It’s week two of Take a Shift Tuesday, a month-long series during which I’ll publish installments that I began long ago and have finally completed.
Tonight’s was first drafted in May of 2018. I’ve revisited it because the topic still lights a fire in my belly. It takes me right back to the day that the idea sparked within me. Since it still gives me life, I put life back into it.
That’s how it works with ideas. If they’re still with you, giving you life (sparking excitement or expansion inside), stay with it. See it through. No matter how long it’s been since you walked away from it.
In this spirit, I’ll continue to post a new Take a Shift installment here every Tuesday through October. Read the series. Take a mental shift. Dust off your own archived ideas and get back to it.
I’ll be cheering for you.
Endurance vs. Perseverance
May 10, 2018
I’ve been considering the difference between endurance and perseverance lately. A friend has been through the metaphorical fires of divorce the past several years, and as I’ve watched her cope, I’ve witnessed her capacity for what…endurance? Yes, because she’s endured a lot. But that word isn’t nearly encompassing enough.
More than enduring, she continues to persevere.
Here’s a look at what my friends Merriam and Webster have to say:
ENDURANCE : the ability to withstand hardship or adversity
PERSEVERANCE : continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition
Endurance is your ability to sit through life’s commodes for as long as necessary. Perseverance is your ability to get off the pot.
Enter an opportunity to take a mental shift.
Think of something in your life you’ve had to endure. Maybe it’s the final stretch of a job that depletes you. Or divorce proceedings that seem like they’ll never end. Or maybe your monthly cycle is debilitating.
The “grin and bear it” approach will get you to the end, but it’s a passive response that occurs in your head only. Turn those thoughts into action. (Please note, whining doesn’t count as an action.)
First and foremost, write down some action steps. For instance,
- Organize your desk/office for the person coming in after you
- Prepare all court-required documentation
- Make an appointment with your physician/women’s clinic for help
With any area in life, there are things that we have control over and things that we don’t. Your job is to distinguish the two. What you have control over? Do them. It’s a much more productive way to spend your time than complaining.
What you don’t have control over (which is a LOT of things) effects people differently. I’m convinced, for instance, that my husband is who taught ducks how to let water roll off their backs. I, however, missed that lesson.
If you’re like me, if what you don’t have control over causes you stress of any form, then here’s another opportunity: You have control over your response to stress.
Maybe your response is working out. Maybe it’s changing your diet (eat the damn cookie guilt-free if it sounds good and stop eating all the dairy if it messes with your gut). Maybe it’s spending a little less time on the couch and a little more time in nature. Maybe medication would help.
Whatever it is, do it. Otherwise you’re contributing to your own problems. That’s the big distinction between endurance and perseverance: Endurance usually isn’t a choice. Perseverance is.
Endure the job or persevere for vacation (or health insurance or retirement or the funds to launch your own business).
Endure the divorce or persevere for cut ties. For freedom. For a new beginning.
Endure infertility or persevere for the baby. For treatment-free days. For the ability to say, “I’m through.”
Do you feel it? The difference in focusing on what is (endure) vs. focusing on what’s on the other side (persevere)? That’s where you can find a little shift. That’s what you can use as fuel on your focused days and what you can cling to like a lifeline on hard ones.
If you’re going through the metaphorical fire currently, know that its burn is short term. And while it’s effects might be long-lasting, so can your shift in perspective.