I’ve been working with clients as a coach (fitness, mindset and business) for the past 4(+) years and in that time I’ve witnesses a lot of people win and a lot of people quit. This blog is my take on what differentiates those who persist toward growth and those who don’t. I hope that these words find you well and that in the end, you’ll choose persistence on the path toward your full potential even if you don’t know what that looks like just yet.
Most People Quit
I can speak from personal experience to a few things that I believe to be true.
First, one of the hardest parts about life is figuring out what we want while we attempt to move toward it at the same time. Our desires changes as we change and looking for a “singular, stable purpose” can feel like aiming at a moving target. We need to understand that we can find purpose in every present moment and that impacting others in a positive way doesn’t require a grand, master plan.
Second, it’s been said that there are no straight lines in nature and the same holds true for our path through life. We often think in linear terms, connecting the present moment to future hopes – however, that’s not how life works. Much like a river winds through rock and a sprout weaves it’s way toward the sun, we too will zig-zag forward. That last word is the most important piece – as we twist and turn, we must attempt to orient ourselves with our best information and attempt move forward.
Third, growth is uncomfortable and it requires that we wade through messiness. The people who can persist are the ones who have a driving force that is greater than the obstacles in the way. That reason to keep going has to be bigger than just us because life is bigger than just us. We have to adopt perspective that allows us to see the bigger picture in order to endure hardship well.
Fourth, too often (myself included), we give into the temptation of playing victim when circumstances are challenging. Most of life is outside of our control and when we focus only on what we can control, life just gets better – not easier. We need to surrender the things that we can’t change in order to make actual change.
Fifth, we might never have all of the answers and that can make our efforts feel futile. The willingness to plant seeds without the expectation of (or need for) harvest separates the best from the rest. We need to be at peace with the truth that it often takes many seeds before one takes and grows – be patient and be persistent.
Sixth, most people are afraid to take the next step when they can’t see the full path. The truth is that inaction wastes the most valuable resource that we have (time) and that experience is our best teacher. We need to be willing to take action and trust that each step will reveal the next (we can’t connect the dots looking forward).
Last, great things take time and consistent effort compounds. Most people give up too soon – before the effort has had a chance to build on itself. I’m convinced that informed persistence, despite a clear path forward is what leads us to fulfillment, impact and a life well-lived. We need to embrace the truth that there is no strength without struggle and that comfort is a slow death.
If you’re unsure of how to persist, I’m always here to listen (and talk) – in that order. One of the best parts about coaching is being able to walk with people through “the gap” between where they are right now and where they want to be (even if that’s unclear). It’s great to have goals but remember, goals help guide our action but the real magic happens in the process (not in the outcomes).
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