Perseverance: A secret to success

Credit: biletskiy/Shutterstock

Kevin’s first try at establishing his sportswear store failed. After re-evaluating his experience, he opened another store. Kevin is now the proud owner of four successful sportswear stores.

Kevin didn’t fail in his first attempt. Failure occurs when we quit or stop trying. Kevin has perseverance. He kept improving his products and services.

Perseverance is the key to success. After thousands of efforts to make the electric light bulb, Thomas Edison said, “I haven’t failed, I’ve identified 10,000 ways that it doesn’t work.” Helen Keller, Abraham Lincoln, Marie Curie and an endless list of other great achievers found that success inevitably arrives for everyone who perseveres.

Acquiring a desired job or promotion or succeeding at business may present challenges, but this is part of the learning process. Ultimately, individuals who persist, become successful. They learn from mistakes.

Do you persevere? Or, after meeting rejection or difficulties, do you quit?

Test Your Perseverance Quotient

Give yourself one for each “yes” to the following:

  1. I believe in myself.
  2. I have clear career goals.
  3. I address my limitations.
  4. I bounce back from disappointments.
  5. I persist.
  6. My family and friends support me in my pursuit of goals.
  7. I can adapt to change.
  8. I focus and complete projects.
  9. My goals are consistent with my purpose and values.
  10. I can take unpopular stands when I believe I’m right.

Add your “yes” scores. The higher your score, the more perseverant you tend to be. You may be a Quester. Test your Quester quotient:

Tips for Persevering

  • Clarify your goal. Base it on your purpose, needs, and abilities. Know why you want this goal and how you and others will benefit.
  • Intend to achieve your goal. Outline your goal, strategies, and timeline. Know resources that can help you attain it, including individuals and the Internet. Break the goal into small steps, working backward form your desired outcome and attainment date.
  • Maintain optimism. Expect good things. Keep a daily diary of good experiences.
  • Live in the present. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about what might happen. Let go of attachments. The more attached you are to something, the greater the fear of losing it.
  • Acknowledge your accomplishments. Judge these against personal standards of self improvements. Have the courage of your convictions. Don’t change for others or compare yourself with them.
  • Try new experiences. Experiment with new ways of improving a product or service at work or other activities. Investigate how successful individuals or teams have achieved similar goals.
  • Care for you mind, body, emotions, and spirit. Schedule quiet times to think and reassess. Practice stress relievers such as deep breathing and exercise. Get sufficient sleep, eat healthy, and take time for fun and friends.
  • Experience yourself living your goal today. Hold your desired outcome firmly in your mind. See, smell, touch, and hear aspects of your goal. Each morning upon rising, review your goal. Repeat the process at night.
  • Persist. Focus on goals daily. At regular intervals, ask yourself whether your activities are moving you forward.

Additional Questers’ success secrets are found in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life (2014).

Dr. Carole Kanchier, career and personal growth expert, is author of the award-winning, best seller, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life (2014). A registered psychologist, coach, speaker, and columnist, Carole Kanchier practices in Calgary:


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