Do you know what is the distinction between persistence and perseverance? They are both about determination, strong will, not giving up and a willingness to take up challenges. However, there are some differences that make them almost two separate concepts
Persistence is about getting something that we desire. It is about performing an activity a little bit longer than expected to get results. The period of time related to it is usually hours or days. The outcome of being persistent is usually well known. You are persistent enough if you are able to spend a few additional days to finish a project or finish a run.
Perseverance is much stronger. It is about getting somewhere, about achieving your major goals despite significant adversities and difficulties. It is connected to overcoming situations that have high chances to break your spirit. It is usually related to a long period of time, usually month or years. During that time you are constantly challenged and usually you are not able to anticipate what will happen. You persevere if you are preparing for years for a marathon or are able to run complicated and troublesome projects for months.
While you might be persistent, are you able to persevere? Are you able to drive the very difficult implementation task for months until the final resolution? Are you able to survive a very difficult time in your professional career (job change, major restructuration of the company, a new boss with whom you are not getting along with) without giving up? While being persistent is very important skill, being persevered determines what we will achieve in general in our lives. The skill can give you momentum not matter what you are doing.
By training perseverance you will not only acquire a new skill – you will also change the inner you. You will significantly increase your willpower. But the most important, you will gain an almost constant extremely powerful feeling that you can follow whatever path you would like to and you will endure it – preserve until the very end. I do not mean here that you will be able to achieve whatever you want. I mean that you will be able to fight for your goals for long enough to achieve them. And if the path would appear to be wrong or your goals would change, you will have the momentum to just switch to new ones and run once again.
As mentioned above, perseverance can be trained. Most people think that it is a matter of genetics or your childhood and upbringing. However, this is not the case. The skill is trainable in the same way as walking – by trying out and practicing. And it is definitely worth training. There are many ways how to do it. Here are a few interesting ones:
- writing down your goals – write them down and keep in a visible place – the one which you will encounter every day many times. It will help you to maintain vision and the big picture all the time. Additionally, it will provide an injection of motivation directly to your blood system every time you look at them,
- setup weekly review habit – every weekend verify what you have done to achieve your goals last week. This activity helps you to face reality. If you find out that you are doing nothing then you will have a chance to stop lying to yourself. You will be able to admit the truth what is the first step to changing something.
- see an opportunity in every obstacle – such attitude allows you to push forward, no matter happens. And in fact, every obstacle is an opportunity to learn something new or even totally change your direction (which sometimes is a real blessing). Seeing the world that way allows you to welcome every adversity and get as much value from them as possible.
- read and learn about perseverance – everyday search through the web for posts, articles, podcasts, books and videos related to perseverance. There are many great motivational and coaching materials. Most of them are high quality content that provides a great value for your personal development,
- think about perseverance whenever you want to give up – when hard times come, ask yourself: Am I strong enough and would I like to be stronger? If your answer is yes, then just be!
- whenever you give up do not blame yourself – we are all just human beings. Instead of judging yourself embrace the failure. Accept it, learn your lesson from it and then push forward once again. Always remember that giving up is a natural thing and you will encounter it many times in your life.
To achieve success you have to be lucky and/or perseverant. However, if you will endure in your undertakings success will come this or another way. When you start being perseverant, you gain momentum. Following the path then becomes easier and easier. And if you have the momentum, you can move in any direction much faster and more effectively. Even if you fail in some moment, it is much easier to rise from ashes and run again.