I have never been the fastest, smartest, or most creative gal around. I actually always assumed the perfectly average position in all of these categories. But a trait that I did have going for me was that once I started something, I stuck with it.
Even when I was young, I was persistent. I would beg my mom to do something that I wanted and she would say: I love your persistence but I said ‘no!’ There are home videos of me learning how to skate in a class with other kids. And I was so bad! I fell after only a few moments of being up. But where some of the other kids would sit and wait for the teacher to help them up, I kept getting back up on my own.
In a way, I feel like that has been my whole life: falling and getting back up, and then falling again, and getting up again. For a while I thought this was kind of sad. Things seemed so hard for me when they were so easy for others. Sometimes I still get stuck in this mindset but then I remember that everyone has different circumstances and all of those times I have had to get back up have made me stronger. For those days when your workload seems too much or you are questioning why you started out on a particular venture, please consider these 5 ways to stay persistent.
1.Stay in your own lane. It is so easy when you are working towards something, whether that is a fitness goal, a business venture, or a cleaner closet, to look at others who are working towards the same thing to measure your success based on theirs. The thing that is easy to forget is that everyone is in a different phase of their journey. So basically when we compare ourselves to others we could be like a White Belt in Karate becoming discouraged that we can’t do things that the Black Belt can do (and if you aren’t familiar there are A LOT of belts and learning in-between those two). By measuring that way, we are doing ourselves and our neighbor a disservice.
2. Lean into the Process. All too often we dive in head first. I am WAY guilty of this. My passion for a project will make me crazy excited and I get a little out of control. Then the second I hit a tiny speed bump, I am completely thrown off course. That is why I really try to lean into the process. Starting slow, and learning as I grow. This way when something is challenging me, I am able to lean just a little harder into the process to figure it out.
3. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. We hear this a lot but can you just take a second to think about it. If what you were doing was easy, then there would be a million people who have already done it. So why do you keep thinking it will be easy? This is a question I ask myself daily! Remembering that what I am doing is challenging helps me to cut myself a little slack and give myself a break.
4. Just because you can’t do it now, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do it later. So often I want to just jump to the finish line and have a particular goal or task accomplished. But here’s the thing, to make it happen you have to DO THE WORK. And by putting the work in and digging into the process, you learn and grow. And that stronger, metaphorically taller person can now accomplish even greater things. Don’t let yourself get discouraged by looking at a goal you want to accomplish down the road and thinking you will never be able to do it. Because chances are, YOU CAN.
5. The turtle won the race. I might just leave this one right here. Busy-ness is plaguing our society. We wear our busy-ness like a badge of honor. Much like the hare in The Tortoise and The Hare, we are so busy filling our schedules with things that will make us look impressive that we forget what we really set out to do in the first place. This hectic, distracted nature does not serve us or those around us. Instead, it leaves us unfulfilled and unable to truly do work that we are proud of.