There are moments in life that are just plain hard. Moments that hurt our hearts. Times that test our faith. And experiences that really teach us about endurance. Although I think we would all prefer to forego these challenges, there is growth we can experience only through these hard times. These moments stretch our minds and spirits.
So, what can you do to move forward and not become consumed with the challenge? Learn the principle of endurance. Here’s how:
Expand Your Endurance
Many of us relate endurance or stamina to running a race or exercise. But your soul can also experience fatigue that requires endurance.
Maybe you’re going through a new faith journey and have been exploring and asking questions for a while. Your spirit might be tired. Maybe you’ve recently lost a loved one or learned something life-altering. This is likely challenging for your soul. But there are ways to push on:
- Maintain structure in your spiritual habits. If you’re used to a rejuvenating morning routine, stick to it—especially during the hard times. Continue to pray and seek additional strength to face whatever you are dealing with.
- Focus on connection. Your spirit yearns for connection with others and with God. When you are enduring a challenge, make sure to reach out. Share what you are experiencing and find ways to serve others who might be struggling as well.
- Remember to rest. Sometimes you just need a break. The best way to help a fatigued soul is to pause and enjoy the stillness. Take some time for much needed self-care.
Learn to be Resilient
To be resilient, you’ll need to practice this principle of endurance because resiliency requires getting knocked down a few times. A resilient person bounces back quickly from a hard situation and doesn’t let a challenge consume their life. Resilient individuals are normally more flexible and seek to have a positive outlook. You’ll find greater confidence and a deeper peace as you learn this character trait of resiliency.
The first step to becoming resilient starts with your mind. Train your brain to stop negative thought cycles. We can get so stuck in our thoughts, which can have a damaging effect on our actions. Psychologist Nicole LePera taught: “Overthinking is a habit that we create when we feel unsafe. It’s the mind’s attempt to predict the future. It’s the illusion that we can ‘think’ our way into security. The truth is we cannot control anything external.” She also shared a great mantra for overthinking: “I choose peace in this present moment.” You have the choice to make the most of a challenging situation; start by controlling your thoughts and not assuming the worst about each hard moment. This is easier said than done, but I believe in you. Choose peace.
Resilient individuals handle stress better, and as a result, live longer and healthier lives. They recognize that trials are a natural part of life. “When we learn how to become resilient, we learn how to embrace the beautifully broad spectrum of the human experience” (Jaeda Dewalt). Make the decision today to embrace whatever comes your way. And then get back up again and move forward.
Strengthen Your Core
In college, I completed a triathlon. I’m not a very athletic person and honestly, working out is sometimes a chore for me. But this particular semester, I convinced a friend to join me and we worked diligently to prepare for the triathlon. If we hadn’t trained every single day, I don’t think I could have run even half the 5K section. But slowly, my muscles got stronger and most importantly, my endurance grew. My body gradually changed so I could accomplish this goal. Finishing that triathlon is still one of the proudest moments of my life.
Life comes with hard moments we have to push through. Sometimes it feels like we trip and stumble, or even just collapse from exhaustion through these challenging times. But if you daily train your spiritual core, you’ll feel greater stability and enhanced endurance. Your center will strengthen gradually through regular spiritual practices.
Little by little—one prayer, one kind gesture, one reflective journal entry at a time—you’ll discover your inner strength. Your soul will take in light from those around you and from a higher power. As you push through the difficulties, watch what simple spiritual practices can do. You’ll be amazed.