The Importance of Training Ourselves to Persevere

Is training ourselves to persevere an impossible goal? We think not! Read on to find out why.
The Importance of Training Ourselves to Persevere
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

Training ourselves to persevere is something that will help us face all the challenges that come our way. Thanks to this psychological strength, we’ll reach goals, cope with adversities, and strengthen our character to never give up.

Maybe training ourselves to persevere won’t help us to achieve the happiness of our dreams. However, it’ll help us achieve something even more powerful: pride in ourselves.

It’ll allow us to be people who can dare to face the challenges of daily life, who create their own luck, who don’t understand what it is to give up, and who’ll rise again and again every time they fall.

Laozi said that perseverance is the foundation of all actions. However, let’s face it, nobody teaches us how this skill is acquired, or how it grows.

We don’t understand how this part of our personality develops and helps us to achieve the highest goals in life. We often acquire it from those closest to us: our fathers and mothers. They, and other important figures in our lives, inspire us with their attitude, behavior, and personal focus.

It would, undoubtedly, be wonderful if we were all to arrive in this world with this ability already written into our genes.

Very recent research tells us that perseverance acts as an exceptional psychological resistance exercise that helps us do more than just reach our goals. Being able to persevere is linked with a reduced risk of suffering from depression and is a highly effective strategy for managing anxiety.

This is a part of our psyche that’s definitely worth maximizing to the fullest.

“If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”

-Joseph Addison-

A girl surrounded by lights.

Training ourselves to persevere: A pillar of resilience in everyday life

Recently, the Journal of Abnormal Psychiatry published a study which was of great interest in the area of psychology and personal growth. The research was carried out by the University of Pennsylvania over a period of two decades and has provided a lot of interesting information for us.

The first finding was that the most persevering people – those who set goals and strive to achieve them – have a much lower risk of panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.

Training ourselves to persevere, according to this study, helped about 3,300 men and women develop a more resilient mindset.

Persevering people get less caught up in all their problems. They don’t get obsessed with negative situations, but rather make use of a cognitive approach based on problem-solving, creativity, and positive reflection.

They’re also very tenacious people who are determined to grow and not stagnate. In addition to that, they keep their goals, dreams, and desires in the forefront of their minds every day. All this acts as a true motivator, where fear has no place, and the shadow of helplessness or negative thoughts don’t enter.

Training ourselves to persevere – How can you do it?

Neuroscientists discovered years ago that dopamine is related to perseverance and proactive behavior. Dr. Joe Z. Tsien, co-director of Georgia State University’s Neuroscience Institute, points out that we can all promote the release of this neurotransmitter by creating new habits, having clear goals, and staying motivated.

Here are the psychological approaches you need to learn to keep persevering day by day:

Set clear goals

Without clear goals, you won’t get anywhere. Without a purpose, there’s no hope. We must be clear about the fact that the mind feeds on dreams and that, if these don’t materialize in well-defined and realistic goals, there won’t be any motivation.


When we place a goal on our personal horizon, there’s no turning back. We must combine our efforts and ideas and strive towards that particular point. To do this, we must effectively manage areas such as discouragement, frustration, anxiety, or stress. Self-control is, therefore, key to training ourselves to persevere.

A man looking at a candle.

Positive approach

Positivity, the feeling of efficiency, self-confidence, and a good mood are also basic elements that help us reach our goals. Moreover, perseverance goes hand in hand a positive approach that doesn’t allow negative or restrictive emotions to enter.

Not allowing ourselves to give up

Reach a dream. Overcome depression. Train for a competition or a new skill. Be proud of yourself… All these areas require one aspect above all others: not giving up. However, one thing that we can do is take a step back in order to set new goals and then take greater momentum.

We can also pause for a moment to reflect and take on new perspectives. But what we should never do is stand still, trapped in discouragement and surrender. Training ourselves to persevere is, therefore, a powerful exercise for motivation and health.

We can all improve this aspect to ensure that our resources and potential work in our favor. Our well-being will improve and we’ll be encouraged to move forward bit by bit every day.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Nur Hani Zainal and Michelle G. Newman. “Relation Between Cognitive and Behavioral Strategies and Future Change in Common Mental Health Problems Across 18 years.” Journal of Abnormal Psychology (First published online: May 2, 2019) DOI: 10.1037/abn0000428

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.