One more mile to cycle, 10 more minutes on the treadmill, 100 more steps on a run – pushing yourself to reach the goal. Perseverance is an important habit we should learn from a young age. Did you know, without learning how to persevere, children have difficulty committing to long-term goals?
Now as adults in a busy world, it can still be difficult to find that commitment. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an athlete, a scientist, or a teacher, learning how to develop perseverance could be the key to a more fulfilling life. Through my own experiences, I have gained an understanding of perseverance, which I’d like to share with you. Once you understand it, you’ll become aware of it in yourself and others.
In this post we’ll be covering:
- What is Perseverance?
- Why is Perseverance Important?
- How to Develop Perseverance
Let’s dive in!
What is Perseverance?
Also known as grit, perseverance is the persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Sometimes confused with ‘never giving up’, it’s about doing your best towards a goal. Interestingly, those with high perseverance are actually better at overcoming thoughts of giving up. The question you want to ask yourself is; when the going gets tough, do you carry on doing your best? If it’s no, don’t worry because you’ve come to the right place.
I believe perseverance is a mindset. Allowing your mind and your body to work together to overcome a challenge. The main goal during my previous challenge, ‘Five Million Steps in Asia’, was to develop perseverance. Some days I was doing up to 100,000 steps, while others I found it difficult even to do 30,000 steps. We should always be developing, focusing our mind, and believing in ourselves. But how do you know how to do this?
To help you understand what happens to your body when you persevere, we’ll need to have a look at the facts first.
The Science of Perseverance
Christopher Bergland, a world-class endurance athlete, concisely details the neuroscience of perseverance as the following;
“Dopamine is the fuel that keeps people motivated to persevere and achieve a goal. You have the power to increase your production of dopamine by changing your attitude and behaviour. Scientists have identified higher levels of dopamine — also known as the “reward molecule” — as being linked to forming lifelong habits, such as perseverance.” – Christopher Bergland.
Understanding that you’re rewarding your mind and your body can help you feel more in control. Remember that you have the power to increase your dopamine on demand. Learning to self-administer this ‘reward molecule’ has many benefits. Let’s find out what they are.
It’s possible for anyone to see themselves as a winner – that’s the beauty of it. Click To Tweet
Why is Perseverance Important?
From my perspective, perseverance is extremely important if you want to make the most out of life. Perseverance is actually one of the main habitual solutions to stop procrastinating. If you’re someone in need of a procrastination solution, I recommend you read my previous post on ‘The 4 Habits Hierarchy to Stop Procrastinating’. It will provide you with a step-by-step understanding of how to stop avoiding those important tasks.
I really could talk about how important perseverance has been for me for hours and hours. So, to make sure I don’t do that, I’ve filtered the main benefits of perseverance into a concise list.
- Builds the confidence to succeed
- You will have more control over your life
- Increased productivity
- Helps to stop procrastinating
- More pleasure in completing tasks
- Allows you to be trustworthy – the foundation of a good friendship & relationship
I am now proud to say ‘I choose to be a winner even if I lose’. This mindset has grown over time because I’ve been focused on developing perseverance. You can do this too. It’s possible for anyone to see themselves as a winner – that’s the beauty of it. In the long term, putting the time and effort to improve your focus will pay-off tenfold.
If you’re looking for the next level in your career, perseverance is vital. It can help you to develop the system, structure and strategy to achieve the desired outcome. And by defining your values, interests, passions and directions, you’ll be able to create a passionate lifestyle business. Sparked your interest?
How to Develop Perseverance
Firstly, you must remember that it takes time to develop perseverance. It’s a mindset that starts from a choice. The choice to respond rather than react, flow instead of fight and accept instead of expect. This mindset has even allowed me to change my perspective on judgement from others. Using all of my doubt, failure, and misjudgement by other people to move forward instead of letting it paralyze me. Below are two important steps you can take to help you develop your own perseverance.
The Win-Win Partnership Between Your Mind & Body
You may have heard of ‘mind over matter’. This is all about visualising. Creating a vision in your mind of starting and finishing a challenge, no matter how difficult it will get. Professional athletes use this technique before a race, routine, or match to convince their body that it’s possible. Imagine it’s your mind trying to tell your body, ‘you can do it!’.
Usually, your subconscious mind is continually giving you reasons why you can’t do it. Why you should let go and give up on something. This can lead to reduced ambition. Then you begin accepting a ‘comfortable life’ rather than living your best life. You can actually reprogram this message coming from your subconscious. Using the link between your mind and body, you can remove the blocks that are keeping you from achieving your goals.
Using the link between your mind and body, you can remove the blocks that are keeping you from achieving your goals. Click To Tweet
Split it and Reward it
Divide your big dream into dozens of smaller targets. Then split those into dozens of mini-goals. This allows you to focus on reaching each mini-goal and rewarding yourself, rather than waiting for the big reward at the end. Give yourself an energy bar after 30 minutes, take a break after engaging on social media, you deserve a reward!
It takes time to get into shape, to learn new skills, to complete campaigns, so make sure you stay flexible. Then you can relax and focus on the present tasks. Personally, I enjoy learning how to do things instead of being disappointed if something didn’t work.
By accepting that you will make mistakes, you can start welcoming all the difficulties ahead. This attitude makes every step of the journey more enjoyable. You will begin to be more patient and not rush to reach the desired outcome. And with patience, you’re able to be persistent and determined with every one of your future goals.
I hope you’ve found this breakdown of perseverance useful. A lot of the advice to develop perseverance comes from my own experiences, both positive and negative. But we cannot progress without experiencing the negatives. Be prepared to face your next challenge and you’ll be persevering like a true champion in no time!
If you’re looking for more ideas on perseverance, stay tuned!
I’ll be writing more blog posts over the coming months.
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Developing Perseverance in Early Childhood by Parent Toolkit
How to Develop Grit: Perseverance And Passion For Long-term Goals by Aspiro Adventure
Grit: A Complete Guide on Being Mentally Tough by James Clear
Favorite related TED Talks
Grit: The power of passion and perseverance by Angela Lee Duckworth
The power of believing that you can improve by Carol Dweck
GRIT: The Role of Perseverance in Success by Tricia Yap
How to stop screwing yourself over by Mel Robbins