Life, it likes to do this thing where it challenges everything that you believe and dream of. You can say it is the universe, god, or a spiritual entity, but at the end of the day, the source of friction that you believe is delivering this to your doorstep does not really change the amount of challenge that every human is confronted with.
What are these trials and tribulations I am writing about? Emotional pain, discouragement, hopelessness, and loneliness just to name a few. Every single human out there experiences multiple barriers in life. Those who chose to overcome them are often the ones who differential themselves from the crowd.
After I chose to dive head first into wholeheartedly pursuing my dreams and swinging for the fences hard, I can already account on a couple essential occasions how I have gotten the proverbial wind knocked out of me. A business deal didn't go through, I had a horrible breakup, or just adjusting to a new living situation. These may not seem significant to you, but when you are in the trenches yourself get back to me.
Fighting for my dreams heavily has involved this project The Man Effect. I have been pushing myself and growing in the process, but I will tell you what discouragement and impostor syndrome often try to weasel their way into my inner circles.
If no one has ever told you, pursuing your dreams is bloody hard work. You will lose sleep, consistently face the unknown, and pay for your knowledge and experience in blood and tears.
So you are probably wondering where I am heading with all this. Well, I thought I would write something to the man who wants to take that next step but has a bit of fear or discouragement at his door. That is a totally normal feeling, and you know what, as much as I hate it myself I have learned that when I want to give up most is usually the time I need to push myself the hardest.
Now, I just want you to know, every word I write here is not just some bull shit click bait article. I HAVE LIVED THIS. I choose to show up every day and keep pressing on. So, before you run away thinking this is just another half-assed self-help article stop yourself from passing judgment and continue reading.
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." -John Quincy Adams
This is a skill I have been working on mastering, and I would encourage you to join me in. What is it? To no run away from a problem or pain.
As I have begun to go through harder and harder times what I have learned to push through the difficulty facing the emotional pain, awkward situations, or other overwhelming feelings, is a crucial factor in the healing process.
Now, I am not a professional at this, because I am an imperfect human who is working hard to be present and honest with myself. I am pushing myself to become the best man that I can be.
To continue the conversation about not running from the problems of life I will give you some examples of what it looks like to run from the hardships of life.
Examples of running away:
- I know the romantic relationship I am in is unhealthy so instead of breaking up with the other person I just stop all communication and act like it never happened.
- Making a mistake at work or in business and not taking ownership for it hoping that no one will notice.
- I started pursuing the dream of starting a business but the first six months sucked, so I decide to quick and go back to the more comfortable option.
Examples of facing life:
- Having that conversation with a loved one that is extremely uncomfortable.
- Talking with your boss about something that goes against your integrity but is not necessarily socially wrong.
- Instead of shutting down allowing yourself to feel emotional pain and then ask yourself where it is coming from.
I felt that these were diverse enough to help paint a picture for you. You see, not running away from life and all its issues are at its core you taking 100% responsibility for everything you possibly can in your life.
Not that long ago I was hurt by someone very close to me, and I was wallowing in my pain disorientated and angry. Thankfully a close friend of mine made a statement that essentially kicked me in the butt and said, "Tim you are not a victim, stop acting like one. You put yourself in this situation." And you know what? That was enough to sober me up and face my pain head on.
This leads us to the next section that is very practical. Here are the tools that I use to face life head-on. I hope you take a look and find encouragement in them.
If you have not had a chance, head over and read an in-depth article I wrote on male friendships. Here is a link to, "Male friendships, their importance, and how to develop them."
After you read that article you will have a deeper appreciation for why I think friends are a tool to help you face life. I think it is time for an adage.
"And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." - Ecclesiastes
A good friend can be the strength you need when all yours has been depleted. A close friend is a commodity you should not forget about.
In a practical sense think of it this way. Say you are having mechanical troubles with your vehicle and you have a close friend who is a mechanic. If you ask him for help chances are your problem will get solved much quicker than if you were to tough it through yourself.
Life is the same way. If you have friends to call upon when specific problems arise chances are your survival and success rate increases significantly if you accurately know how to navigate and create healthy relationships that mutually strengthen both parties.
The two things that need to occur in order for this tool to be useful in your life are the following.
- Nurture and develop close friends you can rely upon.
- Ask for help when the time arises but do not become a leech.
Now, these two points may seem obvious to you or they may not. Regardless, it is my observation that if you lack these two points in the realm of friendship this tool may be rendered useless.
"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other." - Walter Elliot
Now, you may be saying perseverance isn't a tool it is a skill, and I would not entirely disagree with you. In this context though I will be referring to it as a tool because when the going gets tough emotionally and mentally, it is highly likely you will want to give up.
When you hit that point, which every human does, THAT is when you pull out the tool of perseverance.
How does one do this? Well, the first step is understanding the definition of perseverance. So here is an explanation for you. "Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success."
Two important things in that definition I want to point out. You need a desire to reach a destination, and you need a target in order to "achieve success." So if you think practically about when the going get's tough what is the foundation of your ability to be perseverant? Is it fear of failure? Do you have a long-term goal you are fighting for? Do you lack vision, so the second stuff gets hard you quit? Is it desiring to be accepted by others?
For you to truly become a more perseverant person, you need to know what is motivating you. The second you find that you will be able to make the mental adjustments needed when you face conflict appropriately.
Now, here is the thing. The things I persevere for the most in life are the things I have the most articulated vision for. So, if you want to use the tool of perseverance, you will need to build an idea for your life that you are willing to push through sacrifice and hard times.
If you don't know where to start or how to build a vision for your life I have written down a starting point for any man.
Once, you have a vision or goal in place this will be the fuel you need when you start to want to quit.
Here are the steps that you can take when you need to use this tool.
- Self-realization. You need to be aware of when you want to quit or give up.
- Stop what you are doing and take a moment to breathe and clear your mind.
- Either remind yourself of your dream for life or find a document where you have it written down.
- Observe and contemplate on the end goal until you find the strength to keep moving.
- Once the feeling of perseverance is back in your bones, start moving again.
- Keep showing up every day.
- Take any momentum over no momentum. Small steps are potent steps.
- Rinse and repeat this process.
I know what is written above is nothing revolutionary but it has been my observation that these two tools have been essential to my own life and I wanted to share them with you.
I hope you find this article practical and that you will find inspiration to keep fighting for your life and dreams.