Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.

-Marie Curie

Tell me, did you make a 2015 New Year’s resolution as over 40% of the population did? Are you on track to keep your commitment or are you part of the 92% who have already broken their promise? Then perhaps, it is time to build up your mental “stick-to-it muscle.”

Perseverance is a far more relevant topic than simply a New Year’s resolution slip up. Why? Continuing to strive in the face of adversity, challenges, and setbacks in an effort to finish what you started will have you showing up as a proactive, high-potential executive in today’s marketplace. It is an essential leadership quality.

What is a balanced Perseverance focus?

When you are employing Perseverance appropriately, you gain momentum as well as deepen your skills and technique on your way to the completion of essential projects and tasks. Moreover, you are self-aware and flexible enough to stop when the project no longer makes sense to pursue.

What are some simple shifts you can make to boost your Perseverance?

  • Tap Into Your Internal Dialogue: Research reveals that your self-talk influences how much Perseverance you can muster. Pessimistic, negative chit-chat will have you quitting earlier in the game then if your thoughts are more optimistic in nature. Examine your internal dialog. Are you giving power to the grumbling, naysaying thoughts that are running around in your mind? Any negative that does not align with reality will undermine your best efforts. If those are the thoughts you consistently dwell upon, start paying attention to the positive aspects occurring in the midst of a challenge. I guarantee there is something good. You just aren’t paying any attention to it. By design, our tendency is to become what we focus on—what occupies our mind—and you can control that. This self-predictive view of the world becomes your reality—whether helpful or harmful.
  • Check Out Your Self-Confidence: Studies have shown that there is a link between having self-confidence and hanging in longer when things get tough. Self-confidence and Perseverance is a chicken or the egg scenario. You build up your Perseverance competency by carrying through on promises you’ve made, and as you do, your self-confidence becomes more robust. Alternatively, is it because you have self-confidence that you are able to push through to completion when the going gets tough? It does not matter, if you want to strengthen your promise keeping abilities, work on both self-confidence and Perseverance simultaneously because they are synergistic in nature. You’ll be surprised by the results you attain as well as who you become in the process.
  • Visualize What You Are Creating: Allow yourself to picture and experience in vivid detail the actual impact you will experience once you achieve the results you intend to create. What will the benefits be for completing the project or assignment? Don’t think of yourself alone—what are the advantages to those around you? It is often easier to stay in the game when the outcome positively impacts more people than just yourself. Regularly open your mind’s eye to envision taking the action steps that will lead to your result. Live in the desired outcome. It will assist you in developing strong Perseverance
  • Question Your Foundation: All human beings fear failure, so how you communicate your commitment will often determine the outcome. Interestingly enough, by establishing high-risk, high-reward goals that are also recognized by others as courageous objectives will have you staying engaged longer. Stop playing small—“go long” in popular vernacular. It will be worth your effort.

 What does it look like when you take Perseverance too far?

It is not leadership thinking that is for sure! Take a moment to think about today’s marketplace. What are the qualities ranked year after year in the IBM Global CEO survey as the critical challenges facing organizations? It is no surprise to you that innovation and change are always at the top of the list.

Let’s think practically. When you take Perseverance too far, what you demonstrate is an immoveable, close-minded, stubborn, drive to completion without any sensitivity or awareness regarding the environment around you. This side of Perseverance is not attractive nor will it inspire others to follow you.

The true career changing projects are often the largest, most complex and toughest you face. In fact, this is what will lead to greatness—you pursuing your promise. If you are interested in taking a deeper dive into Perseverance, check this out:

Do you know your strengths?

We all need to acquire a bit more grit, and tenacity of spirit in the face of challenges, and disappointing results if we want to be successful. If this brief overview of Perseverance stimulated a desire to learn more about this trait or any of the other 23 character strengths, give me a call. It would be my pleasure to set up a program that will aid you in building character strength into your career and life or even as a team building exercise within your organization.

P.S. If you have not as yet completed the survey, click here to take the free 15-minute VIA Survey and discover what your top strengths are of the 24.

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