Persist When Change is Slow and Bumpy


Who do you see when you think about someone never giving up as they reach for their goal?

I think of Scrat (a squirrel-rat) from the children’s movie Ice Age. Food is scarce, and he never gives up on reaching the last acorn. It doesn’t matter how many times he drops it or falls, Scrat always has his eye on the goal. He tackles each obstacle with bold fearlessness.

Scrat does get frustrated but he persists. How persistent are you when your goals are hard to reach? If you get frustrated, do you turn to a quick fix? If yes, you have probably been moving in circles. You find short term relief yet need to start the change process all over again.

Instead of going in circles, develop your own persistence machine in your mind. Cultivate your own wisdom about how you learn and change. In doing so, you will be more objective about change.

Wisdom for Persistence:

I am not as bold and fearless as Scrat. I can move in circles until I find my own way to keep moving despite discomfort and obstacles. These thoughts help me stay on course when I’m reaching for goals that seem out of reach:

  • Recognize Change Takes Time – When we are uncomfortable, we look for quick fixes and short cuts. We can’t hurry change, but we can push through the discomfort to keep moving toward our long-term goal.
  • Movement Towards Your Goal Varies – And progress toward change isn’t typically a straight line. We have good and bad days. Look for overall progress to gain, more than getting stuck in how you feel on a certain day.
  • Set High Value Goals – Make goals that are more important to you than your discomfort. If you focus on goals that you highly value, it will be easier to do it even when you don’t want to.
  • Turn Off Self-Critical Voice – If you are someone who can easily get stuck in negative self-evaluation, find ways to turn this negativity off. Get back to focusing on sureness and progress more than mistakes.
  • Stay in Present Moment – Focus on what you can do today, instead of worrying about the future outcome. You can deal with what is more than your what if’s.

Cultivate Your Own Wisdom:

Think of what you are trying to change. Are you encountering progress toward your goals as a bumpy ride? Know that it is possible for each of us to adapt and ride the waves of change. Progress may not be quick but you keep moving toward your acorn.

Before you try on my wisdom, know that this won’t carry you through what you are trying to change. My ideas will only work for a limited time. Cultivate your own wisdom by finding what works for you to persist despite obstacles.

What thoughts sustain you when change gets hard?


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Photo Credit: “Reach” by James Jordan

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