We’re always told how we can achieve anything if we put our minds to it – how if we keep putting in the time and effort, we will eventually start to see our efforts pay off. It seems that the key ingredient to success in all its forms is persistence.
But when people give us this advice, they will often act as though persistence were something you could just ‘switch on’. If you’ve not written that novel, started that author’s blog, gotten that agent or publishing deal… well then you just need to be persistent. The question no one ever answers is how you go from not having persistence to being able to turn it on at will.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do…
Increase Your Energy
One of the definitions of persistence is ‘perseverance in spite of fatigue or frustration’ – or the ability to keep going when you’re tired.
If you’re struggling to ‘switch on’ your persistence though, how about taking a different tact and trying to avoid being tired in the first place? That might be easier said than done but with the right diet and exercise regime built around increasing your mitochondrial count and function you can do wonders in this department. If you have more energy, you might find there’s much less need to use will power to be persistent!
Clearly Define Your Goals
Being persistent is often a result of having clearly defined goals that you’re willing to work tirelessly towards. If you know precisely what it is that you’re trying to achieve and you know precisely how you’re going to achieve it, then it’s just a matter of executing that plan even when it’s exhausting or daunting.
If on the other hand you don’t really know what it is you want, then you might struggle to remind yourself of why you need to put in that effort to go the extra mile.
Have a Support Network
Often we derive strength from those around us. When we’re at our last ebb, we think of all the people who believe in us and the people we don’t want to let down. Just knowing you have people cheering for you to succeed can often be all it takes!
And you know what? Persistence takes practice. Even if you find you’re prone to giving up, consistently trying to try can actually help you to develop the persistence you need. Don’t give up on not giving up!
Persistence, in my experience, is often about forgiving yourself. It’s about recovering from those days when you didn’t meet your goals or follow through on your writing plan and getting back to it. Not letting those off days knock you down. Persistence is about showing up every day and doing your very best. Start today. Take great care of yourself, find the support that you need, and make sure you know what you want to accomplish before you sit down to accomplish it.