“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” ~ Christopher Reeve
Remember the times where you tried something new for the first time, like a fitness plan or a diet, but then gave up?
Do you also remember watching movies such as Begin Again, where characters failed, but kept trying until they succeeded, making you wonder why you weren’t capable of the same success?
It seems like we live in a time where we all want to succeed, but the path to get there is too hard, so we just stop and give up.
You might be living in a world where you want to try something new, but you’re told that it won’t work. It won’t succeed in “the real world” and that you should just stick to the safe and stable path.
That’s not to say there’s something wrong with safe and stable, but since when was pursuing meaningful dreams a bad thing?
How to Persevere When You Feel like Giving Up
As an aspiring public speaker and writer with many interests, I always had goals I wanted to achieve, dreams I wanted to come true, but would always stop short of turning anything into a real result because I gave up. But I didn’t want to just give up and walk away, I wanted to succeed. So here’s what I started doing to persevere and not give up:
1. Put some FUN into your work.
Do you enjoy what you do? Because chances are you don’t.
The reason we love watching movies, playing video games or play sports is because it’s fun.
You don’t actually care whether you win or lose. You just care that you had a good time and enjoyed yourself.
I love to write and share my opinion with other people. But as I kept writing, I eventually got bored and stopped. It wasn’t fun to write anymore.
When that happened, I started to make writing fun for myself. How else would I get myself to write?
So I started writing children’s stories, which were great fun to write and showed me how silly I could be.
I rediscovered the joy of writing and went back to writing with a new perspective and creative ideas I couldn’t wait to try out.
Perseverance isn’t about success at first. It’s hanging on until you finally succeed.
So don’t make your journey harder than it needs to be. Focus on having fun so you can motivate yourself to reach your goal.
2. Understand why you’re not doing other, possibly more important, things.
When life gets in the way of your goals, you tend to stop and focus on life.
Sometimes you have to, especially when something urgent like an emergency happens.
But other times, you’re just distracted and you don’t remember to work on your goals. After all, they are just things you do in your spare time. It’s not life-changing; you can afford to not work on your goals and life still goes on.
You will have many important times in your life. Dates with your significant other, meetings you have to attend, gatherings with your friends, and the list goes on.
So when you sit down to work on your goals, you might wonder why you’re not doing something else that might add instant enjoyment to your life.
When I started writing children’s stories to motivate myself, I always wondered why I wasn’t playing video games or asking friends to go out. Why wasn’t I doing something that brought me instant gratification, and would probably help me sleep better at night?
I told myself “Because if I don’t do this now, I’ll regret giving up my success forever”.
That thought was enough to put aside the fun of video games and outings to focus on getting my motivation back.
You might have a different thought that motivates you, as we are all different people with different motivations.
But when you think of a thought as drastic as “If I don’t do this now, I’ll never be able to do it again”, you will find that almost nothing else seems to matter more than the action you need to do right now.
3. Don’t be rude to successful people
Have you heard of the “overnight success” phrase?
Saying someone became successful overnight is one of the rudest things you can say.
You’re essentially condensing all of their efforts into a short time period and then proclaiming that their idea was so magical that it was the only reason they succeeded.
You then try to imitate their success in one night and give up when you can’t.
That is insulting to the hard work people put in over a period of many years before they actually became the successes they were today.
You also trivialize their accomplishments by making it seem like they just needed one day of work to become successful, which is obviously not true.
We are so obsessed with the “overnight success” myth that we forget success is not something that happens without hard work and a reasonable time investment.
I would never call any writer’s breakthrough an “overnight success” because that ignores the long hours spent improving their writing while making it seem like becoming a successful writer is easy. It isn’t, and never will be, a quick and simple process.
This reminded me that I had to put in the hard work to have a chance of success and that success would not come overnight. It motivated me to break down my goals and achieve one short win at a time, getting closer to success with each win.
So stop hoping for quick success and instant results. Ironically, the faster you realize that the easier it is to persevere and achieve faster success in your field.
Which is why few people achieve it. You need to have fun, know why it’s priority, and understand that you’re in this for the long haul. Then you will find it’s easier to persevere and succeed where other people would give up and fail.