If you want to be great at what you do, then there’s something that you need to do. It is actually more of a code or ethos that you need to be able to live by. If you look at the most successful people in any discipline or industry, all of them have this trait. If you look at some of the people who didn’t reach expectations, many of them lack this trait. If you want to be great, you need to be able to persist in the face of long odds. This sounds a lot easier than it actually is. Think about it—the leaders of great startup companies weren’t destined for success. In fact, when they first started, the odds overwhelmingly were in favor of them failing. But they persisted and truly believed that they could develop a company into an industry leader. That same level of persistence is found in athletes, leading journalists, successful politicians, and renowned academics. If you want to be successful, then you need to have it too.
Persistence In The Face Of Long Odds
When you see persistence in a movie montage, it looks easy. Fun even. The real thing is a lot less glamorous. It often means working hard when no one is looking. Putting in long hours by yourself. And continuing to pick yourself back up after a short term failure. Persistence isn’t easy, if it was, everyone would be able to do it. If you can make persistence a key part of your life, then you will have a better chance at reaching greatness.
Realize That Success Isn’t Going To Come In A Straight Line
You have to understand that you aren’t going to become a successful overnight. You need to put in the work, and you are going to have short-term failures and setbacks. These might feel painful, but giving up would be even worse. These short-term setbacks should strengthen your resolve and make you even more determined to become successful over time. A big part of that is learning from those mistakes. You don’t want to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. You need to work on developing your skills and becoming better-rounded in your field. Persistence isn’t all about determination, it is also about careful planning and skill development so that you can be in the best possible position for success.
Persistence isn’t easy. It is much easier to give up. It is much easier to let someone else try. But if you can bring yourself to live by an ethos of persisting in the face of long odds, then you will put yourself in a position to have success in the long term. That means working longer hours and figuring out ways to develop your skills. It means falling in love with the process of getting better and continuing to learn from your mistakes. Most people are content with “good enough,” but then there are those who will never be satisfied until they have reached a level of excellence that few can achieve. Which one these is you?
Clarify Your Goals
Ask yourself “where do I want to succeed most”, and “how far do I want to take it”. Become crystal clear how much commitment, work and effort it will take to get there and then set out for a marathon rather than for a sprint. No matter the size or your goal, approach it with conviction and persistence.
Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.