Burden. Overload. Stress. Do these words describe the way you feel about life? If that’s the case, I want you to know you’re not alone. And with God’s help, you can change your outlook and overcome your situation. No matter what’s going on around you, you can have a life in Christ filled with peace and joy.
1. Say something positive. If you constantly feel overwhelmed or under stress and you can’t pinpoint the exact reason, start making some Biblical daily confessions. Rather than getting up each day, talking about how bad things are, begin each day declaring God’s Word and His promises over your life. I am more than a conqueror! (Romans 8:37) God will provide for my every need! (Matthew 6:26) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13)
2. Fine-tune your budget. If your finances are a source of constant stress in your life, decide to start a budget (or reevaluate your current budget). What is something practical you can do to solve the problem? Cut an expense that is a luxury but not a necessity. Look for a new way to make some additional money. Ask someone who is good with finances to take a look at your budget and give you some suggestions.
3. Do something surprising. If there is someone who is driving up your stress levels by constantly hurting your feelings, do something nice for them—send them a kind note, buy them lunch, tell them something you appreciate about them, or begin praying for them on a regular basis. By doing these little things you are taking steps of faith and obeying God’s command to love your enemies.
4. Upgrade your energy level. If a nagging health problem is leaving you feeling stressed out and run down, start an exercise routine. No more excuses. Set aside time each day to get the exercise and care your body desperately needs. Rather than making excuses, make a plan…and stick to it. You may think that you simply don’t have the energy to exercise. You feel too bad, or you’re too tired. But I often find when I go ahead and begin to exercise that I start to feel better. Exercise takes energy, but it gives you back more energy than it takes!
5. Get out of your rut. If the demands of work are overwhelming and causing you to feel overloaded, do something about it. Delegate some tasks, reevaluate your systems or talk to your boss. (Your boss may not even realize how much you are doing or how it is negatively affecting your personal life.) Instead of complaining how overworked you are, look for ways to be more efficient and how to make the most of your time each day.
These are just a few examples, but as you can see, there are so many ways you can step out in faith in order to live the life Jesus died to give you.
There are times that you shouldn’t be persistent. For instance, when that guy or girl clearly doesn’t like you and has told you no two or three times when you ask them out, then it’s time to give up and move on. If you are too persistent in that case, you could get slapped with a restraining order! But, in most cases, persistence is something that can pay off for you in your career, health, relationships, and happiness. Before you go off committing to everything in your life, you need to know a few things about being persistent that will help you make the most out of your determination.
1. Negative Emotions Can Arise Unless You Are Laid Back
Highly persistent people tend to have better health and happiness overall, but research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders shows that they can also have more negative emotions and anxiety than people who are not highly persistent, especially if they are not laid back and tolerant of failure, difficulty, or setbacks.
Highly persistent and laid back don’t seem like they should go together, but if you want to avoid the negative emotions from arising, you may want to work on being more laid back in life. Negative emotions and anxiety can take their toll on your heart, digestion, sexual organs, and brain, so it is important to find a way to chill out and become more laid back if you want to be persistent in your life.
How can you be a more laid back person?
Find the humor in everything. When you can see the humor, you are more likely to laugh things off instead of feeling angry or hurt.
Become more playful. When you are playful, you approach everything in life with a playful attitude rather than a serious and ‘adult’ attitude. This can help you be more at ease when things go wrong.
Be joyful in everything you do. Find delight in every activity and the very fact that you are experiencing things in life, both good and bad. If you can find joy in the simple fact that you are alive, then your tension will melt away and life will become much more fun.
Develop a positive mindset. When you become optimistic about life, you reduce tension and become much more laid back. Being hopeful and confident in what is to come will help you make the most of today.
Believe in yourself. Negative emotions such as being ashamed, nervous, and upset can arise from not having faith in yourself or beating yourself up. Start believing in yourself and your ability to succeed, and you will help alleviate those emotions and be much more laid back.
2. Take Out Time To Reenergize
A lot of people think that being persistent means you have to work 7 days a week from morning to night on what you want to achieve. But, that is the worst way to maintain your persistence in life. It is, however, the quickest way to experience burnout! While it would be nice to have the energy of a battery operated bunny, we are human, and we need some downtime to reenergize and get back on track.
If you don’t take the time to reenergize, then you will start to produce less than desirable results. You won’t be on your game. You won’t be able to concentrate, find solutions, and be creative as well as you could when you are fully charged and ready to go.
You use up a lot of energy when you are being persistent. You need to use physical energy to get you where you want to go and keep you awake. You also need to use it if you are working on health goals or are in a physically demanding job. You need to use mental energy to make decisions, focus, be creative, listen, talk, learn, teach, use willpower, deal with hard things, and stay committed. You use mental energy in almost everything you do!
So, how can you keep your energy up high?
Take care of your body. Exercise and nutrition have a big impact on your body’s health and its energy. If you are not taking care of yourself and feeding it what it needs or giving it the exercise that it needs, you will feel less energetic, more often.
Keep your blood sugar steady for mental health. Your brain uses glucose to do its job, so when your blood sugar is low, your brain doesn’t have the energy it needs to perform properly. That’s not a good thing when you are focused on being persistent.
Don’t dwell on things. It uses up a lot of mental energy that could be spent on being persistent. This includes things about past things that have gone wrong, not forgiving people and situations, and taking a long time to make decisions. You want to let go of those past things that are using up a lot of your energy and figure out a system to make decisions quickly and with the least amount of mental thought possible.
Work with your body’s natural ebb and flow of energy in the day. For most people, energy peaks in the middle of the morning and drops in the afternoon, followed by another peak in the early hours of the evening. If you can harness the times when you are most energetic to do the things that you need to be persistent with, then your energy will be used efficiently, and you can recharge during the down times with a nap or by focusing on things that don’t require a lot of energy.
Take days off. While being persistent can lead to a lot of health and happiness rewards, taking days off to do fun or relaxing things can help you recharge and maintain the energy needed to be persistent. For instance, most people have the weekend off from their job and should use that time to fill up their soul with laughter, fun, and new experiences. With that kind of recharge, energy will be ready and waiting on Monday morning.
3. Persistence Aids Talent
There are plenty of talented people who are not having any success in life. They simply can’t master the art of persistence, and because of that, their talent is not used in a way that benefits their life. This is important to remember as other people try to tell you what you can and cannot do.
If you want something, then persistence is the key to success. If you know you can get it, and you want it bad enough, your efforts are likely going to pay off. But, you need to stay persistent despite the people giving you the dirty looks or yelling in your ear that you can’t or shouldn’t.
So, how can you ignore the haters and keep going?
Remind yourself of how great you are every morning and every step of the way. Your self-confidence and self-worth will shut out anyone’s negativity.
Celebrate your successes with a passion. Even small successes will help you maintain that level of motivation to say persistent and get what you want.
4. Being Persistent May Not Pay Off For Some Goals
Have you ever heard the famous Kenny Rogers song The Gambler? In it, he sings, ‘You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.’ This is something you should keep in the back of your mind as you go after a goal you are trying to achieve. Sometimes you have to walk away and sometimes you have to run!
The truth is that sometimes you have to shift your goals in life. Just like when it comes to dating, not everything and everyone is going to work in your favor. Other people and circumstances play a part in your ability to achieve what you want, and sometimes you just can’t develop the ability to do something, no matter how hard you try.
We all have strengths and weakness, and sometimes people persistently try to make their weaknesses better to no avail. I think life is too short to try to make ourselves great at something we just can’t master, and we should focus on using our strengths instead.
So, when should you stop being persistent on one goal?
When your goals conflict with your natural ebb and flow. You may want to get up at 5 in the morning to go for a run and get started earlier on your day, but if your body is not able to adjust to the lack of the sleep, then you are going to suffer during your day from fatigue and a reduction in productivity. I know, I tried to develop this goal for a long time with no luck. Your energy will be drained and you will be unable to maintain your persistence and your productivity will suffer.
When you are getting no results. Getting no results is a sign that something is wrong and you need to tweak your plan or goal a bit. For instance, if you spend months eating a particular diet and exercising, but are not getting the results you want, then it may be time to tweak what you are doing. Even though every guru says that it is the only diet that works, it may not work for you while something else will. You are unique, and you have your own path in life, so even if it works for everyone else, recognize when it is just not working for you
5. Persistence and Motivation Work Together
You may think that working towards a certain career is what you should do, but is it what you want to do? If it’s not, then you are going to lack motivation, and you will have a hard time being persistent!
Motivation comes from a longing to have or achieve something. It gives you the energy you need to move forward and helps you stay committed in times of disappointment. In short, if you are not motivated, you will not be persistent, or you will have a VERY hard time being persistent, which will eventually wear you out.
To find motivation, you need to do a few things.
Work on the things you resonate with. Don’t go after something because you feel like you should go after it. Instead, do what resonates with you as exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling.
Figure out what motivates you. It might be giving your family a better life or being around for a longer time. There are reasons that you want to achieve more success, improve your health, and be happier, and those specific reasons are going to remind you why you need to be persistent when you don’t feel like going on.
Share your intentions. When you tell a bunch of people what you intend to do, it’s less likely you will want to give up. Being accountable to others boosts your motivation simply because you don’t want to let them down or be viewed as a failure.
Make short-term goals. It’s hard to maintain motivation for years. But, if you make short-term goals, such as weekly goals or even daily goals that help you reach your long-term goals, then you will feel like you are having much more success and stay motivated to be persistent in your actions.
Keep in mind that balance is key to everything we do in life.