The power of persistence

By Anne Bachrach

The Accountability Coach

Persistence is defined as the “the act of persisting or persevering,” also “continuing or repeating behavior.” It is closely related to words like commitment and perseverance.

The most successful people in life are always persistent. This is why it is important to cultivate the quality of persistence, no matter what you are aiming for. Of course there is a clear distinction between the quality of persistence and the term “pesky,” which is alternatively defined as annoying.

Persistence must always have a purpose or else it will become grating to those practicing and to those listening to the message.

What really is the difference between being persistent and being a royal pain in the butt? Persistence requires a great degree of premeditated thought and advance planning. When someone is persistent they are fully committed, not to an action, as if repeating multiple incidents with no particular purpose, but to a plan.

They believe in a principle and realize that in order to achieve their goals, persistence will be required. Someone who is merely repetitive uses this technique as an offensive attack and does so until someone else has the courage to shut them up. Persistence is a far more crafty approach.

A persistent person realizes the importance of repetition but is careful about proper timing and using appropriate language. You could say that a persistent person is careful to learn the problem first, creating a plan of action and then sticking to that plan.

When problems are discovered, the persistent mind creates alternative routes and adaptable strategies.

Persistence will be required in numerous personal and professional endeavors. Personally speaking, an intelligent person realizes that it takes persistence to improve human relationships, whether in the context of friendship, courtship or business.

It may not be enough to formulate a good plan. If the initial plan of action doesn’t work, then a persistent thinker will have to come up with another angle.

For example, let’s say that a relationship is suffering between two people. One person thinks ill of the other and is unwilling to listen to an apology. If that relationship is worth keeping, then a persistent person will approach the other person with a different strategy.

The strategy employed will depend on the other person’s personality. Is the other person a co-worker who has a business-oriented mind? Is it romantic partner who appreciates a good sense of humor?

If it is a business relationship that you want to form, you may send them an attractive high-heeled shoe with a note saying, “now that I have a shoe in the door…”
Knowing personal information or trying humor, the persistent thinker is already at an advantage and well on his or her way to improving those relationships.

Persistence is also important for building faith or adding value to a chosen belief system. Religious-minded people rely on persistence to build trust with God, just as atheists and agnostics support their beliefs by persistently seeking out scientific evidence to validate their claims.

It’s safe to assume that every belief system is based on a persistent and deliberate influx of knowledge and experience. Professionally speaking, persistence is equally important. New business owners are often times singular proponents of their company and must work twice as hard to establish market and brand name.

This requires persistence as there could be many slow months to start with, and plenty of dissatisfied or uninterested customers. New business owners also have to contend with bad news from banking institutions, advertisers and government entities. Persistence is vital if you ever hope to succeed in a business.

Persistence is also an important quality for entertainers to learn since rejection and criticism are prevalent in creative fields. Writers and artists must read rejection slips, while actors and singers could be turned away immediately after an audition. Of course, all of this formal rejection is relative to a group of people actually booing you off a performing stage.

This is just part of the business and entertainers must learn to be thick-skinned in order to survive in their chosen industry. Other industries are just as competitive and require persistence to survive office politics, job promotions, business development, managerial responsibilities, and corporate takeovers.

There was a time when I promoted my husband as a professional speaker. I had to be persistent to get phone appointments with decision makers who could hire him to speak at their conventions. I made follow-up phone calls when asked, and I would call people until they would talk to me or ask me not to call back (thank goodness this didn’t happen often).

As a result of my persistence, I received many job offers and comments that these executives wished they had people as persistent as I was because they could have been even more successful and one more business than they were currently doing.

In fact, without cultivating the quality of persistence, there is not much for a person to do in the world besides become a follower and allow him or herself to be controlled by the wisdom (and or stupidity) of others. Persistent people make the world turn — they make business grow, they improve worldwide communication, and they help to shape this generation’s zeitgeist.

Why not become a part of this movement? Plan out your future and allow yourself the chance to become everything you aspire to be. Commit to your vision of success and help make the world a better place in your own unique way.