- Acknowledge your hard work, stress, and congratulate yourself for your hard work – it is SOOO important to be able to celebrate your victories, no matter how small
Whether we have lost our jobs, need to move, have a crumbling relationship, struggle with addiction, endured a traumatic experience, are cursed with ill-health, or are enduring something else, perseverance is not easy. Yet, we do find that when we are able to fight, to keep on keeping on, to sustain – we learn that we can find our way out of our dark circumstances to better tomorrows.
I realize it is beyond cliché to say, “don’t give up” – but I am going to say it anyway. “Don’t give up. Don’t EVER give up.” You will live through today, tomorrow is another day and eventually things will turn around. They may not turn around immediately, you could be forced to live through weeks of physical or emotional h*ll, but EVENTUALLY the dark clouds will lift and circumstances in your life will shift – if you work hard to commit yourself to sustained pursuit of these changes. Julie Andrews said:
Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.
Today, 344 days ’til 40, I am conscious of my need to persevere through whatever challenges life may throw my way. I know that, no matter how challenging it may be to stay the course and keep my attitude positive and healthy, I am better off when I have the courage to fight through my circumstances and work to better myself for myself, my children and all of the individuals in my life.
My wish for you is that you too will find the courage and strength to keep on keeping on in your life.