Describe a Difficult Thing You Did: Overcoming Challenges and Achieving Success

Life is full of challenges, and it is through facing and overcoming these difficulties that we grow and develop as individuals. One of the most difficult things I have ever done was completing my master’s degree while working full-time. This article will explore the challenges I faced, the strategies I employed to overcome them, and the valuable lessons I learned along the way.

The Challenge: Balancing Work and Study

Working full-time while pursuing a master’s degree is no easy feat. It requires a high level of commitment, time management skills, and perseverance. The challenge lies in finding a balance between the demands of work and the requirements of academic study.

One of the biggest challenges I faced was managing my time effectively. I had to juggle work responsibilities, attend classes, complete assignments, and find time for personal commitments. This often meant sacrificing leisure activities and socializing in order to stay on top of my workload.

Strategies for Success

Overcoming this challenge required careful planning and organization. Here are some strategies I employed to successfully balance work and study:

  • Create a Schedule: I created a detailed schedule that allocated specific time slots for work, study, and personal activities. This helped me stay focused and ensured that I dedicated enough time to each area of my life.
  • Prioritize Tasks: I learned to prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. This allowed me to tackle the most critical tasks first and avoid feeling overwhelmed by a long to-do list.
  • Utilize Technology: I made use of productivity tools and apps to streamline my work and study processes. For example, I used project management software to track assignments and deadlines, and I utilized note-taking apps to stay organized during lectures.
  • Seek Support: I reached out to my colleagues, friends, and family for support. They provided encouragement and understanding during challenging times, and their support was invaluable in helping me stay motivated.

Overcoming Self-Doubt and Maintaining Motivation

Another significant challenge I faced during this journey was dealing with self-doubt and maintaining motivation. There were moments when I questioned my abilities and wondered if I was capable of successfully completing my degree while working full-time.

It is natural to experience self-doubt when faced with a difficult task. However, it is important to recognize that these doubts are often unfounded and can hinder progress. Overcoming self-doubt requires a shift in mindset and the adoption of strategies to maintain motivation.

Strategies for Success

To overcome self-doubt and maintain motivation, I employed the following strategies:

  • Set Realistic Goals: I set realistic and achievable goals for each semester. Breaking down my larger goal of completing my master’s degree into smaller, manageable milestones helped me stay focused and motivated.
  • Celebrate Small Wins: I celebrated each small win along the way. Whether it was acing an exam or completing a challenging assignment, acknowledging and celebrating these achievements boosted my confidence and motivation.
  • Stay Positive: I practiced positive self-talk and surrounded myself with positive influences. I reminded myself of my capabilities and focused on the progress I was making rather than dwelling on setbacks.
  • Take Breaks: I recognized the importance of taking breaks to recharge and avoid burnout. Stepping away from work and study allowed me to return with renewed energy and focus.

The Lessons Learned

Throughout this challenging journey, I learned valuable lessons that have had a lasting impact on my personal and professional life. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Resilience: Overcoming challenges requires resilience and the ability to bounce back from setbacks. I learned to embrace failure as an opportunity for growth and to persevere in the face of adversity.
  • Time Management: Balancing work and study taught me the importance of effective time management. I learned to prioritize tasks, eliminate time-wasting activities, and make the most of every minute.
  • Self-Belief: Overcoming self-doubt and maintaining motivation taught me the power of self-belief. I realized that I am capable of achieving great things when I believe in myself and my abilities.
  • Support Network: Building a strong support network is crucial when facing difficult challenges. The encouragement and support of friends, family, and colleagues can make all the difference in achieving success.


1. Was it worth the effort to complete your master’s degree while working full-time?

Yes, absolutely. Despite the challenges, completing my master’s degree while working full-time was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It enhanced my knowledge and skills, opened up new career opportunities, and boosted my confidence.

2. How did you manage stress during this challenging period?

I managed stress by practicing self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones. I also made sure to take breaks and give myself permission to relax and recharge.

3. Did you face any setbacks along the way?

Yes, setbacks are a natural part of any challenging journey. There were times when I struggled with certain subjects or faced unexpected work demands. However, I learned to view setbacks as learning opportunities and used them to grow and improve.

4. What advice would you give to someone considering pursuing a degree while working full-time?

My advice would be to carefully consider the time and energy commitment required. It is important to have a strong support system in place and to be prepared for sacrifices in terms of leisure activities and socializing. However, with careful planning and determination, it is definitely possible to succeed.

5. How has this experience impacted your professional life?

This experience has had a significant impact on my professional life. It has enhanced my skills and knowledge in my field, making me a more valuable asset to my organization. It has also opened up new career opportunities and positioned me for future growth and advancement.


Completing a master’s degree while working full-time is undoubtedly a difficult thing to do. However, with careful planning, effective time management, and a positive mindset, it is possible to overcome the challenges and achieve success. This experience taught me valuable lessons in resilience, time management, self-belief, and the importance of a strong support network. It has had a lasting impact on both my personal and professional life

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