I remember back in college when some of my friends returned from the US armed forces basic training. They told very interesting stories. My favorite story is how at graduation they walked around telling each other, ‘It was easy!’ despite the fact that they cried almost every night for six months trying to cope with the rigorous mental and physical training. At graduation it was all over. The pain, the tears, and the effort were transformed in success. Everything they went through made them stronger or how they say it in the ARMY, it made them “ARMY strong” while others became “the few, the proud, the Marines”. All because they didn’t quit as many did. They decided to “aim high”… Well, enough of that. You get the message.
Social cognitive theory explains that people who persevere through challenges acquire a dependable source of efficacy expectations based on performance accomplishments. In other words, facing challenges provide a stronger sense of character allowing people to be prepared to face future obstacles. Without performance accomplishments efficacy expectation grow weaker and people become afraid to face challenges therefore they stop trying and become trapped by the status quo and mediocrity. Efficacy expectations can even transform failure (or what is conceived by some as failure) into corrective experiences which allow them to learn from the experience to try again until they succeed. The process is far from enjoyable but it pays off when it reaches its purpose.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Some people quit before they begin. You are not one of them. Don’t quit! Whatever it is you have to face, be assured, you can overcome. You made it through other difficult situations in the past. You can do it again. Use what you learned and the strong character you developed to persevere. Don’t follow the societal pattern that teaches and promotes mediocrity to avoid pain and frustration and as result developing weaker and weaker individuals. A challenge might not seem easy now but you will look back and say, ‘It was easy!’.