Encouragementology

The Right Recipe, Patience & Persistence

February 11, 2020

How can you slow down and let things come to you yet maintain a level of persistence and not give up? It’s a great challenge for all of us and who doesn’t like a challenge? What end of this scale do you struggle with most? Is it different depending on the situation? Let’s test ourselves and see where things get a bit lopsided. Remember, you’re in charge of the way you proceed, the pace & timing as well as the tenacity and grit. Let's find the right recipe for patience & persistence. 

Someone once told me I was politely persistent instead of pushy. It might have been one of the nicest descriptions for my efforts. I’ve been in sales virtually my whole life so professionally, I always walk that line. There are outcomes and expectations set for me every year, every quarter, every month. Persistence is a must and patience hard to practice. I feel like politely persistent was a clever way of letting me know that I had found that balance. Professionally, check but personally it’s something I struggle with daily. 

For me, the scale is always tipped to persistence. I’m very goal-driven and always willing to put in the work to make things happen and NOW. But the return on investment can be a waiting game and that’s where I fall short. The minute something doesn’t meet my expectations and proposed timeline, I start to self-doubt. Was this really a good idea? Maybe I rushed the process? Maybe it’s not going to work? 

The keywords here are “my expectations”.  I’m disappointed and doubting my ideas and myself because I couldn’t meet my own expectations. Obviously there is a nugget in there that is begging to be explored but let’s build a visual here. If the scale is tipped and the patience is on the ground where is the persistence? It should be all the way at the top but that isn’t indicative of human nature. When self-doubt creeps in and everything comes to a halt. Instead of pushing harder we drop everything and walk away chalking it up to a bad idea or worse, a measurement of our own effort and worth. 

How many times have you hit some resistance and bailed on your idea? How many critics does it take to make you go another way?

Self-confidence is the confidence in your own abilities. You want to know how to do something, you research, learn, practice, and do. You do it over and over with success and now you have confidence in your ability to do that well. You are self-confident when it comes to that. 

Self-esteem is the cognitive and emotional appraisal of your own worth. Your self-esteem is directly tied to the way you think, feel, and act. It also determines your relationship with yourself and others. 

When I hit a snag and am plagued with a moment of self-doubt I try and stop myself from allowing the worse case scenarios from taking over. Doesn’t that always happen? It’s like a movie playing out. Something doesn’t work as you planned or expected and you start questioning every other aspect. And if it stopped at questioning we’d be ok. We don’t have all the answers at this point so, in a normal scenario, the questions would be left unanswered. But that isn’t good enough, we have to play it out.  ..."Then this will happen and then I’m SURE this will happen, and then that certainly won’t so I will lose everything!" Whoa - reel it in and deal with one obstacle at a time. 

Part of your plan should include space to handle setbacks. When your timeline is so aggressive and rigid that one NO will throw the whole thing off, you need to add in some wiggle room. During this time you can evaluate your current plan and decide if it’s just a waiting game or you need to re-engineer your approach. You might need to abort it all together and go to Plan B but without time and space and the mental safety net, you might hit the ground hard and give up. 

Plan B isn’t going into the journey lacking self-confidence. It’s respecting your vision and fueling your persistence. Why go back to the drawing board? That seems like starting completely over. How about a change of plans - fully thought out plans. This may help keep your self-confidence intact to get you over the hump. 

Practicing patience can get you through the long stretches of space. The waiting game. You have a great idea, you’ve done the necessary research and planning, all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed but why isn’t anyone as excited about this as you are? What about the plan that has 10 steps but between 4-5 there is a huge gap of unforeseen waiting? Not in your control but yet, you’re waiting. How do you keep your spirits high and soldier on?

Every one of us wants to hit it out of the park on the first swing. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have gotten up to bat. No one starts out on the journey to a life goal wanting to hit adversity, miss milestones, and plan for failure. We want to win! 

But taking a step back and gaining a new advantage, might help you see that it’s all part of your life’s plan. Yesterday I was thinking, WOW time is going so quickly! Weeks are flying by which means a year’s end comes before you know it. Someone once said to me, “time must pass quickly for you” - it made me stop and think. What she meant was my life was so full of goals and projects that I never set idle and she was right. 

Before I started this topic I told myself that I needed to slow down. I am so focused on timelines and what I have coming up that I’m missing where I am. I don’t want life to pass me by being proud that I hit a milestone with accuracy. I want to enjoy each moment it takes to get there. To do this will require adjusting the timeline and being a little easier on myself. 

I think we’ve found the right recipe and are ready to concoct a successful plan! Each idea plays a critical part in us being triumphant. Without a healthy self-concept, this journey will be difficult if at even started. Take time to build a solid plan based on research and the necessary steps to reach each milestone. Build-in space to wait and to listen. Your timing rarely works so don’t get distracted in the silence. Have a Plan B and don’t be afraid to use it. 

Enjoy the ride. Don’t be so focused on the end goal that you miss new opportunities and overlook what you have now. 

Time is too precious and the only thing we don’t have enough of. Don’t be so hyperfocused on getting ahead that you miss the truly amazing moments that happen every day.  

I have an app on my watch that reminds me to breathe - I had one that reminded me to stand up and I already turned that one, off. I also have a sign on my bulletin board that says “drink more water.” I do wish I would look at that one more often. I think I will add one that says “look around”. Sometimes I get so focused on my work that I forget to look up and look around, notice the day, and look outside. This is going to be the start. Just, notice the day. 

CHALLENGE: Find a healthy balance. Take an inventory to find where you are depleted or coming up short and tip the scales. Persistence only works when you feel confident in your plan and satisfied in yourself. 

 

I Know YOU Can Do It!

 

Resources:

Fast Company: 7 Habits of Highly Persistent People

Dr. Neel Burton

Adam Sicinski founder of IQ Matrix

Ally Palmer on Tiny Buddha