When I hear the word endurance I think of sports. I think of athletes who drink Gatorade and push their bodies to the extremes. I think of marathon runners and. Incredible people in the peak of physical fitness.
But endurance is not merely a physical thing. In order to persist at anything hard, exhausting, and strenuous, we must have strong mental and emotional endurance as well.
No matter how many affirmations we say every morning, or how many crystals we keep under our pillow, there will be times in life when we'll need to endure something painful. It could be heartbreak, grief, anger, disappointment or rejection. It could be illness, depression or anxiety.
1. the ability to endure an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way."she was close to the limit of her endurance"
2. the capacity of something to last or to withstand wear and tear.
Simply, endurance means having the ability to maintain discomfort for as long as possible. It means trusting that the fight will soon be over, and all you need to do is keep going. Endurance means not giving up. Your body may be burning, your heart may be aching, but you ride the wave until it passes.
Creativity and Endurance
For a creative person daring to send your work out into the world, endurance is vital. I have received more rejections than I can count. For a year, I sent out query letters to literary agents every week in the hope that one of them will say yes to representing my YA fantasy novel,. Every time I got that standard auto-response summed up as 'no, thank you,' I had to endure it. I'd take a deep breath, note it in my spreadsheet, then send out another query.
Eventually, I decided against traditional publishing and instead decided to publish my series independently on Amazon et al., but even that choice took endurance; if I'd let the query process grind me down, I could have lost all confidence in my work and given up completely!
The acting industry is a fickle wench. I have been at this game for as long as I can remember. Yes, rejection is hard. Yes, it is frustrating to be told you almost got the lead role. I could throw my toys. I could throw in the towel. But then what? Choosing not to throw my hat in the ring when the cool jobs come up would be just plain boring! So I endure.
Mental Health and Endurance
Endurance is super important when life gets hard. The black dog might show up or that damn tiger of anxiety. Everything can feel heavy and pointless, and hopeless.
Mental illness is a disease that can be fatal. That's where the importance of endurance comes in. During those times, when you are really struggling, it's important you reach out. Tell a loved one, you are not okay. Go to your GP to talk about your options. See a therapist. But it is the ability to endure the discomfort that is the most valuable.
When I find myself in that dark place, I tell myself that I know it is not forever. I remind myself that I have been here before, and just like last time, I will get through it. I must be kind to myself and take every moment as it comes. When I feel like I can't safely endure anymore, I ask for help.
Parenting and Endurance
Yeah, kids and babies are cute, and parenting is super rewarding. However, raising little ankle-biters is not without its challenges!
Nothing is as testing to your patience as parenting. Asking your child to put on their shoes for the seventh time without yelling takes magical self-control. Doing it for years at a time with very little sleep takes endurance.
I cannot count the times I wanted to run away with the circus when my children were little and omnipresent. But I didn't because my kids needed me. I had to find a way to endure the frustration and mind-numbing repetitively that came with caring for small "spirited" children.
When we are hurt, upset, or angry, it is hard to continue with daily life. It becomes hard to be productive or do simple tasks. This is more common amongst.
The energy we use experiencing extreme emotions is exhausting, but with the skill of endurance, we can dig deep, breathe, and keep going.
This does not mean disconnecting from our feelings. It is more about accepting how we feel and choosing to work through it. It means having the ability to sit with our hard feelings instead of choosing to numb them with food, alcohol, by spending money or canceling the day to watch Netflix.
Challenging your Endurance Limits
The more we sit in these places of discomfort, the easier they become to endure. It's important to know your limits. I find the more I sit with my discomfort, the better I become at it. I hold out. I breathe. I stare at in the face, and I take every second as it comes.
Lisette Prendé is a fantasy author, actor, and tarot reader from New Zealand. Her debut novel, Bianca De Lumiere, launches on Amazon Kindle and KDP on 8/8/20.