One of the characteristics of successful people, however you define success, is that they have persistence. Persistence can have a positive influence on our lives. It is fundamentally the act of finishing what you start, no matter what obstacles and difficulties are in your way.
It is a great life skill to have. Persistence can support you as you navigate life’s roller coaster ride with poise and agility.
The difficulty is that sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Because our brain is always in survival mode when we meet a problem, our brain triggers a response to run the other way and find a safe place to hide.
So, in order to calm down our brains and find the security within us so that we can discover our own way in this world, we need to learn how to not only survive but also thrive. This article focuses on the power or the force of persistence and how we can learn to persevere against the odds that we think are stacked against us.
Let’s get started.
What Is The Force of Persistence?
The force of persistence can be used in seemingly contradictory ways. For instance it can be used to getting your dream job or working in the job you hate; starting a business or letting your dreams go unfulfilled. It can mean living in a happy and fulfilling relationship or being lonely and miserable.
Persistence encourages us to push harder and strive for more. It is what keeps us going after experiencing defeat or making mistakes. It is that inner voice that inspires us to forge new paths toward our journey to successful living.
The great American poet, James Whitcomb Riley, said “The most essential factor is persistence – the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines persistence as “ the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people.”
So you persevere and keep going even when the odds are stacked against you. No matter what!
That definition alone tells us that persistence is one of the key distinguishing factors that points to whether an outcome will be successful or not.
However, some people just don’t have that burning desire. So, they either give up or don’t bother putting in the effort. Then, there’s the other group of people who pay close attention. They work hard and assimilate everything they’ve learned.
It is the first group that has the most difficulty in following their dreams. They either don’t try or give up too soon and sell themselves and their communities short.
So, to sum up: without persistence, we essentially get two groups of people: the successful and the not-so-successful. When you decide which group you want to be in that is when your journey really begins.
Persistence – An Acquired Skill
Now do you realize that persistence is an acquired skill? Experts refer to these as soft skills like communication and problem-solving. It can be taught to help you manage interpersonal relationships, keep you on track with tasks and projects, and push you forward when met with obstacles. When you have the right amount of determination, you can succeed in business, work and life.
Knowledge is one thing. Many people know what do to but don’t put into practice what they know. So knowing that you can learn persistence is the easy part. The hard part is practicing it every single day until you’ve fine-tuned and perfected it.
Thomas Edison is credited with thousands of inventions and discoveries. Yet, he’s the first to admit that he failed more times than he can remember. He is a great example of someone who learned from his mistakes (failures) and of those he said “ (failures are) just as valuable to me as the positive results.”
He went on to say, “Most of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success before they gave up.”
(Note: I don’t like using the word ‘failure’ as it can denote one’s attitude. I prefer ‘mistakes’ as they can be corrected and improved upon.)
This suggests that without persistence people either lack a sense of purpose or they have no stamina. Persistence is of little use if you don’t have something to strive for and if you have something to strive for persistence will help you get there.
Even with a deep sense of purpose it is still hard to keep strong. But just realize that all major successes in life taste sweeter when you consistently put in the effort.
Why It’s Important To Develop Persistence
Have you ever experienced enjoyment working on a creative project, then out of nowhere something gets in the way, and you drop the ball? Welcome to the club. We have all been there.
However that’s when you have two clear choices: keep going or give up. So, what do you do?
Let’s look at this way; the easy choice is to give up. You know that the other way is better, but you choose the safer route. Why? Because it is familiar and yes even comfortable. You know that route. And even though you may have faced disappointments along the way you just don’t want to shake things up.
You are in your comfort zone, but if you stay there it can get downright stifling, and unfortunately it may lead to low self-esteem, failure, regret, heartache and more.
What’s the alternative? Getting up even though you don’t want to and standing up against the odds. Then, with persistent hard work you start to turn the corner. You start feeling good about yourself, confidence is strengthened and solutions to your blockages unravel.
Time does not stand still. Tomorrow you can look back at yesterday, yestermonth, or yesteryear and tally your accomplishments and humbly be proud of how far you’ve come. It might take time for people to realize that your vision and aspirations weren’t you just daydreaming; they now see by your actions that you made it through all the challenges and hard times.
According to Dale Carnegie, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
You’re probably thinking that it sounds too good to be true. Everyone thinks that at first. Then, they take their first actionable step and never look back!
Traits Of Highly Persistent People
Experience teaches us that successful people in all walks of life, at any age, are people who are described as determined, resolute, disciplined and purposeful.
So what are the traits of highly successful people. Surveys show that people who are persistent have a vision of what they want to be, and as they journey toward their future, they stumble, fall down, get up and never lose faith in their ability to keep going. They have the “stick-to-it-ness” quality buoyed by their confidence. They respectfully listen to others, adjust their thinking where necessary, chose their path and go forward.
People who’ve overcome trying times have developed certain attributes that allow them to go despite hard times. Some of these attributes or traits include stamina, resilience, patience, endurance and determination.
Using 15 Habits Of Persistent People To Help You Develop Persistence
Earlier this article pointed out that persistence is an acquired skill. Therefore we can learn how to incorporate it into our daily lives.
Below is a list of 15 habits of persistent people. Go through the list and pick one habit that sticks out to you the most. Make a point to incorporate it into your daily life.
Once you are good at that, pick another one. Repeat with all the other ones until they become almost second nature.
Here are the 15 most common habits of highly persistent people.
Positive Affirmations Can Help Generate Persistence
As you develop persistence in your life reinforce it with positive affirmations. Repeated positive self-talk reinforces our learning. They lift us up, motivate us and support our desire to strengthen our resolve. They don’t have to be complicated. Pick one or two that you will remember and that you can repeat to yourself. .
Here are a few positive affirmations to help boost your persistence and keep you motivated.
Persistence Of The Deeper Self
There is one other type of persistence that I’m calling the ‘Persistence of the Deeper Self.’ What I mean by that is the persistent love that comes from deep within us, a persistent call from the Divine, that gives us the strength to continue on the path to love others as we love ourselves. It is a persistent but gentle call that continually encourages us to go beyond the ordinary and become the best version of ourselves as we relate to others, carry out our business, work and engage in life. Each of us knows that call when we silently listen to our inner voice calling us to do better, become better, care for self, and do more for others.
A Final Note
No doubt, the power of persistence can affect all aspects of our lives. It’s a powerful antidote to the most difficult of hardships which get in your way.
All you have to do is practice the above mentioned techniques . Then, muster up some courage from deep within you born out of a deeper sense of persistence. This will allow you to constantly push forward to achieve more and be better.
Remember there are three simple things about persistence: 1) you can learn about it and change your behaviors, 2) there are techniques that help strengthen your persistence so get organized so that you can put the techniques into practice, and 3) don’t let obstacles get in your way, find ways to go over them, under them or through them. And finally believe that you can overcome whatever is in front of you and you will have a wonderful recipe for strengthening persistence and achieving your vision and goals.
Thank you for reading,
Keep safe, stay well and continue becoming the best version of yourself,
Richard P. Fontanie.