Even with the most positive attitude in the world, you’ll achieve little without being persistence. The journey of life, by its very nature, is more than peppered with roadblocks, potholes, and detours. But that’s part of the fun.
Chin-Ning Chu makes an interesting point about being persistent in her book “Do Less, Achieve More.” Try to imagine a football game in which the defensive team simply stood on the field and watched the opposing quarterback stroll to the end zone with the ball, smiling all the way.
Not quite the game you know and love, right? And so it is with life.
If you can learn how to be persistent and accept life on its own terms, you’ll be able to overcome challenges regularly and even welcome them at times.
Success in any endeavor requires persistence
Being persistent, in this context, is about being consistent on your journey toward your goals or when making a personal change.
Most people fail to fulfill their dreams because they don’t know how to be persistent. When they don’t see results fairly quickly, they give up on their efforts.
At first, when you set a new goal, you’re filled with extreme motivation. But soon, your bubble of motivation deflates like an untied balloon.
Lack of persistence causes you to:
• Lack of fulfillment.
• Experience disappointment, guilt, depression, other painful emotions.
• Damage your self-confidence and self-belief.
• Live a mediocre life.
So how to be persistent?
• How to make going to the gym a part of your lifestyle?
• How to write that great academic seminar?
• How to practice meditation every day?
• How to keep your relationship on fire?
• How to manage your anger problem over the long term?
Write down the price you’re paying for not being persistent
What does your tendency to give up take away from you? What kind of life does the lack of persistence deprive you of?
Sit down sometime and make a list of all the things you’ve missed out on because you were unable to figure out how to be persistent when the going got rough—or maybe even when things were easy.
The point of this exercise isn’t to focus on negative past events. But some honest self-analysis shows you how much of a difference learning how to be persistent can make in your present and future.
Now look at your list of goals, both short-term and long-term. Are you really willing to give up on these dreams simply because you don’t have enough grit to hang in there?
Do you want to add your current goals to the list of things you never attained? I hope your answer is a resounding “No!”
Explore the limiting beliefs behind not being persistent
There’s a voice that tells you to do the same old thing you used to do. When I was addicted to smoking cigarettes, I explored the belief underlying the behavior.
I realized that I gave too much meaning to cigarettes. They were my saviors. They were always there when I needed them.
When I finally realized that my beliefs were nothing but an illusion to justify my physical addiction, it was easier to persist with a new non-smoking behavior.
If you’re curious to know more about how your limiting beliefs shape your life results, and why nothing will change until you replace your patterns, then check this out.
Be committed to yourself
The only way to be committed to yourself is to follow your passions. If the change you seek doesn’t resonate with your identity and values, then you won’t be persistent. Be in alignment with what you want.
For example, I don’t know how to be persistent with playing basketball. I don’t play this sport and feel no excitement about it.
However, I do practice healthy living, so I focus on the activities that make my heart sing: hiking, biking, and even weightlifting.
Always seek to improve and evolve
Any type of growth is about change. Change is expansion. When you resist change, you resist expansion and development. So being persistent will bring you closer to your higher self.
As you find productive ways to pursue your dreams, being persistent will be easier. If you don’t know what steps are needed, learning how to be persistent will be harder, because you won’t know what needs to be done.
If you want to work on your self-esteem, read books about it. Keep a personal journal. Watch YouTube videos that share tips and coach you in adopting a different mindset than the one you have. Go to therapy. Listen to subliminal programs.
Try to be on top of things and have a wide arsenal of tactics to deal with what you’re looking for.
Paul C. Branson shares, in his detailed post “30 steps to a better you – the journey begins,” valuable steps to liberate you from your fears and blockages and pursue real growth.
Here’s one of my favorite stories about being persistent. Meet Brandon Sanderson. He wrote 12 books before he saw one dime!
Try to imagine what it’s like to sit at your desk day after day, write a story, develop the plot in a convincing and interesting way, edit the whole thing, and repeat.
Of course, after all the time and energy Sanderson put into his writing, he finally made it big. He built his brand, and now he’s a bestselling author.
Do you know why? Because he LOVED what he did. He didn’t think about the money. That wasn’t his motive. His motive was a true PASSION for writing.
Sanderson also constantly improved his skills and became better and better. He knew he was good and he believed in himself. If he hadn’t known how to be persistent, he would have never made it.
Simply google “famous failures” to read about tons of well-known figures who achieved monumental success only by being persistent. Huge examples include Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and J.K. Rowling.
Take time to explore some of the other stories of persistence—maybe ones about people you can relate to better. Or ask an older person you know to share his or her experiences with you.
A few more thoughts on how to be persistent
If you want to learn how to be persistent, know that flexibility is critical.
Challenges will arise no matter what you’re attempting in life. If you refuse to admit that this is true, you’ll never be able to adapt your plan to new circumstances. You’ll simply give up.
If you can learn to expect not bad things but curveballs, you’ll be able to adapt quickly.
One of my favorite inspirational writers, James Altucher, says, “Persistence is not something you do with external goals, but it is something you do internally. It’s the fire you keep trying to start inside yourself until it grows and becomes bigger and bigger.”
Donald Latumahina, from Life Optimizer, shares seven practical ways to train yourself in how to be persistent. I encourage you to check out his article.
Luckily, persistence isn’t a tricky skill to adopt. Just don’t stop, be patience, do what you really love, and you’ve got it!