Harnessing the Power of Perseverance

Perseverance is a word that you often see in any writing about success. It is the one “ingredient” that brings everything together and makes life magical and wonderful. But, what exactly is it and how do you harness it in a way that drives you straight to the top?

According to Dictionary.com, perseverance is a “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.”

Perhaps the best way to truly understand it is to break it down piece by piece.

Steady Persistence

The first part of the definition refers to a “steady persistence.” This means that it requires constant energy, or a continual force. Perseverance then isn’t something that you acquire once and have forever. It’s a concept that takes work day after tedious day.

This is perhaps the one part of the definition that is the reason it often leads to success. It’s that drive to never give up and never lose faith. It’s the feeling that you need to continue forward when others would have quit. It is believing the impossible when everyone else shakes their head, telling you it can’t be done.

How do you keep going when you feel the urge to quit? Remind yourself how important your goal is to you. Remember that a mountain looks very different from the top than it does from the bottom. Enlist a supportive team of people around you that push you to succeed. Focus on the outcome that you’re after, not the work that it takes to make it come to pass.

Course of Action

girl in autumn forest

Part of continuing forward time after time involves knowing where you’re headed and how to get there. You may not have all the answers (which is likely the case), but you at a minimum need an idea of where you want to be. If you don’t know that then you’re going to be wandering aimlessly and if you achieve success, it will only be by chance.

Plot out a road map that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. Come up with some steps that you absolutely have to take, some that aren’t necessary but would help and paths that you should avoid at all costs. The more prepared you are and the more you realize each one of these things, the easier your journey will be.

Most importantly, be ready to take some forced detours. Although it would be great to have things work out perfectly just the way you planned, that rarely is the case. You have to be fluid and flexible – ready to take an alternate path at a moment’s notice.

A Purpose

Of course, the whole point of perseverance when it comes to reaching a goal is that it has a purpose, right? This is the foundation of what you want; the very thing you want to come to pass that makes all of the work and energy worth it.

What is it that you’re after? What are you specifically trying to achieve? Knowing the answers to these questions helps you determine what your final destination is. After all, it does you no good to arrive there if you don’t know what “there” looks like.

And, while you may have an idea of what your purpose is, you also have to understand why you want it. Why is it important to you to achieve this goal? What does it matter to you? Answer that and you’ve now got your reason to keep fighting when what you really want to do is lie on the ground and raise your white flag in complete and total surrender.

A State

beauty woman walking on the street

This refers to your mindset. Although it may not seem like an important part of the definition, it actually contains the power to either help you arrive at the train station or derail you while you’re en route making sure you never arrive at all.

You have to engage your mind in a way that makes it stay focused. You must take all of your efforts and bundle them together so you’re as strong as you can be. The more you keep distraction at a minimum, the greater the likelihood that you’ll achieve whatever it is that you’ve set out to do.

The best way to do this is to stay in the present. The only thing you have control over is today. So, if you have reservations due to things in your past, you need to cut the chain and let them go.

Who you were yesterday is not who you are today. Events and time changes us and makes us different people so you should no longer be judged by choices you made long ago.

Especially in Spite of Difficulties

No one said the journey was going to be easy. If it was, everyone would have the perseverance to succeed. But, you can rise to the top despite the difficulties. It’s just going to take some extra dedication and drive on your part.

Instead of dreading the difficulties, look forward to them. Why? It’s not the easy times or easy decisions that create and define who we are. It’s the times that test every ounce of strength we have. It’s the times that make us bend closer and closer to our breaking point that make us stronger and more capable of progressing.

Your times of difficulties aren’t there to make you snap; they’re there to strengthen you and build you up and make you think outside the box. They’re there to give you everything you need as you get closer and closer to your goal. That means that they’re beneficial to you, not there to place you at a disadvantage.


Obstacles workout

No course of action is complete without a few obstacles thrown in the path. These are the things that pop up and either make you go around them or change your road entirely.

If you’ve created a solid course of action, or a plan, then you may be ready for some of them in advance and already have an idea of how to respond. However, it’s likely that you’ll also meet a few hurdles that are completely unexpected somewhere along the way.

Use these obstacles as an opportunity to show your creativity, ingenuity and flexibility. When something appears directly in your path, instead of getting angry or frustrated, think of how it may benefit you. Ask yourself how you can use the situation to your advantage.

While it may lengthen the time it takes to reach your goal, it may also open some doors that are more beneficial in the end. Everything happens for a reason and, if you’re lucky, you’ll find out what that reason is once you start to brainstorm a bit.


Discouragement can come in two forms: from yourself and from others. Certainly you’ve heard your inner critic say that you “can’t” do something or you aren’t “good enough” to complete what you’ve set out to do.

Know that those thoughts are natural. However, it’s up to you whether you listen to them and let them limit you or whether you push them aside and prove them wrong. Some people are adept at ignoring them completely while others use them as their motivation to achieve the unachievable – to prove themselves wrong.

The same holds true if the discouragement is coming from those around you. You can either choose to disregard them entirely or harness your energy to make them eat their words. Everyone has their own opinions of what will work and what won’t. But, to the same extent, people do amazing things every day. They exceed limits and reach destinations that no one else was able to reach.

Set yourself up to be the changer of reality, not the disbeliever. Become the person that everyone else looks at and says, “I can’t believe you were able to do that.”

Perseverance is but one word, but it is a powerful one. Harness it’s power and all things are possible.

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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  • Neber give up on yourself, life is so full of wonders and excitement. Free yourself and all you love.