How many of us are fearful to start a new business, change career directions, retire or... The list could go on forever.
Why do we put off those things that we want most? I think a lot of it is fear of failure -- failure to do what we think we are capable of but not 100 percent positive that we can do.
Well, guess what? We are supposed to fail! If everyone succeeded the first time they tried, what would the world be like? Hard work and ingenuity would mean nothing.
There would be no incentive to learn, take risks and improve ourselves or our businesses. Thank goodness for failure. It gives us the opportunity to succeed!
The one crucial ingredient that we tend to forget is persistence, the ability to maintain action regardless of your feelings. We should learn from every failure. If you use that knowledge and keep trying, then success is achievable. It might not happen the second time, or the third time, but it will happen.
When you're working on any big goal, sometimes you'll feel motivated; sometimes you won't. But it's not your motivation that produces results -- it's your action. Persistence will ultimately provide its own motivation. If you simply keep taking action, you'll eventually get results, and results are very motivating.
Should you always persist and never give up? Persistence is not stubbornness; it's flexible and maneuverable. You must constantly re-evaluate your circumstances, goals and approach. There's no honor in clinging to a goal that no longer inspires you. The true value of persistence comes from a vision that's so compelling you would do anything to make it real.
Success doesn't belong to the smartest, the richest or the most talented. In fact, it belongs to those who persist. Persistence is determination. It is power. It is the will to succeed, no matter what. It separates the minority who do succeed from the majority who give up their dreams prematurely.
Here are eight keys to being persistent in your life and work:
* Disregard negative emotions. Keep swinging even if you strike out often and feel like quitting.
* Be inspired by role models. Read stories of people who have succeeded despite all odds.
* Create a support group. A team of friends working on their own dreams can be helpful.
* Get a mentor. Find someone with a proven track record who is willing to listen, inspire and encourage.
* Be flexible. Experiment with different game plans in reaching your short- and long-term goals.
* Be confident. Remain fearless by practicing positive self-talk every day.
* Keep the end in mind. Visualize and remind yourself regularly of your dream.
* Have a worthy purpose. You will persevere if your vision serves and elevates humanity.
So, next time you feel like quitting, step up to the plate and know that the next swing could be the one that hits it out of the park.
Brad Larsen is a local life coach and corporate consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.