One of the greatest character traits you can have is persistence. According to the Wordbook Dictionary, “persistence” is determination, tenacity and “the act of persevering; continuing or repeating a behavior.” Being persistent means you’ll keep at it until you accomplish a goal or get something right.
Reflect back on times when you were persistent. What did you do? How long and how often did you repeat the behavior you needed for success? Did you get the results you wanted? What did you learn from the experience?
One key to experiencing positive results from your persistence is to know when you must be persistent. Once you have a feel for determining when being persistent is most likely to help you get what you desire, you can practice strategies that help you develop greater persistence. As with many other activities, the more you practice the better you get!
Consider these techniques to develop more persistence for greater success in your goal achievement:
- Accept that anyone can be persistent. If you’ve ever doubted you could hang in during a difficult situation until your goal is met, doubt no more. Everyone is capable of exhibiting perseverance.
- Ask yourself, “How important is this issue?” Because being persistent requires quite a bit of mental energy – and in some cases, physical energy as well – you want to be sure that the issue or situation is important enough to you to put in the effort.
- Be very clear about your goal. Know what you want. What do you plan on accomplishing? Your focus on the desired end product or goal will propel you forward.
- Faith is the fuel. Although being persistent doesn’t require any particular talent or skill, it does take some faith to keep you going. It’s important to truly believe that what you’re working toward will work out eventually. If you believe, you will persist.
- Work out different angles. If one approach doesn’t work, attempt another. Then repeat an approach you tried earlier and yet adjust it. Sometimes, persistence involves a certain amount of experimentation before you achieve your goal.
- It’s okay to change what you want and tweak your goals. If you find that your situation has changed or the goal is no longer integral to your life, change directions with confidence. Create a new plan that will get you to your new goal.
- Maintain the standard that you don’t give up unless your goal changes or the importance of the issue has waned.
- Be inspired by someone who persisted and succeeded. Stories of persistence leading to success are everywhere to inspire you. Writers, athletes, musicians, and people from other walks of life have their inspiring stories of persistence to tell.
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, claims to have submitted her first Potter novel to many publishers who rejected the manuscript numerous times before it was finally accepted for printing. Throughout those months of waiting, Rowling just kept writing about Harry and his crew. She persisted.
Consider Michael Jordan, proclaimed as the best basketball player ever by many all over the world. Jordan says he didn’t make the varsity basketball team in his high school when he was a sophomore. And that fact only made him more determined. He was persistent and eventually achieved every goal imaginable in his field.
Find your own hero who persisted and rose above the fray. Seek your own inspiration to compel you to be persistent.
Know the importance of your goal as well as have faith, experiment, and adjust along the way if need be. Don’t give up on you!
Being persistent is simple, yet requires courageous effort. The best part is… it’s a skill that can be developed.