“Often the struggler has given up, when he might have captured the victor’s cup.” That is a line from a favorite inspirational poem of mine, “Don’t Quit.”
For more than two decades I have gained strength from the powerful words in that poem. I have carried it with me and referred to it often when difficult obstacles came along.
The ability to press on, to persist and persevere in the face of adversity is what determines if we will succeed or fail. Oftentimes people stop too soon. A bump in the road morphs into a road closure.
As a business and leadership development coach, I try to impress upon people that in order to embrace a higher level of performance we must first build our confidence, increase our courage, and understand what persistence is and how we can strengthen it.
Regardless of your background, whether you are a small business owner, executive, a stay-at-home mom, or something altogether different, persistence is powerful. Having it will turn a quitter into a survivor.
But, what if being persistent is not inherent in you? What if you are not born with this ability?
That’s OK. Perseverance is a skill we develop for our continued success to overcome those obstacles that come along that cause us to procrastinate or not follow through on what we truly want to accomplish.
These tips might be helpful in building persistence:
- Decide what success means to you. Knowing how you define success will help in growing your persistence and staying focused. Focus on what you want to become. What will you have when you accomplish your goal?
- Make it a habit. Develop the discipline and patience to review your results and adapt your steps when needed. Practice this regularly and it will become a habit.
- Be patient. We need to see the valuable lesson in each temporary failure or setback and expect them. Then use this information to become more persistent. Do not succumb to frustration.
Review your plans for success. As obstacles come up, overcome them one at a time. Then review your original goal and determine if you should stay on the current path or tweak it. Once you learn that you can get through each struggle, you can handle any obstacle that comes your way.
- Identify what causes your procrastination. Develop a strategy for moving through it. Get support. It’s easier to follow through with commitments when you have encouragement and someone to be accountable to. Are you aiming for perfection rather than success? Set reasonable standards for yourself.
- Challenge yourself. When we take on the courage to challenge ourselves more in life, we feel more confident and begin to perform at a higher level and achieve our potential. We grow ourselves when we step outside our comfort zones. Build your courage to triumph.
Ultimately, being persistent involves taking action and constantly reviewing and adjusting our strategy to guide us in becoming more successful in our business endeavors and personal lives. Don’t quit unless it makes sense.
Georganne Ford is the owner of By George Coaching/Consulting, a Bucks County based leadership and personal development coach accredited through the Coach Training Institute. To learn more about Georganne or her services, visit www.bygeorgecoaching.com or call 215-738-5289.