Going in one more round, when you don’t think you can, that’s what makes all the difference in your life. –  Sylvester Stallone

What are some of the things you are doing right now to keep on going, to grow in perseverance, to strengthen your will?

Yesterday, I started feeling overwhelmed; news headlines were dark and the future looked ominous. Yes, I am a mental strengths coach; I utilize all the tools and knowledge from brain science and from my Christian Faith to keep hope alive. I have resolved to live in my strengths, hold steadfast to God’s promises, and I am determined to encourage and strengthen those of you who are in my life.

Despite my best efforts, I felt downhearted. I am very familiar with discouragement; I am, however, not used to camping there.  I tried to do all the things I know to do to lift my spirit but the melancholy state I was experiencing was not easing up at all.

Crisis Kit

I have created this anti-anxiety and anti-stress tool kit, proven by science, to help you reduce anxiety and stress. I guarantee you that if you implement some of these ideas and use these tools; you will navigate this uncertainty boat like a highly skilled Captain.

Divine Intervention

Then something happened, some might call it coincidence but I call it Divine Intervention. I received a text from a cousin with an image that turned my thoughts away from the circumstances of the world and transcended them back to hope.

World War II

What was that image?  It was a picture of my dad on December 20, 1942, at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri; he had just turned 28 the day before someone took that black and white photo.

Note the date: December 20, 1942, just 5 days before Christmas. It was wartime. As I saw the image, questions raced through my mind.

What could my dad have been thinking and feeling?

  • He could have felt sorry for himself; celebrating his 28th birthday just one day prior to that picture being snapped and being so far away from his warm home in Arizona.
  • He could have lamented the fact that he would not be home with his family or fiancé for Christmas.
  • He could have been filled with fear not knowing what the future held for him during a World War.

Having inside Intel; I know what he was feeling and I also know the end of the story.

My dad often felt lonely during these times. He missed his fiancé, he longed to be carefree at the farm he grew up on, and he wanted to take care of his family.

He worried about his dad who was sick at home with diabetes. He was very troubled about his mom holding down the household.

He was concerned about his two brothers; Senon and Robert, who were also serving in the armed forces.

He feared coming back from war wounded or not returning at all.

He felt all those things, but instead of focusing on them, he chose something I’m sharing with you today; perseverance.

The Power of Perseverance

I believe that most of you reading this blog know how to overcome trials; you’ve done it plenty of times before.

However, currently, life feels like we are in prolonged combat with so many things out of our control. During times like this, we need more than just persevering through something; our current situation is an opportunity to recognize that we need to grow in the power of perseverance for a lifetime.

In this blog post, I am going to share an exercise with you that will help you grow in perseverance, will, and resiliency.

“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength but through perseverance.” – H. Jackson Brown

How to Grow In Perseverance for a Lifetime

Practice Extreme Focus

While awareness ignites change, focus determines your reality.  What are you focusing on these days? Make a conscious effort to be aware of your thoughts and choose your focus.

Step 1:

Identify One Thought

Briefly take a minute to identify one dominant thought, concern, or challenge you are experiencing. Keep it narrowed down to one; if you try to solve two problems, you solve none.

Step 2:

Factor in Purpose

Consider why it is so important for you to overcome this challenge and grow in perseverance.

Always include the bigger picture; keeping in mind that purpose is for others.

Step 3:

Connect Your Values to Your Purpose

Your values are your internal GPS; they provide direction and meaning to your life; if you were on a boat, your values would be your compass.

A few examples of values are adventure, leadership, contribution, mastery, connectedness, God, creativity, and winning.

Once you identify some of your core values, go to the reasons you listed in Step 2; your WHY.  Which of these values best connect to your purpose?

For example, if your obstacle is that you are trying to keep your business afloat during this pandemic and your purpose is to provide for your family, you might want to connect to your values of service, leadership, relatedness, or creativity.

Step 4:

Connect Your Strengths to Your Purpose

While your values give you direction in life, your strengths, on the other hand, are the wind that fuels your sails, they move you forward and give you momentum.

A few examples of strengths are honesty, communication, perspective, gratitude, bravery, and responsibility.

Once you identify some of your strengths, do the same thing you did with values. Go to the reasons you listed in Step 2: your WHY.  Which of your strengths best connect to your purpose?

Be Aware of the Negativity Bias

When we experience prolonged stressors and obstacles, it can be difficult to stay focused on our strengths and values; the positive things in life.

This is due in part to the negativity bias; our brain’s propensity to focus on the bad – we will avoid pain to a greater degree than we will pursue pleasure. When left to its own devices, our brain will default to the negative.

Because of this bias, I encourage you to journal and practice this perseverance exercise daily.  By doing so, you are rewiring your brain to focus on your values and strengths which will help you go the distance and grow in perseverance for a lifetime.

The Greatest Generation

With much gratitude I can say that my dad made it home safely; however, his return did not come without pain, sacrifice, and sorrow.

Since that picture was taken in 1942, my dad stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day Plus 1, where he experienced firsthand the horrific atrocities that occur in war. He was involved in numerous campaigns across Europe and before being honorably discharged, he received a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and the Middle Eastern Service Medal.

On arriving back to the states he was shocked to discover that his father had died a few months earlier. The mail service at the time was so slow, he was not notified. Heartbroken, and experiencing occasional bouts of PTSD, Carlos Castillo choose to persevere and build a life for himself, his future wife, and ultimately, years later, me.

His life had been forever changed since that picture I just saw for the first time yesterday but he became a part of the Greatest Generation for what he endured.

Be the Reason

Who would have thought that this year, 2020, would be recorded as one of the most unprecedented times in history? I encourage you to look back at a picture of yourself prior to 2020, maybe even New Year’s Eve, and stash it somewhere.

My wish is that someday, someone will find that photo and say,

“If they could persevere, so can I.”

Be the reason that someone else someday has strength, courage, and the gift of perseverance for a lifetime.

Make it a courageous day!
Keep believing,


Crisis Kit

I have created this anti-anxiety and anti-stress tool kit, proven by science, to help you reduce anxiety and stress. I guarantee you that if you implement some of these ideas and use these tools; you will navigate this uncertainty boat like a highly skilled Captain.

Rita Hudgens
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