Coach to Creatives

The Clarity Journal

Tactics, Tools, and Truth for Creative Entrepreneurs

the pep talk: how to persevere in doing hard things


Perseverance is the persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. To put it in entrepreneurship terms, it is showing up every day and doing the work in spite of difficulties, negative feedback, rejection, hard decisions, too much work, not enough work, uncertainty, and discouragement.

In 2014 I participated for the first time in the CrossFit Open, a casual-yet-competitive competition for the CrossFit community. I had only been doing CrossFit for about 6 months, so when they announced the final workout, I knew I was in trouble. It was long, it was ugly, and it was frankly just as much of a mental test than a physical one.

About 15 minutes into the workout I felt dizzy, nauseous, and totally miserable, AND I was less than halfway done. Thinking about how much I had left to go made me want to quit. So I did. I never finished the workout that year.

Two years later I finished the exact same workout in just under 22 minutes. I definitely got a lot fitter physically in those two years, but more importantly, I learned an important lesson about persevering when you are doing something hard: take it one rep at a time.

Some of you are coming into this week discouraged by the distance between where you are now and where you want to be. You may be tired, burned out, and feel like quitting. My encouragement is to take it one rep at a time. Focus on what’s right in front of you today without worrying about how far you have left to go. Because that's the only way you'll get there.

All my best,