undefinedAccording to the Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, Perseverance is the "Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition." I thought of this word one day when I was running on the treadmill at the gym. During this time, although rare, I was experiencing some pain in my side and I said to myself, "I'm going to make it through this run even if I have to push myself through this pain and die."  Okay, I'm not going to die but don't you just hate it when you get that annoying pain in your side; I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about. And yes, I made it through my run, and of course, I didn't die!

I also think of this concept often in my practice because many patients that come through my door embody this characteristic. That in many ways, individuals, especially those with psychological suffering, often persevere despite the many challenges they face each day. By making it to their session(s), they unknowingly communicate that they believe that things will get better. I believe that perseverance is something that comes from within; something that is internal rather than external. What is the internal drive that motivates one to persevere? Why do some have it and some really struggle to persevere so much so that some might die by suicide because they don't see any way out. Can it be hope?  Is hope what drives one to persevere? I remember in my first graduate class my professor said, "Is there always hope." I can't recall everyone's responses, but I do recall being the first person to say, "Yes, there is always hope" and I said it without hesitation. Interestingly, today I read an article on hope and how it can create stuckness for some. I found this idea interesting because I've never given it much thought about how hope can actually become an obstacle to obtaining one's goals and aspirations. What do you think? Do you think that perseverance and hope are intricately tied together? Is perseverance perhaps connected to any other drive(s)? Regardless of what we might think, the one who perseveres, is one who has hope, is one who is resilient, and is one who can accomplish and succeed despite the hurdles. No matter what your pain, there is always hope!

*Image courtesy of stockimages

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