Is persistence the key to success?

Is persistence the key to success? I was really moved whilst watching Bear Grylls with President Obama on his trip to Alaska.

I know Obama isn’t popular with many people but if you listen to what he is saying in this episode, he makes real sense. He’s a father and he mentions how important it is for him to spend quality time with his kids. I can’t imagine some of the decisions he makes on a daily basis but he talks about eating dinner with his children every night he is at home. He says how this helps him to keep perspective in his life. I agree with him. Enjoying the simple things in life and feeling grateful for what I have really helps keep me positive and strong.

As a life coach, I help clients explore what they would love to achieve in their life: what they would like to do differently and what could possibly stop them. One important factor that I encourage people to realise is, that it is ok to change direction and it is normal to have failures. The important thing is that you never stop trying. If you have persistence then you will have success. At one point in the show Bear Grylls asks the president:

“What have you learned about getting things done?”

Obama answered:

Persistence. I am a big believer in persistence. In war-torn areas, the children who survive and thrive are not necessarily the smartest or strongest kids but they are the most resilient ones. A lot of stuff you try in life isn’t going to work but if you stay determined, typically you can make real progress

I love this.

When I coach individuals I tell them that it is ok to have set backs and this, in fact, is how you eventually get success. Obama mentioned that it also “helps to have an even keel”. I think this is significant because that is exactly what I aim for in some of my coaching sessions.

When I first meet individuals they sometimes seem to have problems that are holding them back like: anxiety, OCD and lack of confidence to mention a few. If this is the case, I help them to gain valuable insight into their underlying problems and limiting beliefs. ‘We are what we think we are’ – and here lies the problem with most people who are finding life difficult. They get stuck.

But they can learn to help themselves, and what I do is help them to believe that they can change the way they think. They can change habits of a life time and they can regain ‘an even keel’ with persistence and determination. They can thrive from the inside and achieve their goals.

Since becoming a life coach and embracing the concepts positive psychology, I have learned how to thrive and this has helped me both personally and professionally. I now feel like I have more resilience and strength of my convictions. I don’t seem to dwell and worry about things that I have no control over and I feel much more confident and happy from the inside.

Michael Jordan famously said:

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

I have no doubt that Michael Jordan and President Obama have the internal resources and an abundant persistence that helps them to be so focussed and resilient. I have no doubt that they are continually ‘Thriving’.