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Ep. 97 Perseverance

by Claudine Sweeney
October 6th 2021
Its not easy to persevere when things get hard. Can we agree? When challenges pop up we can tend to lose hope and we may give up, whether in physically or even in our hearts. Today's episode, we talk ... More
This is episode 97 perseverance. You're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So, tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and Shine podcast. Yeah, yeah. Welcome back listeners. Today, I have a question for you all. Are you someone who perseveres despite difficulties and setbacks? Or do you tend to throw in the towel and call it quits when faced with a challenge or obstacle? Today we are talking about perseverance and that is the ability to persist in spite of opposition and discouragement.

Perseverance is what separates the winners and the losers in life and in sports, right? And I know all our listeners are winners there. Women who want to rise up and shine. So today we're going to talk about perseverance, why we need it and how to do it, Ashley, Have you ever had to persevere through anything? Oh, many times 2020 anyone? Yeah, Right, and still this year, Yeah, perseverance is one of those things that it's good for us and we kind of know it's good for us, but it's really hard. It's just hard. Life gets hard. We go through challenges and a lot of times we do, we want to give up throw in the towel and that could be with a relationship that can be in marriage to, that could be in exercise, why are you looking at me? You're looking at me and giving me that. I I did no such thing. I personally have given up exercising at times, especially in 2020, having the kids doing virtual learning and trying to fit in exercise.

I was already kind of overwhelmed and just stressed out with the kids and I've learned a lot of it is a mental thing, not necessarily my endurance, but it's a you know, I get stuck in my own head and say, yes, the common phrase, this is too hard. So I'm not going to keep trying. I don't want to do anything hard, Right, Right. And that's what perseverance is. It is it is persisting in spite of opposition and discouragement. We don't need to persevere when we're doing something fun, right? I don't call that person when we're enjoying it. Our brain likes easy. Yes, it does like easy. And speaking of our brains, scientists have identified dopamine, which is our reward neurotransmitter and we talk about that often as being linked to forming lifelong habits such as perseverance. So that's our pleasure, our reward neuro transmitters. So we've got to keep that flowing in order to persevere and in our brains naturally, if it's not linked to survival, the things that are goals that we're trying to persevere through, we're not going to automatically release dopamine.

So that's the problem. So we have to figure out how to hack the system, so to speak, so we can keep releasing dopamine to keep getting that reward to persevere. Well, and one thing that has helped me and I share this with my clients is you have to think of the bigger picture. You have to think of where you want to be and where you're working towards where you're going somewhere prayerfully. Yes. You're making efforts to get to a place where you want to be where you, whether it's you feel happier or feel more price and can manage your stress better or whatever that goal is for you or feel healthy and exercising goals. Any goal we have, we do we have to push, push, push and keep thinking of that big, that big, the big picture and this is what I'm working for. It's the why the why is so crucial to keep persevering and pushing through when we don't feel like it because I get stuck in what I just don't feel like it today. I was sharing with my husband last week. So I've been back on the kick of exercising and I was trying to lose some weight that covid, wait, you know, many of us have gained and I was starting to get discouraged after week two and I thought, gosh, I would have thought I would have lost more than £2 and then I would fluctuate, right, because that happens a lot, especially with women, you know, we lose, let's say £3 and then, oh, there's the £3 again the next day.

What is going on? And so and you know, I had to coach myself, okay? We need to think about this differently. It's not going to be the weight thing, that's fine. But how about being healthy and gaining strength and endurance? That's what I'm going to focus on. Not lose weight, lose weight, lose weight and then get discouraged and then give up. That's not perseverance. And so realizing, okay, sometimes I just need to shift that perspective. I'm going to focus on, I just want to be healthy and I want to gain some strength and that really helped. And so it helps push through. You know, that's a great example. I know for us, if our listeners have been listening, I we sold our home in april and then had the new home, which was not ready to lead into july. So we were kind of on the road in Air B and Bs and hotels for almost four months, Almost not quite 3.5 months. I had to persevere. There are times I wanted to quit. There were times, I'm like, let's just go buy another house that we can close on sooner or let's sell everything we own and move to Mexico. I think I actually said that once, I'm like, it's so peaceful there. Let's just sell everything and move there and we could live the rest of our lives and never have to work again.

Not that we don't want to work, but you know you have those days where everything is so hard and you're like, I just don't want to do any of them anymore, right? Like let's quit it all, but we really need to persevere. And what you just shared about visualizing seeing that end goal is what kept me, I just kept seeing the end goal of being in this house, being settled like okay we're going to make it, we're going to make it. But it was really tough, there were days mentally, it challenged me, you know, and I had to create new thoughts, I had to go, okay, it is hard, it was hard and acknowledge it, acknowledge it. Yeah. And then remind myself, but I can do hard things. We are all capable of doing hard things, we just don't want to. It doesn't feel good. No, it doesn't feel good in the middle right? It doesn't. But if we want to get to the part where it feels really good, the pleasure part, we have to go through the pain part sometimes it makes me think of in romans five verse three, that not only so but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character and character hope and that's you know keep in mind glory in our sufferings because we know that it produces perseverance character hope so intellectually we might know, oh, for the greater good, right?

I know working this is working towards some good, some big goal I have, but we can get stuck in the hard, right? The challenge, the it doesn't feel good, you know, the negative thoughts that this is never going to happen for me, I'm never going to lose weight. Maybe I'm never going to have the body that I had when I was 20. What if I, you know, my marriage, this is all that it is. Maybe it's going to be what I dream it to be, but I guess this is it, you know, I mean, how many times have we thought about those things? Just kind of, you know, I know personally, and I know in conversations with clients, we can think, we quote unquote surrender, but really it's a mental, you know, I give up, I just I just give up and there's a huge difference between surrendering and giving us, right? Have we done that podcast? Okay. That's what I thought this is sounding familiar that you listen to that one, if you feel like giving up, there is a difference between surrender and giving up, but you're right. It's when we're in the middle of the hard, right? We're not um wired to want to do hard things, right?

We're seeking pleasure, avoiding pain and conserving energy and when we have these more challenging goals that we're trying to reach that in the end will give us the greater reward, the greater good like you said, but it's the middle part like our primitive brains are not wired to do that or not. So we have to lock into our prefrontal cortex and make some wiser choices. We have to renew our minds to transform our lives right? And when we're stuck in the suffering we tend to just be more emotional. Yes, we get stuck there because we're living in an emotional space. This is too hard, I can't do it, your self doubt and so it's we have to help, you know, like you said, tap into that prefrontal cortex so we can logically reason with ourselves and you know when we think about it, that's more of our like our primitive wiring and our child self right from our inner child and the negative voice in our head. So there's a lot of factors at play but when we can tap into that prefrontal cortex and rationalize with ourselves rationalize with the other part that's trying to keep us safe and comfortable that no, I know this is this is going to pay off.

I know I just need to keep going, I need to keep going and push past those emotions and how you really feel in the moment to get to that goal and then when you feel that that's when you feel that dopamine and that's where you feel proud of yourself and it includes, you know, it increases your self esteem and your confidence. I was even having this conversation with my kids, you know keep going, keep going, don't give up and persevere because it also produces that character which is we do. Most of us want to grow in our character and learn and grow and you know, so that is another benefit that comes from that and then we have hope to, you know, we have hope for what we're trying to achieve. It's so hard because that passage you read romans five when you glory in your sufferings, we've talked about this, it's so hard, right? Who's like, yeah, suffering hardship, none of us look at that, but welcome it. I'm rejoicing no matter what. I just I'm not worried that way, but when we make it to the other side, that's where the joy is, that's where the pleasure is, that's where the growth is personal growth character.

Um that's where we can also look back and say, wow, I'm glad I went through that because it got me here, right? You know, that's being on the other side. Yeah, I mean I know when my kids two of them were teens, it was difficult, but I had to prepare. I remember at one point I told my husband I'm not going to parent this child anymore. I give up and he's like, now how do you think that's going to benefit the two of you, I go, well, it's going to definitely benefit me because I'm not going to stress out over it anymore. I'm done, I'm done. And you know, the truth of it is you can't be done. You're never done as a parent. Sometimes you feel like you want to throw your hands up, right? I was not surrendering, let's be clear. I was giving up, but I was fed up and I was going to give up. But you know, obviously, my husband was the voice of reason and I ultimately knew I cannot quit parenting, no matter what age they are. But at this point, this child was still living with us, but you know, I'm on the other side now, and the benefits of that relationship that I did persevere and I did continually choose to grow and keep going at it and keep growing and keep seeking input and keep applying different, practical.

So that relationship could get to a great place and I'm on the other side of it now, I have a wonderful relationship with all my Children, but especially this one that was so hard that at times I thought I'm never gonna make it, we're never going to make it. And so it's a beautiful thing to be on the other side of perseverance. Right? So cloudy now, let's dive into the practical. Yes, okay, so the first one and we've kind of talked a little bit about it, but we know that our thoughts um fuel our emotions which fuel our behaviors and perseverance is a behavior. So we've got to not be stuck in our emotions like you shared. And that starts with our thoughts. So we've got to get some thoughts that help us. We've got to change that. It's too hard. I can't do this. What's the point? Right? We all have them. We have yours, our listeners have there is we all have those giving up thoughts, right? That makes it even harder. We're not going to persevere if we keep telling ourselves things. So we have to get thoughts believable thoughts like this is hard, but I can do it.

I can do all things through christ who gives me strength or the goal. The end goal is worth the present pain. The pleasure coming around the corner is worth the present pain. Like I can do this. Yes, it's hard. I can do it. It's gonna be worth it. So really working on our thoughts. That's the first one. Second one, you already alluded to. It was visualized. I mean, that's what helped me. I know that 3.5 months when we're in between homes, it got the first part was fun. The second half was not fun is actually difficult and I had to keep thinking about the house. I had we kept driving by, we'd walk inside it. We just kept visualizing ourselves. You know, when we're in here think about the fun. Think about just having hangers, we're going to have hangers one day, think about having our own kitchen counters in our own kitchen tools and so I had to keep visualizing the end result, what we're going after. And it made the struggle worthwhile. So that was the second one. And then the third one that's really helpful to set deadlines and have accountability.

It's important if we just say I want to lose weight or I want to get in shape, there's no deadline to that and there's no accountability. So then it's just a thought floating in our head and there's an inner struggle because we're not doing it. So we feel like we're persevering, but we're not even going anywhere towards our goal and that actually steals a lot of mental and emotional energy and in doing that set up micro goals like for me, which I keep talking about it. So um your listeners are hearing it again, but I'm going to go check out this gym. Hopefully this week. No, I will check out this. I'm going to ask yes, ask me, ask me next week. How about by the next time we record sounds great. I will have gone to the gym and made an appointment at least to check it out. That's a micro goal. I'm not going to get into shape, I'm not going to tone my muscles if I don't at least do the phone call, right? And then when I achieved that micro goal, when we achieve those little micro goals, applaud ourselves, congratulate ourselves when we do that, we release that dopamine.

And it's kind of weird doing it for ourselves. I don't know about you. For me it's a little odd like way to go. You did it? I'm not natural at that. Oh, I could do that. Yeah. Yeah. I've learned the value of celebrating my victories. Yeah, that's awesome. This too, is celebrate because it's going to help motivate you to get done. Yeah, keep doing it. Yeah, it does now. I'm not good at it. So that's something else. But the big one choose accountability and that's why for me and my business, I have a coach because I know I can just keep talking about things, but if I have a coach and they're like, okay, we're getting together, you know, then I need to get done. I do, I'm one of those people that doesn't want to be like, nope, didn't do a thing. And that's another part of the perseverance is a lot of times. We seek pleasure first, so we don't want to do the things that are necessary to get to where we want to go. Like and I talk about this all the time, I'd rather sit and watch netflix and it's a lot easier for me. I know and eat which counter, you know, it's the opposite of trying to get in shape and toning my muscles and I'll tell you, even with exercising, I have been craving trips, chips like nothing.

I'm craving trips you're craving chip. Well I'm craving trips to another story. It is so funny. Even during my exercising, I will think about chips sometimes. It just pops up like man, I just, and then now even with exercising, I feel like, oh I have every reason to write because I'm exercising. So it's not like it's a bad thing, but I know if I let myself I wouldn't stop, I would just be like, oh my gosh, I've missed you dear friend and I would just want to veg out on chips all the time and it is so interesting. But it goes back, I have to keep thinking right, envisioning that bigger, what am I really working for and even though both will make me happy at some point, one is more, I'm happy in the moment the other is I'm going to be happy overall and in the long run for a much longer time and that's not the chips, that is the exercise a great point. So speaking of trips as I was sitting in the airport coming home because we were just on a family reunion little trip and we have just moved into our new home.

It's been about not even two months and we've barely been here between the two of us with all our trips. But last night I was sitting in the airport, my husband are like we should go to Mexico for another week like looking at each other. So I realized that whenever I'm feeling really tired Mexico is my go to because I really relax there. It's the one you're saying you want to escape yes, I'm saying I want to escape all the things I need to do here but we didn't book it but we did think about it. We both looked at each other and we're like how about we just stay home for a couple months. How about we make that the vacation just staying in one place. So that's what we ended up deciding. That was kind of funny. Speaking of chips and trips. Yeah that is really interesting. Yeah you know you can think of, you can kind of spin that right here, I'll coach you a little bit. You have all your family coming in, your new home come november. Yes thanks. Yeah so now you can even just kind of focus rather than you going away on a trip that I'm going to make this an amazing trip for my Children and grandchildren who are going to visit.

See so here you can make your house look nice as you already have you know, plan a lovely meal and many meals will be here for many days. Yes yes and then I'll need the trip to anyway back to persevere but he needs a trip after the holidays well and for me and I didn't even have this as a practical, but it probably goes along with congratulations yourself but have a reward. I mean obviously the goal, achieving the goal is a reward, but sometimes you can have many rewards. Like if I get to this point then I'll do this. You know, I'll treat myself to this so little little um congratulate yourself a little mini goal. Many rewards. Sorry, that that's a way to increase the dopamine too. I know that helps me, I know this last two weeks has been really busy for my husband and I were like, maybe we should plan a massage, like when we get back, we haven't done it yet, but we're talking about, it's something to look forward to as a treat because we've both been working really hard and traveling and doing a lot physically around the house and work wise.

And so those little mini rewards are huge to help help achieve that go right, and we tend to lose motivation is very normal in common, we can lose motivation and so having something planned in the near future that you can look forward to and it helps you okay, we're almost there and you can even cross off days, you know, so you can visually see it, that helps so much. Yeah, yeah, so perseverance, no one enjoys it, but it's part of life. We all have to persevere through 2020 and most of 20, we're still persevering many of us, our jobs are very different school can still be different. A lot of things are very different. So there's a lot of persisting in spite of the discouragement. That's part of what we've been living in the last almost two years. So perseverance is part of life, so we're going to have to do it. So hopefully these practical czar helpful. I know they're what helped me, I know there would have helped you were both standing on the other side of last year. I know there were days last year, both of us thought I'm not going to make it and we persevered with this podcast.

There were obstacles, technical difficulties, distance, distance, you know, mental, like I'm tired, this is hard, you know, so many things, but we persevered and it is important because we really both are able to live the life we both want and dream about and we both have been able to rise up and shine through past difficulties to a place where now we can help and share with others. So well, I will leave you with this. I know you've already shared romans five and I love James One in the Voice. It says don't run from tests and hardships. Brothers and sisters as difficult as they are. You will ultimately find joy in them. I love that. So until next time. Mhm Yeah, Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise up and Shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today.

If you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Clotting Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember, ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life again. Mhm.

Ep. 97 Perseverance
Ep. 97 Perseverance
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