Persevering Versus Enabling Mindset

Written by Tammy Durden

As you know, if you are a regular reader, I am disabled (due to MS & Lupus). I have had to learn to have a persevering mindset. Perseverance is about enduring for the long haul. This does not mean enabling or using excuses. A persevering mindset versus an enabling type of mindset is quite a big difference.

What Is Perseverance?

persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. “his perseverance with the technique illustrates his single-mindedness”

-Oxford Languages and Google

Often persevering involves things we cannot control. Things like health conditions, my MS for example. It can involve difficulties such as financial hardships due to the economy or due to a pandemic. These are not controllable (other than increasing your rates or getting another job which you would probably do anyway). Keep this in mind as we discuss mindset.

All Kinds Of Disabilities

I love that the very definition of perseverance says “persistence… in doing something despite the difficulty.” That could categorize my entire life, she says as she smiles only slightly as if joking!

I often say that we all have disabilities – some are easier to see than others. I really believe this. My husband has one hand. He is missing his right hand. He can do everything (it really is incredible) but many people only see his missing hand. This is a noticeable handicap that has been a part of him since birth. My disability, however, is not nearly as noticeable at first (unless I’m using my crutch or scooter). Many people even look at me weirdly when I park in handicapped parking [keep that in mind when you start to judge others parking there (wink)].

People do not realize that I cannot walk far, nor do I have a good balance (thus the crutch). If I parked further out I may only make it to the door (if able). Appearances are not always accurate, are they?

There are also many who are mentally disabled and suffer from any number of mental disorders. So as I discuss mindset it is from a personal perspective and is not meant to be medical, or counseling, nor is it meant to be a “one fits all” type of advice or information.

Inspiration Or Makes Sense

Many people tell me I am an inspiration because of what I’ve endured and that I continue to keep going as well as work. The truth is that I believe if I did not have my business I may even be more disabled. Work helps me have a persevering mindset.

The business keeps me thinking and often has me researching and reading a lot of information. I think the business has helped my mindset more than any drug ever could. So working just makes sense to me.

I don’t think I am an inspiration but I do know how to persevere. This may not be for the right reasons (a difficult childhood taught me much) but for better or worse this is me.

When it comes to difficult situations, unsettling facts, financial difficulties, or hard medical situations you may be facing perseverance is something that can help anyone get through it. Preserving with a good mindset, however, is a very different thing.

Most people can persevere for a period of time if they have hope that there is an end in sight. It does not mean that they do it with a good mindset. Trying to have a good attitude while enduring very difficult times can leave you bitter if you are not careful.


We can enable others but can certainly enable ourselves as well. This can mean that we think have a persevering mindset when we are actually having an enabling mindset.

“The term “enabler” generally describes someone whose behavior allows a loved one to continue self-destructive patterns of behavior.”

Yes, perseverance is good but if you are persevering because you are enabling yourself to continue in a negative mindset or bad behavior then persevering is Not the answer. Do not enable yourself and say you are persevering! Take a hard look at what you think you are being strong in, and what you think you are preserving, then make sure it is not something you can control or make better for yourself or your family.

Enabling is not a good mindset or place to be. Rather take that energy and turn around for yourself to be focused on positive things.

Ways I Stay Positive

I find some of these things really help me have a positive attitude.

  • Doing things to keep my mind busy helps me to keep my focus in the right place
  • Listening to positive music
  • Listening to an inspiring podcast
  • Watching a webinar that will get me excited about my business
  • Singing praise songs
  • Reading a good book
  • Journaling to get out any negative thoughts or feelings
  • Reading scripture and devotionals
  • Prayer/Meditation
  • Ponder (or think about) all of the positives in my life (usually my family)

One other thing that helps me but it takes time to train your mind to do this is picturing a stop sign. Not just picturing a stop sign, but when my mind starts down the negative or “why me” thoughts I try to remember the verse “take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Then in my mind, I picture a stop sign. This does help me from spiraling downward.

If scripture isn’t your thing maybe you have a favorite quote that helps you. Then you could recite the quote and picture the stop sign in your mind as well.

I hope some of this was helpful for you or someone you know (please share if so – we love it when you share). Please feel free to reach out if I can help you with your business. Take a look at what we do in business & marketing coaching.

Disclaimer: As I discuss mindset it is from a personal perspective and is not meant to be medical, or counseling, nor is it meant to be a “one fits all” type of advice or information.

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