Have you ever wondered what it takes to become an Olympic athlete, a NASA astronaut, or a leader in a major organization?
The one trait that all of these individuals likely possess is persistence: the ability to get back up, dust themselves off after a fall, and keep trying. No matter your talent, regardless of your genius and irrespective of your education, persistence is often the trait that sets people apart from their peers in terms of their level of success.
Succeeding at anything in life requires a great deal of effort over a period of time -- very few people simply decide to be the best at their craft and are able to do it without a battle. How do these individuals find the strength to try one more time . . . repeatedly?
1. Be Prepared
Planning for success helps you think through all of the reasons why someone would disagree with your ideas, and also gives you the bulletproof mentality that you're prepared for any question that comes your way. Think of all the reasons why something won't be successful, and then consider arguments against that point. Become your own devil's advocate, and it will be that much easier to find a positive response and an open door for your next request.
2. Be Adaptable
Being adaptable provides you with the mental agility to not hide in a corner when you're kicked to the curb. As Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle Corporation states:
“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts.”
You have to be willing to adapt your thinking and your processes and find a way to create change while not straying from your core ideas. You can't listen to every naysayer, but you can look for the nuggets of wisdom that they share and use that information to your advantage the next time you try to move forward.
3. Be Confident
You may be surprised that confidence is not the first attribute we consider, but the reality is, you need to have a plan in place that you can trust and support before confidence will help you through to success. Confidence in yourself, your family, and your ideas -- as well as a burning passion to make a change in the world -- are what can help you continue on even when it feels as though there's no path forward.
4. Do the Work
Unfortunately, there are few things in life that can replace hard work. Whether that hard work is from an athlete completing the same moves repeatedly for months or even years or a business leader who is told "No" more times than they can count, the ability to simply buckle down and execute on your vision is critical to long-term success.
5. Inspire Others
Perhaps one of the most rewarding things you will ever do with your life is to inspire others to be their best. Take the time throughout your life to inspire others. When you realize how many people you have impacted and how many are watching your success, it's a lot easier to find the strength to try again in difficult times.
Finally, in the words of Thomas Edison: "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." Shouldn't you give it one more shot?