Winning the long game
"Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance."
We hear it all the time. Success does not happen overnight, and if it does, it is most likely due to long term effort behind the scenes. The most successful careers and businesses are the ones that endure over time. They are usually filled with ups and downs, providing moments of victory and defeat. Tesla Motors has famously had a couple brushes with bankruptcy. Today, Tesla leads the way in a competitive electric vehicle market, establishing a big head start on companies like Ford and GM. It takes a mix of patience, persistence and resilience to sustain anything that stands the test of time.
Think about all of your biggest successes in life. They required a lot of your time and energy. Obtaining degrees. Building a business. Raising children. If you have done any of these, you know you had to be in it for the long haul. You knew you could not just quit whenever the going got tough. You made a commitment. You were not going to let yourself or anyone else down. Through the long nights and overwhelming days, you persisted and did not let pitfalls or setbacks prevent you from following through, not matter what.
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I have to remind myself sometimes how I have persisted through the resistance to achieve my biggest accomplishments in life. It took a lot of hard work and effort. When I look back, I realize it was my "Can do" attitude that helped me get to the finish line. I convinced myself that I was capable of making it happen. I made adjustments and concessions. I cried and complained. But I persevered. Even when I wanted to quit, I replaced my anxiety and doubt with the will to overcome any obstacles in my way.
As I look ahead to the goals I have set for myself, I think back to my biggest feats and accomplishments. I remind myself that I have done it before and I can do it again. It's that "Can do" attitude. Science tells us what we tell ourselves has a huge impact on how our lives unfold in front of us. This is why I keep reminding myself to keep going. I got this! I've done it before and I can do it again.
What are some long-term goals you are working on? What have you been telling yourself about them lately? By being our own biggest fan (and hopefully having our own cheering section), we find that if we keep going, eventually we will get there. We just have to persist, and not convince ourselves otherwise.
Positive Psychology: Perseverance in Psychology - 4 Activities to Improve Perseverance
Inc: Focus, Persistence, and Cognitive Control: Neuroscience Reveals How to Achieve Big Goals