There are moments in life that can leave us feeling defeated and discouraged. We may face challenges that knock us down and make us feel hopeless and despairing. During such times, it’s important to persevere and keep pushing forward. Perseverance is the act of continuing to do something no matter the difficulty or delay in success. It’s a necessary skill to live life to the fullest, learn resilience, optimism, hopefulness, and courage. Here are seven strategies that will help you learn to persevere in life.
1. Accept and Anticipate Change
Change is ever-present, and it can be hard to manage the complexity and unpredictability of life. Instead of fighting the inevitability of change, learn to accept it. Embrace change and know that your life can only get better. Resisting change fuels negative energy, which keeps you feeling discouraged about life. Be agile in your thinking and become a solution seeker, asking lots of questions and looking for solutions. Don’t just focus on the problem you’re facing; it’s harder to solve a problem when you’re immersed in it.
2. Use Your Power of Choice to Liberate You
Your power of choice is one of the few things over which you have full control. Use it when learning how to persevere in life. The choices you make determine how you react to tough times. You can choose to do nothing and allow yourself to be distracted from the issue you need to face, or you can choose to take action and face your problem. The easiest option is often to do nothing, but it always comes back and bites you in the end. As psychologist Carl Jung said, “what you resist will persist.” Choose to make choices that enable you to move forward, not backward or around in circles.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. A solution seeker is a resilient person who is self-aware and actively seeks support, advice, and encouragement from others when times are tough. Value the input of others because they may have the wisdom or positive energy to help you overcome adversity and learn how to persevere in daily life.
4. Be Positive and Laugh When You Can
A positive attitude is a secret weapon that helps you keep going when you’re not sure how to persevere. It opens up your mind to more possibilities. In contrast, a pessimistic attitude closes your mind down and encourages you to withdraw when facing challenges. With a pessimistic attitude, there’s no growth or learning. If having a hard time cultivating a positive attitude, consider trying mindfulness meditation to create space in your mind to root your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Laughter is life’s best way to thrive. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and like laughing with you. You’ll soon find that when you laugh, you feel more alive and hopeful about your future.
5. Embrace the Unpredictability of Life
Life is an amazing journey with unexpected experiences of pain, beauty, and joy. Running away from the challenges life presents isn’t a solution. If you run away, life’s pain, discomfort, and challenges will follow you. It’s okay to fall apart, make mistakes, fail, and be disappointed, but only for a short time. If you have a goal in mind, keep working to achieve it, demonstrating perseverance despite the failures. Resilient people expect to fail and be disappointed. They know that one has to overcome the adversity and challenges faced in life to be strong. The courageous choose to “bounce forward” in life and keep moving toward living a happy, fulfilled life.
6. Focus on Things That Bring You Joy
When feeling frustrated and hopeless, it’s easy to forget the good things in life. Allowing negativity to consume you makes you believe that there’s nothing good in your life. Write a list of all the good things that have brought you joy. The more you focus on the good in your life, the more hopeful you’ll become. One study found that gratitude was “associated with an increase in happiness, life satisfaction, and social desirability,” all contributing to more resilience. Practice gratitude by starting a gratitude journal and writing three things you’re grateful for each day.
7. Don’t Let the Past Rule Your Present
The past presents an opportunity to learn lessons you need to deal with in your present life. However, if you don’t let go of your regrets and make peace with the past, it’s very hard to move forward in life. Look for opportunities for self-discovery, and learn to trust and believe in yourself. When facing tough times, ask yourself this question: “What is the one thing I can do right now to take me one step closer to moving forward?” Remember to take one step forward, repeating that one step, and discover that you’re closer to finding a solution and achieving your long-term goals.
It’s understandable that when facing tough times in life, you can become overwhelmed and lost, with feelings of hopelessness and frustration. But, it’s important not to give up. Use the seven strategies above to help you keep moving forward to get to your finish line. Remember that your past doesn’t define you, and you’re only limited by how you choose to react to the challenges life throws at you. Become that courageous, empowered, and resilient person you were born to be.