Being Persistent, Being Successful

It is no surprise that the people that are the most successful are also the ones that have failed the most in their lifetimes. 80% of businesses fail in the first 18 months, so if your dream is to be a successful entrepreneur, chances are your first company will be a failure. However, people start successful companies all the time, undeterred by past failures, or the likelihood of failure this time round. To be truly successful you need to be prepared for failure all the time, and be able to turn that failure into a positive and learn from it. The real sign of someone who is destined for greatness is not to be knocked back through sheer determination and being persistent. This is the final habit we can learn from successful individuals.

Being persistent involves self-motivation and drive, which is something that has been a common theme throughout all of these habits: to find time to read, to exercise, to keep to a routine and to avoid wasting time all takes a motivation and a drive to better oneself in the pursuit of success, and being persistent in the quest of achieving one’s dreams is no different in the level of discipline it takes. For instance, Jim Carrey was booed off stage at his first stand-up gig, and auditioned for Saturday Night Live only to be rejected, but he persisted and went on to become one of the world’s highest paid actor/comedian. Equally, J. K. Rowling was dealing with joblessness, divorce, pennilessness, and a child when she had only written just three chapters of Harry Potter. She had to resort to benefits to stay afloat, and two years later the finished book was rejected by all twelve major publishers before, through sheer determination, she finally had it published. Rowling has now sold more than four-hundred million copies of her Harry Potter books.

What is a common theme amongst these two examples – as well as many others – is that all these successful people have a great deal of passion for what they are doing. Persistence and determination is coupled with a passion what it is that you are doing, passion that will make people more likely to want to invest their time and resources in you as they feel that determination you have to make whatever it is you are doing a success.

Persistence through failure can also teach you the hard way about successful habits that you can implement to be more successful in your life, such as the ones practiced by already successful individuals and outlined in these articles. But the ones in these articles are not all there is; you may find other habits that help you to become even more successful.

A key part of being persistent is to be able to cope effectively with failure and knockbacks, and further to be able to build on those failures. But dealing with failure can be a hard thing to do, something which can have effects on your mind-set. But there are ways of helping deal with failure in a positive way that help you persist through for the better.

Firstly, it is important not to take any setback personally. When we are passionately involved in something, we attach very personal emotions to it, so when it fails – whether that be a company, project, or otherwise – we feel like we, personally, have failed also. Try and see the failure as not your fault, as most of the time, it won’t be; marketplaces are fickle and it will always be difficult to understand what will be a successful idea – you can only hope for the best and try your hardest. There is no rational reason to take something personally, as the emotions involved will only dishearten you and make it harder to get back up again and move on.

Furthermore, try not to dwell on failures. There is no point moping around wondering why you got it so wrong; that won’t make you successful. Yes, take the time to reflect on what happened – what you did well, what worked, what went wrong, what you could do better next time – and then look forward to the next thing. In short, manage your emotions, and move on.

According to psychological studies, one of the best ways of coping with failure is called ‘positive reframing’ – making a concerted effort to mentally see the failure in a new, more positive light. This new perspective means you can begin to learn from these mistakes. Start by not calling what went wrong a failure; call it a set-back. Think of it not as an end, but part of a larger path to success that you are only part of the way down. See it as a hurdle that you had to get over. Another way of positive reframing is to use humour to make light of it; if you are joking about it, you can’t take it seriously.

Finally, learn, adapt, change. Part of the reflection process is to emotionally get over the failure, but the part that will make you more successful next time round is to learn from what you did right, and what you did wrong, and adapt the way you live, work or think to suit your future success. There is no point learning from your mistakes only to ignore that knowledge and make the same mistake again. Being persistent yet mindul will allow you to change what you do, and learn some habits for success.

Make sure you check out the rest of the articles in our series on success:


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