Hello sweet readers, I hope you're having a great start to your day! Every week I've been sharing my journey of going through The Success Principles Workbook in an effort to get from where I am to where I want to be.
This week, I'm going over Chapter 11 which is titled "Practice Persistence." Before diving into this study, I know this is something I often did as a younger and very energetic journalist, and I can tell you that persistence paid off!
I was in my early to mid 20s when I was working for the NBC-affiliate in Phoenix Arizona, but I was stationed two hours north in a city of 60,000 people called Flagstaff. I was a baby reporter tied to the 12th largest TV market in the U.S. and my boss told me that I was not good enough to be on TV yet. They sent me out to countless locations every day to film, write and edit stories that didn't have my presence on it. One day, a huge story broke out in St. Johns, a tiny town of 3600 about about two hours east of where I was based. I got the call to go there as soon as possible and to start gathering as much information as I can. I arrived before any other media could from Phoenix and started documenting the scene of a double homicide- an eight-year-old boy had shot and killed his dad and his dad's best friend. Over the next couple of months I practically lived in that town, working super long hours and only coming home on the weekends to do laundry. At times I felt like giving up because I was emotionally and mentally exhausted from covering this very disturbing case. I was also harassed by people who lived there, because they did not like the media. But I told myself that my station trusted me enough to be there, so I would often help Photographers and more senior Reporters prepare for their assignments after I was done with my early morning work shifts. My constant willingness to do the extra work to help my colleagues during that time didn't go unnoticed. Without my knowledge, my co-workers told the big boss about what I had done, and that led to my golden ticket to move down to Phoenix as a Traffic Anchor and Reporter as well as the opportunity of a lifetime to be the only person from Phoenix to cover the 2010 Winter Olympics.
If there's one quality that differentiates successful people more than anything else, it's that they persist and don't give up. They continue to chip at their goal no matter how discouraged they may get at times. Quitting is just not an option. Obstacles are opportunities for growth, and it's just a matter of time before we reach the final destination.
In order to practice persistence, we have to make a promise to ourselves that we will never quit. No matter what. Difficulties and setbacks will come our way, and they may slow us down, but we need to make the effort to take the next step despite them. And when we finally achieve our goal after our continued pursuit of it for days, years, and sometimes years, the feeling of satisfaction will be simply unmatched.
Here are three tips the workbook shares for when we feel like giving up:
Acknowledge and accept that having to deal with challenges, difficulties, setbacks and failures is a natural part of the process.
Be ready and willing to respond to any challenges that arise and make any necessary corrections based on the feedback we receive.
Be prepared with a Plan B. Take time before we begin to think of all the obstacles we might face, all the things that could go wrong, and all the challenges that could come up - then formulate a plan for how we will respond to each one, if they should occur.
We all have to go through a learning curve when we pursue a goal that we've never achieved before. We have to put in the time, effort, and be willing to experience periods of discomfort during our journey. The book guides us through some strategies that can help us to persevere:
Give Rewards Along the Way - They're like carrots dangling along the road path to success! Large goals are so much less intimidating when broken up into smaller ones. When we're done with each small goal, let's treat ourselves! For me that looks like a massage, a day off to go screaming on roller coasters, or eating surf and turf with a view of the ocean.
Seek Inspiration - Surround ourselves with motivating people can give us a huge energy boost. I have a small group of friends I tap into individually from time to time. I know no matter what season they're in, they have an attitude of gratitude and can lift me up if I'm having a bad day.
Read Inspirational Stories - Listening to audiobooks during my walks helps me to get out of my own negative thinking. I recently finished Oprah's book called "The Path Made Clear." I really enjoyed it because it features so many inspiring individuals who Oprah has interviewed in the past. I also reread Jack Canfield's The Success Principles multiple times and loved the personal stories that were featured in the book.
Listen to Music and Songs That Uplift - I'm partial to Christian music (Christian Tomlin, Lauren Daigle and Tauren Wells are my current favorites), but I also love listening to Disney soundtracks featuring strong female leads as well as the soundtracks to Hamilton and The Greatest Showman.
Watch Inspirational and Motivational Movies - With the recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, my husband and I watched the documentary that was recently released on Hulu. I was also very inspired by the movie that was based on her life called On the Basis of Sex. I also watched multiple documentaries about Mister Rogers as well as the feature film that was inspired by his life called A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
The workbook leads us to an exercise where we answer this three times:
Think of a time when you persisted and reached your goal
What was the challenge?
What did you do to persevere?
What did you achieve?
What did you learn from this experience?
We're supposed to look back at our answers when we face challenges.
A final exercise is called Write Your Own Success Story - "How I Overcame Challenges to Reach My Breakthrough Goal." Here are the prompts:
Go back to our Breakthrough Goal from Chapter 4
Describe an imagined moment in the future when we are so excited because we have just achieved our Breakthrough Goal or some other really important goal.
What's the date?
What is the strongest positive feeling you have as a result?
How does this success change how you view yourself?
Continuing to imagine you are in the future - and that you've reached your goal - describe the biggest challenge you had to overcome to get there - and how you overcame it.
At the end of every chapter, there is a section in the back of the workbook where we complete one final exercise. For Ch. 11, we're asked to write something we can refer back to if we ever think about quitting.
My positive intention to persist in spite of any future obstacle is:
I hope this chapter gives you some tools to use during the down days. It was a good confirmation for me because I've gotten into the habit of doing a lot of what the book mentions. I can tell you from first-hand experience that these steps work if you go through with them. So, good luck, and see you again next week!