The Virtue of Perseverance2 min read

Personal growth is a little bit like slowly chipping away at a wall—the wall that separates who you are today from who you want to be. You don’t know how thick the wall is. You don’t know how close to success you are. All you can do is to continue chipping away, day after day, with the best tools you have.

To make all of this work, you need to cultivate three key virtues:

The Meaning of Perseverance

Perseverance requires three things:

  • Clarity of purpose: You know how important this self-transformation is for you, and you are committed to expressing your full potential.
  • A growth mindset: You believe that growth and change are possible for you—that whatever skill, mindset, knowledge, or quality you may lack, you can develop it.
  • Strong decision: You decide that you are not a quitter, and that you haven’t come this far just to turn back.

Patience and perseverance are twin virtues, meaning they often come together.

When you persevere, you

  • get up every time you fall;
  • stay on the path, no matter the challenges, until you achieve the results;
  • naturally feel more confident, because you know that if you fully commit to something, it’s just a matter of time until you achieve it.
Applying Perseverance

Persevere when you meet adversity in your path, welcoming it with open arms. Know that it is life, polishing the diamond of your soul. Don’t be afraid of the emotional pain—it’s a small price to pay for your aspirational identity!

Then, charged with this sense of purpose, persevere on your path. Find the next baby step and take it, regardless of what self-doubt has to say.

Get up every time you fall, no matter what. Rather than giving up upon meeting challenges, you take a deep breath, reconnect to your purpose, and see what the best way is to tackle that challenge.

Persevere even after you think you are done. Many times, I’ve seen people begin a meditation practice to calm their anxiety, then stop the practice as soon as they experience some relief. When they do that, they almost always relapse to the old ways.

There is a saying in coaching, “The reason why you’ve come is not the reason why you are here”. You’ve likely come to this work simply wanting to feel more confident—but you may have found something far deeper.

The practices you have learned here will definitely help you fulfil your initial intention, yet they can give you much more. If you persevere on the path, past the initial successes, you will come to understand your path more deeply. You will have gained far more than what you were initially seeking.

For a deeper dive into these concepts, see Chapter 20 of Wise Confidence.


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