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Overcoming Challenges

Why Is Perseverance Important In Overcoming Obstacles

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All Scripture references come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV)."

Why is perseverance important?

 

Perseverance,  a long name that simply means grit, or in a simpler form, sticktoitiveness.  Grit will get you far.  Grit means strength of character.  It also means bravery, pluck or mettle according to Lexico.  But if you ask Miriam-Webster, the definition of  perseverance is, the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. 

 

We know what it means, but why is perseverance important in life?  How can we use it in our lives, how does it help us in overcoming obstacles?  Many of us have been known to persevere in spite of the challenges that we face.   Let’s face it, we all have challenges and goals.  It could be as simple as writing a blog post.  On the other hand, an even bigger challenge could be learning to be independent again after quadruple amputations.

 

Every day we face obstacles.  But without the goals to overcome our challenges, we would never grow forward in our lives.  Life would be stagnant.   Or in the famous quote, “When you stop growing you start dying,” by William S. Burroughs.  Nobody wants that.  That is the reason for asking, why perseverance is important in overcoming obstacles. 

 

Faith and Perseverance go hand in hand

 

As a mom, I always approach things from the need to set an example for my kids. Even though they are all adults now, they are still watching me.  They know I’ve been working hard on my blog business.  If things get tough and I get frustrated and give up, what does that tell my kids?  In my opinion, it tells them that I give up when the going gets tough, so it would be okay if they gave up on the tough things too.  That’s just not an option.

 

When I was first learning to live as a quad amputee, every day was a struggle.  In the early days, my kids were teenagers and they still needed their mom.  Giving up at a critical time in their lives would have been devastating to them.  So I fought hard, and I showed them why perseverance is important. 

 

I also showed them resilience to recover quickly from setbacks.  There are always setbacks.  One of the great benefits of perseverance is the ability to bounce back from the down times and not let them discourage you or make you quit.

But perseverance is only half of it.  You’ve got to back that up with faith and courage.  Let the Lord give you the strength to see things through.  If you’re a fan of this blog, you know that I lean very heavily on my favorite scriptures, Proverbs 3:5-6.  Faith and perseverance go hand in hand.  As for courage, the Cowardly Lion needed courage and so do you!

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

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5 benefits of perseverance

 

If simply setting a great example for those around you is not enough, then keep reading.  Because there are many benefits of perseverance that will give you the motivation to fight for the goals that you want to achieve. Basically, why perseverance is important, is because it means that you’re committed to reaching your goal.  It means that you’re willing to overcome whatever obstacles are in your way to reach the finish line of the race you’re running. 

 

Perseverance means pushing through and finding the silver linings in all of the rain clouds. By choosing to press on despite difficult circumstances, we become stronger.  We become more confident in our faith. There’s a blessing in each step and each characteristic.   Your willingness to seek those blessings shows the importance of perseverance.

 

Perseverance builds character

 

Character is the way you think, act or behave.  A strong character shows others that you’re committed to achieving the goals you set.  Whether they’re big or small goals, it doesn’t matter.  You don’t waiver when times get tough. Follow through on what you say you’re going to do.  If you make a commitment, then see it through to the end.

 

The power of perseverance shows the willingness to keep moving forward despite the obstacles that stand in the way.  This is how perseverance builds character.  This “perseverance muscle” builds the more you use it.  As a result, your character builds too.

 

I have a quote in my office that says, “Character is the ability to carry out a decision, long after the emotion of making the decision was made.” Frank VanderSloot  That is such a true statement.

Our oldest son, Michael Jr is going to school for a degree in commercial aviation.  He has been obsessed with airplanes his whole life.  He worked up the ranks in the Civil Air Patrol, to Captain and commander of his local unit.  Then he served four years in the U S. Air Force.  One of the perks of serving our country is the G.I. Bill and the education benefits.  Because of that he’s been able to continue on in flight school.  

 

Mike’s perseverance, and might I add patience, to take all the steps he has taken to fulfill his dream, is proof of his character.  It shows his willingness to pay his dues and put in the time to reach his goals.  He currently has his private pilot’s license now and he takes every opportunity he can to get up in a plane and fly.

 

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Wondering why perseverance is important? These 5 benefits of perseverance plus many tips will help you persevere in the face of daily challenges. #overcomingchallenges #perseverance Click To Tweet

 

Perseverance makes you push the limits of your comfort zone 

 

Anytime we’re faced with a challenge, it pushes the limits of our comfort zone.  It’s natural to want to put the brakes on sometimes.  There is often fear involved when you push your comfort zone.

 

Now that our son has his private pilot’s license, it was time for me to fulfill my promise of flying with him.  This goal has been on my bucket list for quite some time, although being in that tiny cockpit at 4,000 feet scared the life out of me.

 

But I promised.  So it was time to show the power of perseverance to fulfill my promise and my goal.  So on my last birthday, Mike took my husband and I on a scenic flight.  We landed, went to lunch and flew home.  Let me tell you, it was a lot windier than the weatherman warned.  I was holding on for dear life.  

 

However, it forced me to push my comfort zone and I am so very thankful I did.  This is a perfect example of the importance of perseverance in life.  It was one of the most wonderful birthday gifts I have ever received.  And if it wasn’t for perseverance and pushing the limits of my comfort zone, I would have missed an incredible experience.

 

Perseverance is proof of what your capable of

 

One of the benefits of perseverance is that it proves to yourself (and others) just what you’re capable of accomplishing.  If you don’t push yourself, you’ll be stuck in your comfort zone.  When that happens, you’ll never reach your goals and you’ll lose your confidence.  Living in a state of fear can be devastating.  This is where you’ve got to take that leap of faith.

 

Start with a small goal.  Create a strategy to reach it, and take those baby steps.  Remember that perseverance muscle I mentioned earlier?  Muscles get stronger the more we use them.  So work it and prove that you’re capable of anything that you set your mind to.  

 

But don’t just pick any old goal.  I recommend praying about things first.  Talk to God.  Seek His plan for your life and base those goals around the answers you get in prayer.  Plus, it’s a whole lot easier to reach your goals when you’re following the Lord’s will for your life.

 

Perseverance is important because it makes you push through your obstacles to reach your goals

 

There was a time in my life when I was  laying in a hospital bed as a new quadruple amputee wondering if I’ll ever walk again.  Two months later, I was consulting with my prosthetist Tony, who would be making my legs so that I could, indeed walk again.

 

I’m not sure of the exact timeline, but I’m thinking 3 months later, the legs were on, I was taking those baby steps to walking and gaining back my independence.  Just imagine that feeling of being confined to a wheelchair. However, freedom comes with prosthetic legs.  

 

One of the great benefits of perseverance is pushing through your obstacles to reach your goals.  I’m sure you realize that there was a whole LOT of work and physical therapy to get me from the hospital bed to complete independence.  But holy smokes! Praise the Lord for that answered prayer and for giving me the strength and faith to push the limits of my comfort zone.

 

When you’re faced with obstacles in your life, think about what your choices are.  You could push through and do the work to overcome your challenges. Or you could give up and turn into your comfort zone, lose faith and motivation and have a big old pity party.  For me, that is never an option.

Learn how to deal with discouragement.  If you focus on your end goal, you won’t get so frustrated during discouraging times. Remember your vision!  Find ways to overcome your discouragement by reading books, watching Ted talks, like this one by Amy Purdy (bilateral leg amputee and paralympic snowboarder.) 

 

Enjoy YouTube channels like this one by Nick Vujicic, who was born without any limbs.  Podcasts are also great for inspiration and for finding stories of others who have overcome.  Check out my story in a recent interview on Rooted by the Stream. 

 

Find inspiration through others who have set great examples.  I have found books to be a great resource for inspiration of the importance of perseverance as well. For some great recommendations check out 10 Fabulous Books on Hope and Inspiration.

Focus on what you can control!   I will never have hands, and prosthetic hands never seemed to work well for me, so I go without.  That’s obviously something that I cannot control so I have learned to adapt to living without them.  I have had to create tools to help me do things, I’ve had to ask for help or I simply must go without.  There’s no point in having a pity party. Again I must adjust, adapt and work with what I have. Also, don’t let things like social media and other distractions get in the way. Focus on how to persevere and overcome your obstacles.

 

The goal is the reason for perseverance importance

 

Obviously we don’t persevere just for the heck of it.  Let’s refer back to the definition of perseverance, which is the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.  By definition, you have to have something to work on.  There has to be a challenge or a goal worthy of achieving.

 

So truly, the goal is the reason behind the question, why is perseverance important? So, what goal do you want to accomplish?  What obstacle are you facing?  What fear is holding you back?  Because once you figure out the goal, you need a strategy to make it all happen.

 

Characteristics of perseverance 

 

Perseverance is not floating through life, hoping that you’ll end up with a happy ending.  This is where some specific characteristics of perseverance come into play. These are  the right tools to carry you through those obstacles right to the finish line.  So here is a great 4-step process that will help you get there.

 

Start with a goal

 

Overcoming challenges through the importance of perseverance starts with setting some goals and making a plan.  Do you have a clear vision of what you’re working towards?  I didn’t wake up in the hospital one day after my amputations and say, “I wonder if I’ll ever walk or have a normal life again.”  I knew that I would walk and have a normal life, but at that point I wasn’t quite sure how it all was going to happen.

So with the assistance of my family, doctors, my prosthetist and a lot of prayer, we put together some goals and an action plan. With those steps in place, I had a vision and I could take the steps I needed to reach my goals and I could learn how to persevere in the face of my newborn challenges.

Everybody has goals.  Big goals, little goals, daily goals, lifetime goals.  In order to reach your goals, you have to have a plan to get there.  But first, you must identify what it is you’re working for.  Goals give you focus, they motivate you and keep you locked on what you’re trying to accomplish.  If you don’t know what you’re working for, how will you ever get there?

It’s important to have a desire to succeed. Failure is not an option.  Believe that you can achieve your goal.  On top of belief, positive self-talk will get you so much farther than negative talk will.  Remember the Little Engine That Could?  His famous encouraging phrase, “I think I can, I think I can,” reminds us that just like that little engine, we can reach the top of our mountain too.  Ambition and positive thinking are wonderful characteristics of perseverance.

Overcome negative thinking and encourage yourself.  Stay positive! Negative self-talk hinders your progress.  Faith will take you a long way. I believe that in my situation, it was God’s will that I would help others by persevering in my struggles.  My job, so-to-speak, was to fight the battles of resistance so others could learn from me and grow through their own challenges. That positive thought process motivated me to get to where I am today, which is providing a witness to my community of followers.

 

What is your Why?

 

What causes some people to thrive and succeed in times of struggle or failure?  They tap into the importance of perseverance that enables them to fight their battles and come out on the other side as victors.  They also have a strong “Why.”

 

Your “why” is the motivation behind the goal.  Your “why” is there to keep you focused to not give up when times get tough. It’s the driving force and one of the best characteristics of perseverance that I know.  My lifetime goal is to build a great business while working from home.  

 

My “why” has always been to build a great business so that if anything ever happened to me, my family would be taken care of and our home would be paid off.  Well, as you know, something did happen to me.  At the time, had a great business with some great people behind it who took great care of my family and I.

 

But in my recovery, I chose to step away from actively running that business. Although I’m not completely engaged in that business, it’s still running in the background.  Thank God for residual income. But now it’s time for a new business.  So now I have that same “why” driving my goals behind my blogging business.

 

Make a plan

 

We have all heard about SMART goals.  Well SMART is the acronym behind the different features of your goal.  Since you need clarity in making a goal, these features break it down.  SMART stands for the Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely parts of your goal.

 

A specific goal means you want clarity.  It should be well defined.  What exactly do you  hope to achieve?  Measurable means you’ve got to have some way to measure your progress.  For example, if I want to lose weight, I will eat 1200 calories daily and exercise 4 times a week in order to lose 1 pound weekly.

 

Your goal must be achievable.  For instance, if I want to lose 50 pounds in 1 month, that’s not achievable.  But 1-2 pounds weekly for 6 months is more realistic, which is what R stands for.  Is your goal realistic, practical and achievable?  Finally, timely means that it’s important to put a due date or deadline on the goal.  An open-ended goal doesn’t motivate you to get it done.

Strategy to reach your goal

You won’t just accidentally fulfill your why and reach your goals.  You need a road map, otherwise known as a strategy.  

I recently took a course online through Coursera, called The Science of Well-Being.  One of the strategies used to reach goals used another acronym.  In this case, the acronym is WOOP.  It stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacles, Plan.

 

First, W stands for your wish or your goal.  O means, what is the best outcome?  The next O means consider your potential obstacles.  Finally, P stands for your if/then plan.  

I like this because you’re factoring in potential obstacles and coming up with a backup if one factor doesn’t work.  For instance if I plan to go for a walk 4 times a week, what should I do if it’s raining outside?  What is the backup plan? 

The importance of perseverance in life means preparing for challenges and plan for setbacks.  Challenges make you stronger. I always refer to tribulations in my life as a refining fire.  Gold is refined by fire and chemicals to remove imperfections and impurities. In the same way, God allows trials and tribulations in our lives to do the same thing.  These trials will bring us closer to Him. Remember to be flexible, though. If something doesn’t work, then you must adapt, regroup or change direction.

Learn from your mistakes. What have you done, that can provide a lesson to redirect your path?  A perfect example is the process of getting prosthetic legs. When I first got them, we learned where my pressure points were, my prosthetist corrected that and they became more comfortable.   The more I wear them, the more I find where I need adjustments. We adjust and I move on. You must do the same thing as you go through your trials. Recognize where you need to make changes and press on.

Finally, celebrate your success!  As you’re working to overcome your struggles and you’re learning the importance of perseverance,  remember that it’s a process. Celebrate your baby steps along the way.

 

What causes some people to thrive and succeed in times of struggle or failure? They have specific characteristics of perseverance that enable them to fight their battles and come out on the other side as victors.… Click To Tweet

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Bible verses about faith and perseverance

 

It wouldn’t be a blog post on One Exceptional Life if I didn’t include some scripture to back everything up.  So here are some great Bible verses about faith and perseverance.  The Lord knows we will face challenges in our lives.  

 

Related Post:  How to Grow your Faith in God

 

Thankfully, patience and perseverance are part of His plan.  Personally, I am so very thankful for the comfort, strength and guidance I get through my relationship with Jesus.  I can fight through my obstacles with Him right there by my side.

 

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

 

Roman’s 5:3-5 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

 

Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

 

James 5:11 “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

 

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

 

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

 

James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

 

Have you found the answer yet as to why is perseverance important?

 

I hope I have given you enough information to answer this question.  I have a couple more questions for you to consider when you’re facing any obstacles that appear in your life.  What are the consequences if you don’t persevere?  Is failure an option?

 

Sometimes it may seem like your challenge is too much for you to bear.  But rest assured, if you follow the steps I’ve given you above in the characteristics of perseverance, you will find that breaking things down into bite-sized chunks makes your obstacle much more manageable.

 

The power of perseverance works.  Just don’t give up.  Each time you give in to failure, giving up gets that much easier the next time.  So when you’re facing a challenge, first you pray.  Then break it down into bite sized goals, determine your “why”, make a plan, back it up with strategy and through faith and perseverance, you will overcome.

You need a great support system.  You never want to go through your trials alone.  Rally your family and friends to support you. They will love you, encourage you, cheer you on and pray for you during the hard times.  Let them! Don’t push them away because you’ll need all the help you can get.

Above all, don’t quit! I love this poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. I have it on a bookmark hanging in my office.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,

When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.

Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;

Often the struggler has given up

When he might have captured the victor’s cup,

And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,

How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are –

It may be near when it seems afar;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

– by John Greenleaf Whittier

I highly recommend an ebook I wrote called Victory Over Affliction:  30 Mindset Challenges to Motivate You.  It’s a great 30-day devotional on overcoming your challenges and offers some great examples of the importance of perseverance in life.  I use my own story as a quadruple amputee as an example of pushing through to successfully overcome whatever obstacles are in your way.  Make sure you check it out.  I know it will be a great encouragement to you.

Victory Over Affliction book cover framed by flowers

 

So what are your best takeaways for the importance of perseverance?   Do you show the characteristics of perseverance daily or only during the toughest times?  Please leave your answers and any additional ideas in the comments below.

 

Why Is perseverance important in life?

 

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38 Comments

  1. I’ve been told often that I’m a person with a lot of tenacity, and that hasn’t always served me well – your blog post addresses the reason why that might be. As we ask ourselves the question of “Why is perseverance important?” that question of faith goes along with that. I like how you have tied perseverance to faith so that we understand that when our “perseverance” is tied to our walk of faith in Christ, then we are pushing forward in God’s timing and His direction.

    1. Teresa, you hit the nail on the head. Without God’s endorsement on our efforts, we’ll spend far too much time spinning our wheels. Stick with God’s plans and we’ll have a much better result.

  2. Amen! Perseverance is what we need to overcome obstacles, and strategy is so important. I love the verses you chose in this post. Hebrews 12:1 is one of my go to verses when the obstacles start to wipe me out. God bless you sister!

    1. Thanks so much, Barbara. Yes, we must run the race before us with patience, perseverance and face. It truly is all strategy

  3. Wow! Thank you for sharing this! I can’t imagine what that’s like but I know that we all go through things that test our limits. Our strength is truly Revealed as we walk out the circumstances we experience and persevere through the storm. We come out stronger.

  4. What a great post on what it means to persevere. Not only what it means, the simple direction and steps to focus on setting goals to manage and move through the obstacles we are facing. Shared on twitter and Facebook. Thank you for this.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Timothy. Yes, truly without perseverance, how could we even get through our day, let alone the obstacles we face on a regular basis.

  5. That is amazing your son got his flying licenses. He is a great example of perseverance!

    1. Thanks so much, Melodie. Yes, he’s patiently persevered and now we’re researching buying a plane, if you can even imagine.

  6. Perseverance is such an important characteristic for Christian living. We tend to focus on other things so that we feel depleted before we even start. These are great tips and thoughts to help motivate us in our daily living. Thank you.

    1. I agree Maryann. Without perseverance in our Christian living, it’s so easy to get discouraged. Stay strong, fight hard and seek strength & guidance from the Lord

  7. Faith and perseverance go hand in hand! I love that! I will remember that when my faith energy level plummets. This is a very encouraging post and a solid reminder why we do the things we do.

    1. Thank you, Barbara. Yes when addressing the importance of perseverance, factoring in faith is necessary. Keep strong in your faith. We need to lean on God every day.

  8. Thank you for these practical steps but also the connection to scripture. I’ve heard of SMART goals before but seeing it again makes me think maybe it’s time to apply it a little more seriously to my own goals!

    1. I’m so glad you found the need for applying SMART goals to your life. I believe that we should connect as much as we can to scripture. Thanks for reading, Ashley.

  9. You really brought to light why perseverance is important in our lives! Your writing and personal stories are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing this!

  10. I love hearing your story and faithfulness to persevere in the difficult moments of life. Perseverance is so important and yet not a topic many talk about these days. So often we want to take the easy way out, instead of being patient and working hard all the while building character along the way. Thank you for sharing, Wendy!

    1. I agree, Tabatha. It’s true, so many people give up, especially as they get close to the goal. But we were made for perseverance. Press on…😊

    1. Thank you so much Summer. Perseverance is so important, especially for those of us who have the calling of Jesus.

  11. Kudos to you for going on that airplane ride! Thank you for the encouragement to persevere. It also reminded me of how we must persevere in prayer in everything we do. I have to say at times I do feel discouraged with my own blog, but you reminded to set my goals and keep on going.

    1. Hey Louisa, yes the airplane ride was quite an adventure. I’m so thankful my post on why is perseverance important encouraged you. You have a beautiful blog. Yes, prayer is essential. But keep going, fulfill your goals. We all need your message.

  12. You are certainly well qualified to write on persevering, and I am just returning home from a Bible study on Paul’s words to the Philippians about pressing on!

    1. I appreciate that, Michele. We do have to press on to the mark of our higher calling. And I am so thankful for the example that Paul has set for all of us.

  13. I love this “Why is Perserverance Important?” Post Wendy! I do believe it builds character in us and I love how you said the goal is the reason for the perservering. God has helped me to overcome obstacles in my life and I pray that I am able to leave a legacy for my girls to never give up. ❤

    1. I hear you Donna. Leaving a legacy for our children that encourages them to love the Lord and to persevere in order to overcome challenges is super important.

  14. Absolutely love how you have put faith and perseverance to go “hand in hand” but you truly can’t do one without the other! Both aren’t easy and require our steadfast endurance. Thank you for this encouragement!

    1. Thank you so much, Jenna. Absolutely, faith and perseverance go hand in hand when figuring out why perseverance is important. We need both to overcome the struggles.

  15. “Sticktoitness”. LOVE IT. I also love all your ideas and thoughts on why perseverance is so important. Great article as always ❤️

    1. Thanks so much, Jessie. How great would it be if everybody saw the benefits of perseverance? And sticktoitiveness is my new favorite word!😊

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