The Power of Perseverance

hopepersevereI think we all know what perseverance is- “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”  And it’s an important trait to have in order to be successful in life. It means working hard to get things done regardless of any odds or obstacles that may come up, and when we persevere, we don’t give up.

Do you persevere in your job search or on projects? Or, after meeting rejection or difficulties, do you quit?

Here are some tips for building perseverance:

  • Develop a growth mindset; be open to learning new things
  • Know when to push yourself a little and when to take a break; if you can make one more phone call, then do it.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break and try again later.
  • Set realistic goals that are meaningful to you; set yourself up to succeed and don’t compare yourself to others.  Making 3 phone calls a day might be enough for you and if you feel good about that, you’ll be more apt to make more calls the next day.
  • Acknowledge or reward your accomplishments
  • Be persistent; don’t give up!
  • Practice positive self-talk; when you find yourself thinking “this is too hard” or “I don’t know how to do this”, tell yourself, “I can figure this out, I can handle it!”  And surround yourself with positive-minded people.
  • Practice self care; connect with your breath, meditate, do yoga, take a walk outside-do things that nurture your body, mind, and spirit…
  • Visualize your success; believe in yourself!

One of my life stories…

Many years ago, when I was getting my Masters in Social Work, I decided I wanted a paid internship in Corporate Social Responsibility (those were the days!)  I did some research and found a couple of Public Policy Directors in major insurance companies who were willing to chat with me about the possibility of having an intern.  I was in Hartford, CT, the Insurance Capital, so I thought what better place to learn about CSR.  After several interviews, I found a Public Policy Director at Travelers who was very interested in having me work for her and offered me a nice stipend.  I was so excited!  It was May, and she was going to work out the details and get back to me.

After not hearing from her for 3 weeks, I called to check in.  Her secretary said that her boss had been in a biking accident and had broken her arm so she was recuperating at home.  Her secretary and I developed a nice phone relationship and while time was running out and I still didn’t have a Fall internship in place, I kept the faith, and kept in touch with this wonderful secretary.  If it had not been for her support and reassurance that they did really want me, I might have given up.  But I really wanted to work with this woman, so I persevered.  Sure enough, in the nick of time, the Director called me and thanked me for hanging in there.  And I not only got my paid internship, I also ended up living with the Director in her home for the year which turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life!

So I am fond of perseverance- it has served me well.  May it do the same for you!