More on this topic from our Youth Advisory Board members:
Persevering with Intention
By Kaelyn Huang
In my childhood, the definition of perseverance was muddled. When I found myself overwhelmed with a number of advanced classes, extracurriculars, and typical school drama, I was told to “persevere” through the rough times. I was told to push on, even when I was at my limit. What I didn’t understand then was how perseverance can be detrimental to our own well-being, especially when we persevere with the wrong intentions.
When you persevere, you are supposed to persist in the face of adversity even when there is little to no chance of success. But the idea to continuously push through difficult times with mere hopes of success can easily destroy your well-being and your mental health.
Whenever you strive for success, you’re bound to face obstacles and change. For instance, when I wanted to run a full 26.2 mile marathon, I faced the physical obstacle of shin splints, the mental obstacle of long miles, and the emotional obstacle of doubting your abilities. As for the changes I faced, they were the everyday training runs. On the days when I had a minor injury or didn’t have the same energy as the day before, I would feel miserable if I skipped the run or took it easy. But when I fully knew I could have run at a moderate pace so that I could recuperate, I pushed on. My efforts in persevering were to prove to myself that I could do a fast-paced run despite how I was feeling. And when I pursued my goal and ran my fastest, it left me more injured and depleted. I had persevered, but was it worth it?
I realize now that my perseverance then was filled with all the wrong intentions. So many modifications could have been made. I could have given myself the opportunity to slow down and run interval speeds. I could have switched up my routine. I could have centered myself before I continued attempts to persevere.
Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with perseverance, but we should be mindful of our actions and emotions in the pursuit of our goal. If you can give yourself the opportunity to reassess your situation along the way, if you can persevere in a positive direction, you give yourself a greater chance of reaching success.