Persistence: what is it, examples, differences from stubbornness

The main feature of most successful people is not genius or luck, but the most common persistence. Of course, talent and knowledge will not be superfluous, but only persistent and purposeful work leads to significant results. Therefore, today we will analyze in detail what persistence is and why it is so important, how persistence differs from stubbornness, and we will also find out how to develop persistence.

What is persistence?

From the point of view of psychology, persistence is a personal quality, which consists in the ability to purposefully solve a task, overcoming any internal and external obstacles. An assertive personality not only works hard to achieve a goal, but also learns from his mistakes and failures, instead of being upset and wasting time on unproductive experiences.

One of the main abilities of an assertive person is the ability to prioritize. He prefers to receive valuable rewards in the future and does not sacrifice prospects for the sake of momentary pleasures.

Persistence is one of the most important qualities necessary for achieving success in life. In this regard, she surpasses any innate talents and abilities. Many people are naturally endowed with perfect pitch, “golden” hands, photographic memory and other talents, but only those who have enough perseverance can realize them.

This trait consists of such qualities as:

  1. Patience. A persistent person knows that in order to achieve great goals you have to work very long, often without getting any intermediate results.
  2. Self-reliance. If a person doubts success, it is much more difficult for him to work productively, therefore, self-confidence and self-confidence is very important.
  3. Purposefulness. It is important to understand what goal you are working on, and to choose exactly those actions that contribute to the most effective achievement of this goal.
  4. Strength of will. It is necessary so that a person does not lose determination when faced with difficulties.
  5. Mindfulness. At every moment of time, a persistent person clearly understands what task he is currently facing.
  6. Calm. Anxiety interferes with productive activity, so it is very important to work calmly and measuredly, knowing that every step brings you closer to your goal.
  7. Prudence. This ability is important for the ability to prioritize. When choosing what to do, a person should be guided by logic and common sense, and not by momentary desires.
  8. Perseverance. Basically, it is the ability to perceive failure, mistakes, and big bumps as essential steps on the road to success .
  9. A responsibility. Some people who are not usually tenacious can be incredibly persistent in situations where they feel responsible towards others.
  10. Hard work. Love of work and the ability to work conscientiously also affect the ability to achieve goals.

Persistence depends on the character and temperament of a person, as well as on his upbringing. If parents show their child a worthy example and explain to him how important this character trait is in solving various problems, his chances of growing up as an assertive person increase significantly.

Differences between persistence and stubbornness

Persistence and stubbornness should not be confused or equated. A persistent person clearly understands what goal is in front of him, and purposefully moves towards it. A stubborn person often has no goal at all, and his actions and decisions are chaotic. For this reason, persistence useful for getting results, but stubbornness often confuses people and makes them look stupid.

Despite the fact that many people confuse these two concepts, intuitively everyone knows the difference between persistence and stubbornness. Therefore, everyone is usually drawn to purposeful and persistent personalities, while stubborn people pretty soon begin to irritate others. It is desirable for each person to take this into account, controlling so that his perseverance does not turn into meaningless stubbornness.

What does persistence do?

Each person strives to achieve success in all areas of life. And it is perseverance that is the decisive factor on which it depends whether he will be able to fully implement all his plans. Thanks to her, a person is able to purposefully follow his own path, solve emerging problems, develop continuously and not give up when faced with difficulties.

If a person has enough perseverance to always achieve their goals, this helps to increase his self-esteem. He knows that he is able to overcome any obstacles, and this helps him to cope with difficulties. At the same time, a person who often gives up due to a lack of perseverance over time suffers more and more from self-doubt and self-doubt.

Examples of persistence from life

There are several examples of people who are the benchmark for persistence. For instance:

Thomas Edison

The inventor of the incandescent lamp (and many other devices) is known for incredible persistence. Everyone knows the quote: “I have not failed. I have successfully found 5000 methods that do not work, and now I am 5000 steps closer to the result ”(this phrase is given in different variations and with different numbers, since the inventor repeated it many times). He is also credited with another famous quote about perseverance: “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent sweating.”

Joanne Rowling

Today, the author of the Harry Potter story is one of the richest women in the world, and she achieved this only through perseverance. She began working on her creation in very difficult conditions. As a single mother, J.K. Rowling struggled financially and set herself the goal of getting out of poverty with her writing talent.

Today we know what a stunning success her work awaited. She could not know this, and yet she devoted all her free time to working on the book. And when the first manuscript was ready, it turned out that it was not so easy to find a publisher. Again and again she was refused, but the writer did not give up and still managed to find someone who realized that the book was destined to become a bestseller.

Walt Disney

The most famous and successful cartoonist in history Rii began his career as a cartoonist for a small newspaper. One day, the manager simply fired him, believing that he lacked the talent and imagination to draw good cartoons. But this did not break Disney, and he decided to create his own animation company.

Alas, quite soon his company went bankrupt, only aggravating the financial situation of the future multiplier. After that, he tried to break into Hollywood for a long time, offering various studios the character he created – Mickey Mouse. Today we know how successful he ended up being, but then it took Disney incredible persistence to push through all the rejections.

How to develop persistence?

We have already found that persistence is one of the most beneficial personality traits. Of course, it largely depends on temperament, character and upbringing. But even an adult is quite capable of becoming much more persistent by purposefully working on oneself. To do this, it is enough to remember and follow a few simple recommendations:

  1. Be prepared for difficulties. Thomas Edison, mentioned above, knew how to perceive every failure as a valuable experience and the next step on the path to success. This is worth learning from him, because the path to the goal is always thorny, and every successful person understands and accepts this.
  2. Remember, big things take a lot of effort. If you set high goals for yourself, be prepared to work hard to achieve them.
  3. Tackle challenging tasks. Most people try to choose easier tasks, fearing that they will not cope with difficult ones. If a person consciously chooses the most difficult ones, over time he develops an understanding that he is able to cope with any difficulties.
  4. Don’t put off work. One of the main enemies of persistence is procrastination. Our brain is designed in such a way that if we postpone some difficult task, then over time it becomes more difficult for us to start solving it. Therefore, if you know that there is a certain work to be done, start it immediately.
  5. Motivate yourself. Motivation is an important part of persistence. Therefore, regularly remind yourself of the things, promising events, desires and dreams that motivate you.
  6. Use the 15 (30, 60) minute rule. This is a great tool to deal with even strong reluctance to work. Just devote to the task exactly 15 minutes (or 30, or 60), without being distracted by anything at all. It’s not difficult at all, but it can happen that you get carried away and do a lot more work than you planned.
  7. Don’t spray. In the modern world, it is difficult to concentrate on an important task, since we are distracted by dozens of micro-tasks of varying degrees of importance. We check mail, reply to messages, see what the weather will be in the evening. Often this is all really important to us. But these micro-tasks are distracting and prevent us from focusing on one really important task, to which we should devote all our time.
  8. Reward yourself. After completing even a small task, do not forget about the reward. Perhaps not all people are pleased to realize that we have the same primitive instincts as Pavlov’s dog, but this is so. Fortunately, this natural mechanism can be used for your own benefit, “consolidating” each success with a pleasant bonus. The main condition is that the reward should be directly associated with the success achieved.
  9. Develop good habits. Start exercising, for example, go for a compulsory run every morning (or evening). You can also solve math problems every day, developing not only willpower, but also intellectual abilities.
  10. Record your progress. Having coped with the next difficulty, you can write down this success in a special diary. And every time when doubts arise in their own abilities, it is worth opening this diary and reviewing your achievements. The creator of this technique, Bodo Schaefer, recommends writing down 5 pleasant facts every day, such as accomplishments, personal achievements, compliments from other people, etc.


Perseverance is one of the most important qualities of a successful person. Possessing it, you can effectively comprehend new knowledge and gain valuable skills that will contribute to career, personal and other achievements. Whatever talents nature has endowed a person with, without perseverance he will not be able to achieve success. Fortunately, you can develop persistence even as an adult. It is enough to follow the simple recommendations that we discussed above.