The feeling of frustration can take over when we are making mistakes, not getting the success we would like to see and we may feel like quitting. We may have a picture in our mind of what our results will look like, and it is just not happening. Interestingly enough our deepest moments of frustration come when our expectations and realities are not meeting each other. So how can we maintain persistence in effort?
Self talk – If we use self talk in a positive manner, helping ourselves to calm down and stay focused on the big picture we will be able to continue on our quest. The ideas that we suggest to ourselves will become our reality. If we suggest that this is a way waste of time – it shall become a waste of time. If we have a setback and our self talk suggests that this is catastrophic we will believe that it is. Ask yourself instead, “What is so great about this?”
Coaching – Do you have a mentor or a coach that you can talk to. Many times another person can see the big picture easier than we can, just due to their objectivity. Talking with our group of private supporters may be just what we need to get out of our own self pity.
Have you recharged your battery recently? When we are feeling challenged or frustrated it could be we are tired, hungry or need to exercise. For many of us, going for a walk, getting some exercise in or sitting quietly is what we need to recharge ourselves. Remember that recharging is different for everyone. For some it is being by themselves and for others some quiet time alone for reflection.
Everyone of us have different methods of recharging. For some quiet meditation and being alone with our thoughts can help us to recharge. Others find being around others and bouncing ideas around a method of recharging. Certainly though, surrounding ourselves with others who share our enthusiasm for our personal goal and who have shown themselves to be supportive and persistent in reaching their own goals will help us when we are feeling like giving up or quitting. Being persistent helps us be successful in reaching our goals.
How do we stay on task and on the path of achieving our goal. Our own commitment to the goal is very important but these 5 resources will help us continue – be persistent – on this path.
Support – also known as cooperation of others. Having others in our circle of influence who know what our goal is and who have similar goals can be a big support to us achieving our goal. They can spark our imagination and encourage us in times when we are lacking motivation.
Passion – also known as desire. The strength of our desire – how bad do we want to achieve this goal is often answered by the question Why. Why do we desire to accomplish this goal. Our answer to this question will be our reminder when we have a failure or are frustrated by disappointment.
Action – also known as initiative. Taking the initiative, the first step gets us headed toward results. The opposite to this is procrastination, but once we start it is easier to stay committed and keep the ball rolling.
Reason – also know as our Why? when our mission, purpose or goal is fixed in our mind and held there, it saturates our entire subconscious until it influences the actions of our physical body toward the achieving of our goal.
Knowledge – also known as skills. We may have a goal, but not the skill or knowledge needed to achieve our goal. As we gain the knowledge, skills and experience, we are able to see the possibilities of achievement.
The success of us staying persistent in achieving our goals is not just about us. When we include others they can support our efforts as we stay focused on what it is we would like to achieve within reason.
What is your goal? Are you gathering around you others to cooperate with you, checking in on your desire and reason for this goal every day, taking the initiative to gain the skills and to practice them on a regular basis. True success in life starts with knowing what we want – but is only gained when we daily are persistent and gain the support of others.
The difference between persistence and perseverance is generally speaking persistence calls for strength and endurance from those things that attack us from within ourselves while perseverance calls for strength and endurance from attacks that come from outside ourselves. What gets in the way of our persistence? We will name 4 internal things that get in the way of our reaching our goals that happen to everyone – it is how we deal with it that makes the difference.
The number one hindrance to persistence – FEAR. Fear of failing, not being smart enough, success and the responsibilities that would bring, disappointing, embarrassment, change.
The number two hindrance to persistence – OVERWHELM. Too many goals, things to do, requests for our time, projects. Our focus is spread too thin and procrastination sets in.
The number three hindrance to persistence – CHARACTER (our own). Lacking in self control, discipline, ficus, enthusiasm, imagination, initiative, cooperation.
The number four hindrance to persistence – PEER PRESSURE. Others telling us we should relax more, play more, not to work so hard, or that it is not worth the time and effort we are putting into the goal.
Our first step in learning persistent actions is understanding our strongest enemy – what is happening inside ourselves. Awareness of what makes us give up on a goal is the first step in taking action. Look for our description on how each of these can affect our reaching our goals.
My first look at persistence was not a positive one. As a parent I remember persistence only in an annoying way. I can only remember being asked for something or to do something until I could not stand it anymore. If you have children now – you know what I am talking about. Can I…, I want this… it just goes on and on from our kids. It doesn’t get easier when they get older. As a young teen they want to go here and there and do things – some of which just do not work for us parents either schedule wise or philosophically. But with persistence they attempt to wear us down till they get the answer they want.
It is that experience that makes me remind our students over and over again that respect is hearing the answer NO and accepting it for the final answer. Or if we are practicing assertiveness asking for the reason – but on getting that answer, accepting it as the parents best they can do at that time. There is a big difference between persistence and nagging.
Persistence however is a great quality that we want to encourage in our children, may I say also in ourselves. Persistence is continuing to study, asking questions until we understand, practicing and asking for help – not giving up even when our brain is giving us excuses for not continuing.
Balancing persistence with respect for others is a practice for us to have. For children the respect they show for parents and their right to make decisions is a part of a healthy family. For those who are married or in a relationship, balancing the needs of our spouse or family with our own persistence for reaching a goal we have is showing respect. At the same time, respecting the goals of our spouse and allowing them the space to be persistent in their personal goals is part of a healthy relationship.
Persistence will help us reach the end of our life and know that we have applied ourselves to the things that are important to us and not feel as if we caved in to the pressures around us. Nagging or ignoring the needs of others is simply annoying.
When I first looked at the word for this month, Persistence, I wondered to myself – ‘what is the difference between persistence and perseverance?’ Both seem to be about reaching a goal and the goal not coming easy. Both require discipline, focus and determination. I thought about it for hours, trying to determine how to deal with this subject with our students.
The first requirement for successfully reaching a goal is to have a goal, a purpose / mission that we are committed to and have a strong desire to reach.
Once we have a goal or chief aim in our mind we must have perseverance, because there will be things that come up that will block the easy path to that goal. We may get sick, not have the financial resources. We may get hurt or other situations may arise outside our realm of control that could easily make us believe that we cannot continue. It may seem that it is just not ‘meant to be’ due to these circumstances or events and therefore easy to give up. Perseverance is not allowing these outside forces dissuade us from pursuing our mission or specific goal.
Persistence is also needed but is far more internal. We may have a goal in mind that we believe in and want to accomplish, that while may be possible, may also be very difficult or require more time, energy or creativity than we expected. Persistence is the quality that keeps us going, even when others have given up. It is reexamining our motives and desires and pressing forward – to find the answer or accomplish the goal. Our desire is so strong that when one way of approaching the challenge does not work we do not give up – rather we look at it from a different point of view. Our desire to reach the goal continues to drive us even if the process become monotonous or even boring. Our internal drive does not stop.
There are times when perseverance and persistence no longer make sense and we need to adjust our goal in some manner. Most of the time though both of these character traits will help us accomplish our mission or purpose when put into practice in a balanced manner.
Each month we will discuss a life skill with all of our students. This month the word is Persistence. This word will be defined in the following ways for our students.
Young students: Persistence means: “No matter how tough, I won’t give up!
Older students: Persistence means: The determination to keep going even when faced with challenges or initial failure.
Each age group has a worksheet that parents can use to continue the discussion at home with their children, and one for adults to allow them to think more deeply about the skill and how it applies to them. Would you like to receive the worksheet? Stop by our studio at 133 Gibralter Avenue in Annapolis, MD and tell us the age of your child. We will give you a worksheet and invite you to watch Mr. Joe discuss the word with the students in class. You can also follow our discussions here on this website.
If you would like to become a member of Balanced Life Skills, come TRY CLASSES FOR FREE. We are not your typical martial arts school, in fact we are an education center, working with our students on physical skills along with empowering families with compassion, awareness and respect – creating a culture of peace. We believe in every child and build their self – confidence. Balanced Life Skills takes part in community service and encourages each student to do the same.
Come in and talk to the parents that are here and watch the class for the age group you are interested in. Learn about the Balanced Life Skills Way.