There’s an old saying that goes “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” This captures the essence of perseverance. Even when things get hard – which they almost always do – perseverance pushes you to keep trying. Why is this a valuable trait to cultivate? Here are ten reasons:
#1 You need perseverance to reach your goals
All goals require effort. Sometimes, very little is needed, though most of the time, goals take quite a bit of work. You also need patience. There are very few good things in life that come quickly. Let’s use a dream job as an example. You will need certain qualifications and work experience. Getting there may require additional education, training, and also time. To stay the course, you need perseverance.
#2 Perseverance carries you through failures
Failure is a part of life. There are very few people who coast through unscathed, but even then, they are bound to come across a situation at some point that challenges them. Failing is an awful feeling. It’s natural to want to avoid that, but the only way to avoid failure is to never try anything. When you approach failure with perseverance, it’s easier to see it as a learning experience. Trying again – even when it’s risky – becomes another opportunity for growth.
#3 Perseverance encourages adaptability
Perseverance is based on trying again and again, but it also encourages flexibility. Perseverant people are also innovative people. They think outside the box in pursuit of their goals. They’re willing to admit when an idea isn’t working and they’ll try something new. This adaptability benefits every area of a person’s life and makes them more resilient in an inherently chaotic world.
#4 Perseverance is a learnable skill
Perseverance is not an inbred trait that some people have and others don’t. Life experiences and community have a big impact on how someone moves through the world, but if you want to be more perseverant, it’s a learnable skill. Resilience training is an important part of that. By making a conscious choice to reframe failures, redirect negative thoughts, and regulate tough emotions, you can improve your resiliency. What’s the difference between perseverance and resilience? Perseverance is continuing toward a goal no matter what, while resilience is the ability to bounce back from challenges. You need resilience to persevere.
#5 Students benefit significantly from perseverance
School-aged kids face a lot of challenges. They not only have to navigate complex social interactions, but they’re constantly learning new things and dealing with pressure about their futures. Perseverance helps them build their self-confidence and find healthy ways to deal with failure. Teachers play an essential role in building a student’s ability to persevere. Students should be praised for effort – not just success – and never shamed for failing.
#6 All successful people are perseverant
There is no such thing as an “overnight success.” Famous authors have old unpublished stories and books collecting dust while inventors have half-finished projects in their garages. By the time someone reaches a goal – whatever it may be- it’s more likely than not something they’ve worked toward for quite some time. While not everyone who perseveres will find fame and fortune, those who do have learned to deal with failure and keep trying.
#7 Perseverance helps you meet exercise goals
Exercise is one of the best things a person can do for their health. Whether it’s brisk walking, running, lifting weights, or yoga, working out benefits our entire bodies. It reduces the risk for serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and more. Most of us could work out more often, but it can be challenging to make time for it and to meet our goals. That’s where perseverance comes in. By recognizing that fitness goals take work and that we’ll face failure, we’re better equipped to keep going when things get tough.
#8 Perseverance can improve your relationships
Relationships – whether they’re romantic, platonic, or familial – are essential to a fulfilled life. Research consistently shows that having a strong community benefits a person’s mental and physical health. You’re more likely to live longer if you have close relationships. Maintaining close relationships can take work. There are conflicts and struggles. Perseverance helps people work out their problems, communicate better, and decide which relationships are worth saving.
#9 Perseverance is linked to better mental health
In 2019, researchers published a study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology that examined over 3,000 adults. These participants had been studied for around two decades. Results showed that people who displayed more perseverance (they didn’t give up on achieving their goals and saw challenges in a positive light) were at a lower risk of depression and anxiety. This information suggests that by focusing on perseverance and resilience, a person could improve their mental health and general outlook on life.
#10 Perseverance has a downside
We’ve explored all the good things about perseverance, but it’s important to know its dark side. Continuing to try and try again isn’t always the best decision because, at some point, the cost outweighs the potential benefit. Consider a romantic relationship. One person is doing all the emotional labor while their partner sits back. The person who is trying doesn’t want to give up because they hope that one day, their partner will “wake up” and it will all be worth it. The longer they stay, the harder it is to leave. In this situation, perseverance has trapped a person. While not giving up is a valuable trait, each situation needs to be examined closely. You need to ask yourself, “Do I even want the thing I’m working for? Is it something that’s truly achievable? Or do I need to let it go?”