Perseverance is a key quality of a growth mindset. Perseverance is the acceptance that you will likely fail many times before you succeed, but you must experience the failures before you reap the successes.
I probably channel Dory in my daily life more than I’d like to admit as a 30-year-old, but she has a point, no? Just keep going, persevere. Don’t give up.
As educators we face challenges that require perseverance all the time. We can’t give up. We don’t give up on our children, we don’t give up on our colleagues and we don’t give up on ourselves. If we did then there’d be nothing left.
Perseverance is a state of mind. It’s the idea of mind over matter, and it is harder to be strong of mind than strong of body. I struggle with perseverance every day, more so in my personal life. I’ve been in a constant state of ‘getting fit’ for around 10-15 years. I’ve had bursts of determination and perseverance where I’ve seen the rewards of a strong mind. In a similar way, I’ve had plenty (probably more) of instances where I’ve allowed my mind to weaken and fail. I’ve woken up today with a sense of perseverance and no more excuses. I want to get fit this year, once and for all. I want to lose weight and develop healthier habits and right now is the ideal time to do it if I can get my mind straight. I always used school as an excuse. Too busy to eat, too busy to food prep, too exhausted to work out etc. Not a lot of that stands anymore, so why am I still making excuses?
The answer is that I’ve lost my perseverance. At the start of the year a nasty week of Norovirus gave me a kick start and the perseverance followed. I had a good 2 months or so of fitting in some exercise but most importantly of all, eating well and observing a calorie deficit. Now I need to find that perseverance without the grim side-effects of that particular sickness virus.
I will persevere with my morning yoga until it becomes an indispensable part of my morning routine. I will persevere with daily exercise, whether it’s a light walk or a moderate run (did the ‘run5k, donate £5, nominate 5 people’ challenge yesterday!)
I need to persevere for my health. Others need to persevere for their careers, their families, their futures. Our Government needs to persevere to beat this virus. Our communities need to persevere to support one another. This country needs to persevere to withstand lockdown for just a few more weeks. I am genuinely terrified that people are beginning to disregard the guidance and this will lead to another spike of infections and deaths and no doubt result in a longer, more severe lockdown.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.Dylan Thomas, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’.
You can’t give up, you can’t give in. You need to fight against the dying of the light. You need to persevere against the challenges that you face.