Overcoming Challenges

However Long & Hard the Road – Jeffrey R. Holland:

This speech touched my heart. I felt encouraged in my ability to carry on and to remember that I am not the first, nor am I the last to traverse the road of sacrifice and determination as I maintain the Savior as my end destination. I am not alone in my feelings of discouragement at times, in my self-doubt and my limited energy and resources. In fact, I am infinitely blessed in the things that I have been given and the station of life in which I currently reside. President Holland’s talk helped me to understand that I can identify and acknowledge that I am climbing a steep and at times discouraging hill, but his underlying message was to not let the steepness of the hill prevent me from climbing.
This morning I realized all the things I desire to do with my time as I graduate from college next fall. I will be done with school! I have an incredible job already in the field that I am interested in, namely health & wellness, and I considered the many entrepreneurial venues that are open for me to explore and strive towards: becoming a certified yoga instructor, whole-foods chef, designing an app for recipes, receiving a massage therapy license, creating a homeschool mom support blog, creating a pre-school…the list goes on. Such potential and excitement about what I can do with my life! And yet, at times I can feel so discouraged and let the weight of the hauling of stone distract me from the fact that I am building a great temple; my life is the greatest work I will ever embark on and I have given my heart, my head, and my hands to Father in Heaven to use as He will. I will keep placing one foot in front of the other and amidst the prevailing darkness I will seek the light that I feel as I kneel and speak with my Father. I will seek the light that I glimpse in a thought or impression given freely by the Holy Ghost. This life is full of potential and the power to create alongside the Ultimate Creator. I am filled with hope and my heart is brim with gratitude.

A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey – Chapter 5

This chapter truly inspired me to evaluate my grit when it comes to “stones in the road”. How do I respond when I feel discouraged or am confronted with a challenge? I’ve never really considered myself a competitive person, but I can now see the merit to determination and endurance. Exercise is one of the best ways I’ve found to personally develop grit. I pedal when I don’t want to pedal, finish that mile when my legs feel like lead, and wake up early when everything inside me begs for more time under the covers. I had an interesting experience recently with my husband commenting on a piece of work I had spent all day “perfecting”. One of the first things out of his mouth was a question followed by very mild critique. I burst into tears and realized that critique had really hurt my feelings. It was an excellent opportunity to communicate within our relationship and also for me to evaluate how I can remain sensitive but grow a little thicker skin in regards to improvement and suggestions.
What can I remember when I feel overwhelmed or ready to give up? For some reason I’ve come to believe that “grit” means never feeling discouraged or never falling down. This is simply not true. Grit is the determination to get back up, to smile again, to run the next lap, and to continue dreaming. As I view this attribute in a new light I can see that I do indeed possess strength of character.

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