The Power of Persistence
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had someone tell me, “you’re nothing if not persistent.” When I get an idea in my head, I’m like a dog with a bone. I just cannot let it go and will do everything possible to make it a reality. Is this the reason for my continued success? I believe so.
Sometimes the secret to success is simple: just keep trying.
Being highly persistent is something that can help you make all kinds of amazing things happen. Like the little ant that moved the rubber tree plant, truly remarkable things can happen when you just don't give up.
Personally, giving up is not an option for me, seriously. I have serious F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) and always wonder “what if.” Because of this, I simply cannot quit.
But the truth of the matter is that some people may simply be born more persistent than others – or they may have learned the behavior when they were very young. So this bears asking, is it too late to 'decide' to be persistent right now?
Whether or not one's personality can be 'changed' over time is a matter that is contentious among psychologists. However, I believe there are things you can do to make being persistent easier for yourself. But before we can learn to be persistent, we must first understand why we are not persistent.
Why We Give Up
Oftentimes, we fail to stick at things after the first or second failure. Many become disheartened when something doesn’t work out just as planned or as quickly as one would like, and they simply give up.
Here are three of the main reasons we tend to quit:
Reason #1: Effort and Time
One of the biggest reasons we tend to give up and stop being persistent is that whatever it is we're doing takes time – too much time. If you're writing client proposals and getting no responses, this can often seem like a big waste of time; the same goes for starting exercise regimes that don't offer up fast results. The world we live in today is instantaneous, and we want the same with our results.
Reason #2: Our Egos
One of the biggest reasons we often give up trying is that it hurts our ego to fail. If you've failed a business start-up five times (raising my hand here), then you'll be putting your ego through the wringer each time – especially when you have to tell your family and friends. Thus we often make excuses to give up trying, so we can protect ourselves.
Reason #3: Politeness
In many cases, we don't persist because we don't want to "be a bother." While this might sound reasonable on paper, the reality is that you're actually giving up on your dream to be less of a nuisance. Like it or not, being a nuisance is often what you must do to make things happen for you!
Flip the Persistent Switch to ON
We're always told how we can achieve anything if we put our minds to it – how if we keep putting in the time and effort, we will eventually start to see our efforts pay off. It seems that the key ingredient to success in all its forms is persistence. So how do you flip that persistence switch on:
Increase Your Energy
Self-care is one of my favorite topics. Proper self-care keeps the body going. If you’re struggling with fatigue or frustration, you will also struggle to flip your persistence switch on. But having the right diet and exercise regime built around increasing your mitochondria count can do wonders for you. If you have more energy, you won’t have to rely on willpower to be persistent!
Clearly Define Your Goals
Being persistent is often a result of having clearly defined goals that you're willing to work tirelessly towards. If you know precisely what it is that you're trying to achieve and you know precisely how you're going to achieve it, then it's just a matter of executing that plan even when it's exhausting or daunting.
Have a Support Network
We derive strength from those around us. When we're at our last ebb, we think of all the people who believe in us and the people we don't want to let down. Just knowing you have people cheering for you to succeed can often be all it takes!
And you know what? Persistence takes practice. Even if you find you're prone to giving up, consistently trying to try can help you to develop the persistence you need. Don't give up on not giving up!
Persistence can really pay off. In all kinds of circumstances, you have nothing to lose by trying again and everything to gain if you're successful.
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
The simple fact of the matter is that the more times you try, the more opportunity you have to win.