Character Chats

What is Perseverance?

What is Perseverance?

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social, emotional learning program called True Character.

And this month we are talking about perseverance. When the work gets tough, I don’t give up.

I’m Master H, owner and chief instructor here at the studio. I have two master’s degrees in education and taken everything that I’ve learned to help develop this curriculum that best meets the needs of our youngest students all the way up to our oldest students.

Why Perseverance?

And like I said, we are talking about perseverance this month.

It’s the holiday season yes, and that lends itself to extra distractions, extra excitement, extra things that are on our plates, whether it’s planning a meal or finding presents or extra parties or more socializing that just is added to what we are already doing.

And so I found it fitting to incorporate perseverance this month from the standpoint of what it means and how we can get through tough situations.

Now, tough does not necessarily always mean negative. Tough can just mean tough from the standpoint of maybe we have a little bit of a time constraints.

Maybe we have something at two and at three, and how do we get it all happening at the same time and give of our time in a wise manner.

Breaking it Down

And so, when we’re talking about perseverance and not giving up, we want to talk about the idea of a goal of our purpose. Why are we trying to accomplish this?

And we can take it down to a super easy, super simple idea of a young kid learning to ride their bike, and they’re learning to ride their bike, but they’re falling down. So they try again and they’re falling down, but every time they get back on that bike, they’re persevering, they’re trying again, they’re keeping going.

But one of the things that they might do through their perseverance is ask for help.

Another thing they might do through their perseverance is take a break, but they haven’t quit. When you quit, you’re no longer persevering. You’re just done.

When you keep pushing to the end goal, whatever that might be, that’s when your perseverance comes out.

 I’m reminded of my own childhood learning, how to ride a bike and how I fell down and got back up. And I may have actually run into a tree or a bush at one point in time, as some kids do, as they’re learning how to steer and that kind of thing.

And my mom looked at me and she goes, well, then just quit, because you’ve already decided you won’t be able to do it.

But if anybody who knows me knows that if you challenge me to quit, that’s usually when my perseverance kicks in a little bit more.

And so I paused for a little bit. I kind of examined where I was at, took a look at what I could already do.

Made a couple of adjustments, made a little bit of a decision, got back on it, fell again, but I was starting to problem solve. And I was figuring out how to do it.

Benefits of Perseverance

And as we’re in this holiday season, applying that same decision-making, problem-solving process helps us persevere through the added things that are already on our plates.

Perseverance in and of itself is a pretty awesome tool. It helps teach confidence. It helps raise our self-esteem. When we’ve seen all that we can do and help raise us up.

It gives us opportunities to show courtesy and ask for help and to take some positive actions within the world around us, which courtesy and self-esteem were the two words we talked about for the last two months.

How We Teach Perseverance

And so I find perseverance to be a thing that needs to be explicitly taught to all of our students here at the studio.

I’ll have conversations with parents in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, about their frustrations, about not being able to do what they used to be able to do. Yes, we change. Our knees hurt a little bit more. Our hip bothers us. Maybe we had a broken bone and now when it rains, it aches.

So we talk about how do we make those modifications so that we can still have the end result that we’re looking for.

For our younger students, it’s showing them that by continuing to push through, even when they fall, by praising their efforts and not their results, by encouraging them to try again, because they were that much closer to achieving the jump spinning kick that they were looking for or making their commitment to black belts and seeing that goal right in front of their face.

It’s that perseverance that we seem to explicitly teach them so that at the end of the day, they are more confident, and they show more courtesy and their self-esteem is a little bit higher.

And so, as we were talking about perseverance, we’re talking about how, when the work gets tough, we’re just not going to give up. We’re going to problem solve. We’re going to examine. We’re going to be logical. We’re going to be emotional. We’re going to ask for help, but we’re going to keep moving forward and we’re going to keep moving forward together.

Pushing Through Together

And last month was November. We talked about Thanksgiving, family, thankfulness, courtesy, how we show all those things and knowing that we all have a team around us helps make perseverance be a little bit easier because you can persevere when you know you’ve got a cheering squad behind you.

So as we go through the month talking about perseverance, we’re going to incorporate some ideas with regards to goal setting and ideas with regards to who our support is and how we go about asking for it.

And we’ll find that at the end of the day, our efforts do pay off.

Thanks, and I’ll see you on the mat!


True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here