By Al Lee, Author, Breath Coach
Many factors figure into success – vision, belief, planning, habits, willpower, etc – but there is one key element that trumps them all: persistence. Improving your ability to persist when the going gets rough can make all the difference when it comes to reaching your goals. Here are a few tips to help you persevere.
Obstacles Are a Given
I regularly conduct goal-achievement coaching programs and I've noticed something interesting in each of them: the undeniable link between persistence and success. In these programs, participants commit to a significant personal or professional goal to reach during the 99-day run of the program. Their goals span the spectrum – weight loss, job changes, health challenges, business start-ups, writing a book – you name it. One thing seems to be common to each person who enters the program: at some point they are going to get knocked completely off plan, off the schedule, and completely off course. In my experience - except in the rarest of cases - this is a given. It's not a question of if, but when.
Persistence Overcomes All Obstacles
Persistence can overcome almost any shortcoming in the same way a river cuts through solid rock to create a canyon – slowly but surely. If you look at any given success story, persistence probably played a role somewhere along the way. You need to be able to survive the squalls and overcome the inevitable obstacles if you want to succeed. At some point in the journey it becomes a matter of sheer willpower and desire to dust off, suck it up, and continue the pursuit.
Success Takes its Own Time
As you have undoubtedly experienced, success oftentimes unfolds in its own time, not necessarily on your schedule. Sticking with your goal gives all the energy you've put in and projected out time to percolate and reach critical mass. In the process of selling our book "Perfect Breathing", we acquired reams of rejections over several years and were on the verge of throwing in the towel (for the second or third time), when a publisher who loved the book contacted us with a contract offer. Success takes its own time.
3 Techniques to Improve Your Persistence
Maybe you were born with it (persistence), maybe not, but you can improve your persistence quotient. Here are a couple of techniques you can use to give yourself a boost and improve your chances of success:
Benjamin Franklin said, "Energy and persistence conquer all things." Steady unwavering effort toward a goal will almost always pay off – not always in the way you imagine, but almost always in a way the ultimately benefits you.