When we think about what traits are common among successful people, a lot of words might come to mind. But the one that we might overlook — which is actually a crucial element — is persistence.
Great ideas aren’t always seen as great ideas from the get-go. And they certainly never begin as fully formed ideas. It takes effort and the desire to keep on keeping on long after others may have given up. You see, persistence is easy when things are smooth sailing. When there is validation along the way and milestones are achieved, continuing forward is a breeze. But when obstacle after obstacle appears, that’s when persistence plays its critical role.
So how do we build up this trait of persistence? What do the people that possess it have in common?
Here are 7 things that will help you build your muscle of persistence.
Start with a clear vision.
If you can’t see where you want to go, persistence is pointless. You need a purpose to live for, something that truly motivates you day after day. Because persistence can be monotonous. The end goal must feel strong to you. It has to be specific, and you need a plan to get there.
Have confidence in yourself and your dream.
Your vision is clear, but you must also believe that it is possible. And that you are the person to bring it to light. Every path has its challenges, and every challenge has its opportunities. You must be able to see that and know that you are capable of success.
Fall in love with the journey, not just the destination.
It’s not just the end goal that matters; it’s also the journey there. If you are prepared for the long path and determined enough keep walking it, then it will be easier to achieve that vision. You must have a burning desire for growth, development, and learning.
Have courage to fail.
Having an idea and putting it out in the world means you open the idea up to feedback. You will find its weak points, and that’s a good thing because you’ll know what to improve. But you must be ready to welcome failure and willing to tweak the idea or the process and try again.
Build strong habits.
Persistence takes good habits. Without them, it’s nearly impossible. Habits are the basis for commitment to a vision. They give us a push when nothing else will. And when the excitement wears off, the discipline must kick in.
Clear vision and planning are key, but we also have to be willing to adjust. Things almost never go exactly as we plan them so we must be ready for detours, off-roading adventures, and dead-ends. We can’t be so attached to the goal that we can’t see alternate options.
Create a support system.
Success rarely happens to one single person. Sure, they might be the leader. But they likely have a team, peers they depend on for advice, a mentor that guides them, or even cheerleaders that encourage them along the way.
“Big shots are only little shots who kept on shooting.” – Dale Carnegie