Last time, we talked about laziness, which is the first enemy of perseverance. Today, let’s take a look at another enemy you need to get ready to vanquish: discouragement.
Discouragement is the cessation of all the motivation you once had to reach a goal or achieve a certain result. This is an important distinction—discouragement isn’t about actual ability or effort, it’s about your drive and determination being bogged down in negativity. It’s about facing obstacles with an attitude of “can’t” and believing in that with such conviction that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You might not have realized this because when you become discouraged, you’ll often believe that it’s a result of a lack of talent, knowledge or ability on your part. And while it feels that way, that’s not what’s actually behind discouragement; the lack of confidence you have in being able to overcome the obstacle is what it really is.
Empowered, motivated individuals see an obstacle as nothing less than a motivator. Their fascination with the potential struggle it presents will provoke them to persevere on the path that leads them to success. Often, for those who are prone to persevere, an obstacle becomes either an interesting, fun puzzle to work out or the inspiration for an entirely new idea that helps them achieve their end goal. In some cases, the new idea can even add another dimension to their potential and their success.
The perseverant make the effort required to overcome compounded obstacles and, after doing so, are even more excited and encouraged when they finally complete their tasks or achieve their objectives. Why? Because when success is hard won, it makes the perseverant prouder and more empowered for having achieved it.