Persistency is important in life. But, there are different ways to be persistent. There is the smart way and the not-so-smart way.
Learning from failure
Smart persistency is having a goal in mind and tweaking things in order to get closer to making that goal a reality. It is getting up when you fail and trying again while learning from your mistakes. It is not letting mishaps get you down but rather taking a different approach. Maybe you have applied for the same job over and over again and you just aren’t getting it. Smart persistency is looking at what isn’t working in your job application. Maybe it is re-working your resume or changing up your cover letter. Or, you could be trying to master skiing, or some other sport, and it is just not clicking. It is looking at what is making you fail and trying to improve on it.
Dumb persistency is continuing to try but not making any changes. It is getting down on yourself because you keep failing but not trying to improve in other ways. It is ignoring past mistakes instead of learning from them. It is important that you keep trying but you also need to take a deeper look at what is working and what isn’t. Maybe it is making a list to compare each try, or talking to a friend or colleague to get an outside opinion on the matter. If you continue to try in the exact way you have been, you will most likely continue to face failure.
Being persistent is important. Without persistence, a lot of things in this world would not have been created. If Thomas Edison had given up on the light bulb, it is possible there would be no light bulb. He was persistent in his efforts, and each time he applied something new he had learned from previous failures. Don’t give up, just be smart about it.
What is something you have been persistent about, and ultimately achieved?
This week’s series of posts (read Part 1 and Part 2) has been all about my five-year-old daughter and how she thinks another girl is pretty, and the many opportunities to help her (and myself) learn more about life that have come out of these feelings.
As I mentioned in Part 2, my daughter decorated a card for this girl and attached a pretty plastic ring to it. When she was done with the card she told me she was “scared” to give the card to the girl. I saw this as an opportunity for me to teach her about rejection.
I asked her what she was “scared” of. She said, “what if the girl doesn’t like it or is mean about it.” I gave her some things to think about, and put the situation into perspective:
1.) If it is kind words, you have no need to be scared. The best you can do is be kind to others, and saying nice things — being uplifting— is a good thing.
2.) If someone says “no” to you but remains respectful, we need to respect their choice. Consent is not just for boys. It works across all relationships—whether it be romantically or just a friendship. Everyone has the right to say “no”.
3.) If someone says “no” to you and are disrespectful/mean, you don’t need to worry about what those people think. They aren’t worth your time if they aren’t going to consider your feelings. If they are not going to be nice to you, then you don’t want to be their friend anyway. You deserve to be respected and treated fairly and kindly. Walk away from those situations where you are not treated with respect.
Rejection is hard. No one likes to feel rejected, but it is part of life. Children, just as adults, need to learn how to handle rejection in a healthy manner. They need to understand what is ok and what is not when it comes to how other people treat them, and how they treat others. As adults, it is our job to help them process these situations so they know (1) its ok to be sad, disappointed (2) it is not ok to be treated unkindly, or to treat others unkindly (3) it is ok to say “no”.
Do you remember the first time you felt rejection, how old were you? How did it make you feel? How have you helped your child through a moment of rejection?