The word “persistent” can be a loaded term. On the one hand, it represents something positive— can-do attitude with the grit to never give up on a goal or dream.
On the other hand, persistent can also represent the exact opposite. Sometimes, it describes a person who perpetually bangs their head against the wall, expecting something to happen or change. They never make progress and seem stuck in place.
Which type of persistent are you?
Knowing the kind of persistence you practice can help make your goals a reality.
The Positive Side Persistence
Positive persistence represents your drive, spirit, and ability to continue on your path. Despite setbacks, you can keep going. Eventually, you reach your goal.
Many stories circulate about people who—despite failure, disappointment, or incredible odds—were able to achieve their dreams.
People retell these stories to help inspire others, as well. This persistence has an essential factor: vison. When being persistent is positive and healthy, it is because you have a long-range vision for success in mind.
When Persistence Isn’t Healthy
The opposite side of the persistent coin is when you keep running up against obstacles to your goal, but you can’t break through. Or, maybe you keep trying to break through walls using the same strategies.
Mostly, it feels as if you are banging your head against a brick wall. Nothing you do changes the status quo. Sometimes it seems as though you’re moving backward, not forward.
It’s very frustrating, and this persistence can cause you to fall into despair. Your dreams don’t feel attainable. Those around you might tell you to give up and do something else.
I would disappoint you to give up. You’d feel like a quitter. How could you possibly give up? After all, our society doesn’t lionize quitters. It celebrates people who don’t give up.
How to Find Balance
Persistent doesn’t have to be an either/or kind of situation. Instead, try to strike a balance between the two extremes.
For example, let’s say you always wanted to be a writer. You work very hard, producing several short stories and even a book draft. However, you can’t get anyone to publish your work. Even when you try to self-publish, you don’t get the response you were hoping for. Now what?
Consider these thoughts:
- Ask yourself whether you want to continue pursuing this goal.
- Is there a way to strike a balance between doing your writing (which you love) and doing other work to make ends meet?
- Could you use your writing skills in other ways besides trying to become a book author?
The intent behind asking these questions is to help open new and unrealized doors. However, it can be challenging to see those options without some support.
How Coaching Can Help
Professional coaching helps you to understand all your options. It also works to uncover new opportunities in your life, too.
A coach will work with you to understand your goals, the journey you have taken so far, and help provide insight for the future. Together you can uncover new paths that you couldn’t see before.
Blindness is another downside of persistent. It can cause you to put blinders on and only focus on one particular goal that you miss out on other opportunities. Coaching helps you take those blinders off so you can see all of the options available.
Being persistent isn’t necessarily 100 % good or bad. When used appropriately, it can be a beneficial mindset to face adversity. At the same time, however, it can cause you to miss out on other possibilities, or it keeps doing the same thing while expecting different results.
If you are struggling with the negative form of persistence, ask for help from a professional coach.
Please contact me today for support.
About the Author:
Brenda Bomgardner is in her encore career after completing a successful 17-year career in Human Resources at a Fortune 500 company. She is the author of Sweet Spot, to be released in the fall. The above post is an excerpt from her book, Sweet Spot. You can find free resources be clicking Sweet Spot. One of her greatest joys is seeing people move beyond life’s roadblocks toward a fulfilling and meaningful life. She believes each person has a purpose in life waiting to be realized that evolves over a lifetime. Step by step she walks with you on uncovering how to bring your dreams to fruition. Brenda is a counselor, coach and clinical supervisor specializing in practicing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training (ACT) which is a cutting edge evidenced-based processes. This means there is scientific research proven to show ACT works. She loves the great outdoors, ATV riding, adventure travel and family. To learn more about Brenda visit her About Me page.