Persistence is Important for Building Resilience by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

 There are many reasons that people don’t reach their goals. The one that is likely the most common is that we simply give up before we reach what we set out to do. Often we give up just before we are to experience success. Our culture has developed a belief that we should be able to accomplish those things we desire quickly and without a lot of time.

Rather than looking for a fast way to reach our goals, we would all be better off if we looked at each failure as a lesson to learn what to do differently in the future.  When you fail to reach your goals in the time you originally allotted, you might come away from that failure feeling demotivated. However, if you use that failure as an opportunity to see what changes you need to make the second time around, your second attempt will be a more educated and productive one. You may also learn that reaching your goals simply takes more time than you originally believed.  This is very often the case.

Recognizing where you went wrong in your attempts to meet your goals increases your chances of success exponentially the next time around. When you work at every goal in a methodical way, noting the problems and challenges as you go, you head back into a challenge with a wealth of information that can help you get better every time. With new awareness, you’re less likely to make the same mistakes twice, though you may make new ones on a second attempt.

In addition, we learn from failures because we find other possibilities that we had never thought about. We’ve all heard stories about how some of the greatest inventions of our time were failures at first. Superglue, microwaves and even penicillin were all inventions that were dubbed failures because they did not fill the originally planned goals. Yet, these are inventions that our society has now dubbed necessities.

Finally, persistence in pursuing your goals even after failed attempts helps you to grow as a person and a leader. You gain resourcefulness and learn to think outside the box. In addition, you build character from continuing to pursue your dreams even when reaching them seems impossible.

The most successful leaders and inventors are those who have mastered something great after many failed attempts. Not only do these leaders learn new techniques and refine their skills as they try harder each time, but they build personality traits that will help them as they move on to the next pursuit, as well.