Do you resist the struggle or embrace it?

One of my earliest memories is of struggle. I was sitting in front of the dryer, trying to pick something up and struggling. I used to feel pity for my younger self and all of the struggles I’ve endured. So many times, I have wanted to redo the memory. I wanted to jump in and help the little girl struggling. I wanted to pick it up for her.

But now, with more wisdom and understanding, I see my battles differently.

I’m so thankful that I developed GRIT at a very young age. Giving up and asking for help just wasn’t my default reaction to challenges. And when I tried using my hands as an excuse, my mom quickly stopped me. She told me I could do it, so I tried until I could do whatever I needed.

As an adult, I can’t imagine how hard it was for my family to watch me struggle. I know they wanted to jump in so many times and do it for me. But my mom insisted that I learn to do things on my own. “You can do anything, Candida! Find your own way.” She often told me.

She taught me about perseverance by allowing me the space and time to figure things out for myself. She taught me to discover my abilities by not doing everything for me. At a very young age, I learned how to overcome my disabilities.

Sometimes, I think about where I would be if my family would have done everything for me. I know that I wouldn’t have the mindset of an overcomer if I had never been allowed to figure things out.

It’s in figuring things out that we feel accomplished. Finally, being able to do something after an intense battle with it makes us feel so good. But giving up the moment that something feels challenging does the opposite. It makes us feel weak and defeated.

Our lives are a combination of successes and failures. We get to decide which one we want to accumulate more of. I want to experience failure only if I try repeatedly and can’t do it, rather than feeling it’s too difficult and giving up before I put forth an honest effort.

Demanding more from myself and not listening to the excuses in my mind has helped me tremendously in my life. I have confidence in my ability to figure things out. And when things become so difficult that I’m unsure if I can do it, I use my tears to plea for God to help me rather than tears of self-pity and defeat.

While we don’t get to choose our circumstances, we all get to decide what kind of person we want to be: a victim or an overcomer. A victim spends energy crying about what happened and the unfairness of it all. However, an overcomer thinks about what this is trying to teach me and how I can use it for my benefit.

We are only ever defeated when we give up. But there is great power in deciding to keep going no matter what and give it everything we offer. That’s when God knows we are serious and will show us how to do it.

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