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Perseverance

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 10 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Perseverance Persistence Tenacity

Most of us will have come across descriptions of successful people where words such as ‘persistence', ‘perseverance’, ‘tenacity’ and ‘stickability’ have been used to describe them.

It is a fact that when we adopt these kinds of traits and incorporate them into our daily lives, we are much better equipped to face challenges and to overcome adversity.

We’ll all have plenty of experience from when we were children at being encouraged to persevere with things. The first time we got on a bike or our early attempts at learning to swim are both prime examples where we’d still be unable to do both these things if we had not demonstrated ‘stickability’.

However, as we become adults, we’re often faced with other kinds of challenges and, whilst many of us have kept up with a philosophy of perseverance, others have taken the decision to quit at the first sign of difficulty. It might be a job we’ve quit soon after starting without really giving it a chance or a home DIY project that showed signs of being too daunting. Whatever the reason, sometimes as adults we’re so aware of the desperate need not to be seen to stumble that we often quit at the first sign of a hurdle looming. However, it’s ultimately the people who keep on trying when things get rocky that reap the greatest reward in the end.

Tips to Perseverance

Many of us become trapped in a state of inertia, often because we are too afraid to try anything new in case people question us or decide to mock our ideas or plans. As adults, people tend to ‘pigeon hole’ others. They think they know who they are and by categorising them, they make an evaluation or judgement which, by and large, formulates their opinions of them. Often, the way this is done is through our jobs or our choice of partners. Therefore, when someone decides to make a radical step towards changing their career to go and do something entirely different or they choose to start a new relationship, this can often be met by critical comments about your new goals and aspirations.

This is known as ‘dream stealing’ and even so-called ‘friends’ can sometimes be guilty of this. Perhaps, they think you’re going to leave them behind?

The way to tackle this is to be absolutely clear that you are not going to be sidetracked from achieving your new goals. Harness the support of individuals who are backing you to succeed. You might not necessarily have to sacrifice old friends but it’s important that you don’t let any negative comments force you to deviate from your aims.

Be Healthy

Adopt a healthy lifestyle, if you haven’t done so already. Good nutrition and regular exercise will increase your energy and stamina which are both required for perseverance. When you feel healthy and energised, this will have knock on effects and will also nurture feelings of optimism, resilience, self-confidence, focus and clarity of mind.

Ask an Expert

When considering what your ultimate goals are, look at those who have achieved something similar in the past and try to seek advice from them. Those who have been there before you will be best placed to help and, no doubt, they’ll have made some mistakes along the way which they’ll be able to tell you about which, if you avoid making the same ones, will speed up the time it takes to reach your goals.

Finish What You Start

Don’t make excuses and put your goals onto ‘stall mode’. If you encounter difficulties, identify them and work out a solution, in other words, persevere!

So many projects and goals get left unfinished or unattained because people stop the moment they’re faced with a challenge. Programs get put on ‘indefinite hold’ and the longer that goes on, the more difficult it is to pick up the baton again and…. remember those ‘doom mongers’? They’ll be there ready and waiting and only too willing to say, ‘I told you so’. So, what better reason than to plough on and just treat any obstacles as hurdles simply waiting to be overcome.

Concentrate on what you CAN do as opposed to what you CAN’T. Keep moving forward, but remember it’s not a sprint. Move forward at your own pace and don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t bear any grudges or resentment towards those who seem to be questioning your judgement or abilities in your new quest. Simply forgive them and carry on. Harbouring a grudge will only fill you with negative energy which will not serve any useful purpose and will only sap you of energy and strength.

Fundamentally, adopt a ‘don’t quit’ attitude. Nothing truly worthwhile was ever obtained without some kind of hardship or a bit of a struggle or sacrifice so focus on the road ahead and stick to it, no matter what obstacles emerge along the way.

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