“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
30th president of US (1872 – 1933)
Persistence is vital to any endeavour. How does one “Press On” when you are overwhelmed, riddled with self-doubt and worried sick about the consequences. I’ve have been there and know these dragons intimately. They last visited me on Monday and this time I was ready. You see I have learned a trick or two about taming them and regaining my composure so as I CAN PRESS ON. Perhaps they will help you as well.
Stay in the Present…in the NOW!
We humans are notorious time travelers in our heads. We cling to the past because we believe who we are today is a product of what has happened to us in the past. Then we throw to the future because we can see HOPE in the distance. Maybe life can be a different way. We think: If we DO the thing we will HAVE the thing and then we will BE Happy! NEWSFLASH – Life doesn’t work that way! There is only so much you can achieve by Doing.
If you have one foot in the past and the other in the future, the view from today is not pleasant. Try this instead. Change the context. Instead of Being a product of your past why not BE who you want to be in the future? If you determine your actions today in context of who you want to BE rather than what you want to HAVE magic will happen. You will start drawing into your life what it is that you need to Be That. Now you can operate in the NOW because you are already Being that person. Yes, it is a decision. MAKE IT NOW!
Focus…Do one thing at a time and complete the job.
Sounds simply doesn’t it…except for those times when you’ve prioritized all the tasks you must do and they are ALL urgent and ALL important! Or the time when you have a hundred things to do and your boss walks in and says, “This is Top Priority I need it done by close of business today!” and then your partner calls, “Can you pick Jack up from school he’s not well and I’m stuck”. Yes, we’ve all been there and in my past, this would have preempted a meltdown.
It doesn’t have to be that way. This is where your values matter. When dealing with competing priorities look to your personal values and ask yourself what matters most to YOU? Who will be there for YOU? Yes, there are always consequences and they are seldom as bad as you imagine they are going to be. Work out what is the worst possible consequence and ask yourself can you live with that? Let me tell, you because I have been there and done that, betraying your own personal values has far more devastating effects than anything any boss can legally do to you! In any case with very few exceptions your boss is a human as well and if your values don’t align with their values your career with that employer will be very short lived regardless! If you are your own boss…well you get the picture!
In short, work out what is to be done next and DO that well. Then DO the next thing…remember you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.
Relax…Breathe…less haste more speed.
If you panic your lizard brain takes over. You will slip into a Fight or Flight physiology. Blood will be pumped to your arms, legs and vital organs in readiness for the upcoming fight and away from your brain. Right when you need to be at your smartest you start thinking like a monkey because your brain is starved of the oxygen it needs and is flooded with Adrenalin! Good work NOT! Once you’ve gone there you must wait until the adrenalin has subsided before you can start thinking at capacity again. Best you don’t go there. Again, Been There Done That NOT GOOD!
The easiest way to Not go there is to breathe deeply. You can do that sitting at your desk. Try it right now breathe in all the way through your nose, hold it and breathe out through your mouth. Again…feels good doesn’t it… keep doing it until you feel relaxed. You are dragging more oxygen into your lungs, consequentially your blood, consequentially your brain. You are also giving your brain time to work. Our brains don’t necessarily do their best thinking when instructed to do so. Often the very act of relaxing enables the brain to bring forward a solution you would not have logically thought of. Your brain is a lot more like your parents than your friends. It knows things you don’t know it knows, and it cares more about your survival and prosperity than you do!
Believe in You! Self-doubt is a killer.
If you couldn’t do the job you wouldn’t be in the job…so DO THE JOB!
If you doubt this statement refer above “…there are always consequences and they are seldom as bad as you imagine they are going to be. Work out what is the worst possible consequence and ask yourself can you live with that?” Biting off more than you can chew gives you growth. You might not always get everything right, so what? Management Guru Peter Drucker claimed a good manager should get 6-8 decisions out of 10 right. Any fewer than 6 and there maybe competency issues any more than 8 and they are not making enough decisions.
If you don’t trust yourself why should anyone else trust you! What have you got to lose? Refer above, work that out, give up caring about it and GO FOR IT! You will be amazed at what you can achieve simply be deciding and that brings us to point 5.
Take Action…as much as you can. YOU Are Good Enough!
Taking all the above into account Take Action. Nothing will happen until you Take Action. Nothing will change until you Take Action.
What constitutes Action? Checking out the origin of the word gives us from 14th century French “to do” in the 16th century it took on the mean “Fighting” and in 1923 it was first used in the movies, finally around 1968 it was assigned the mean “Excitement”. Action –Excitement created by doing or fighting for something. Taking Action does not have to be a burden, it should not be a burden and it won’t be a burden if it is action taken in line with your core values and thus congruent with who you really are and what you really want.
Taking Action will immediately change the game. It will lower your stress level and provide you will a clearer vision of what lies ahead. Very often in the light of having Taken Action problems and issues that looked insurmountable melt away.
“Journey of 1000 mile begins with 1 step”
Take the step begin your journey. To help you on your road click on the link below to join the conversation at Andriea and download a free 5 Steps Of Persistence