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4 attacks from inside that keep us from persisting

PerseveranceThe difference between persistence and perseverance is generally speaking persistence calls for strength and endurance from those things that attack us from within ourselves while perseverance calls for strength and endurance from attacks that come from outside ourselves.  What gets in the way of our persistence?  We will name 4 internal things that get in the way of our reaching our goals that happen to everyone – it is how we deal with it that makes the difference.

The number one hindrance to persistence – FEAR.  Fear of failing, not being smart enough, success and the responsibilities that would bring, disappointing, embarrassment, change.

The number two hindrance to persistence – OVERWHELM.  Too many goals, things to do, requests for our time, projects.  Our focus is spread too thin and procrastination sets in.

The number three hindrance to persistence – CHARACTER (our own).  Lacking in self control, discipline, ficus, enthusiasm, imagination, initiative, cooperation.

The number four hindrance to persistence – PEER PRESSURE.  Others telling us we should relax more, play more, not to work so hard, or that it is not worth the time and effort we are putting into the goal.

Our first step in learning persistent actions is understanding our strongest enemy – what is happening inside ourselves.  Awareness of what makes us give up on a goal is the first step in taking action.  Look for our description on how each of these can affect our reaching our goals.


Persistence – Annoying or Positive Quality

Children-who-nagMy first look at persistence was not a positive one.  As a parent I remember persistence only in an annoying way.  I can only remember being asked for something or to do something until I could not stand it anymore.  If you have children now – you know what I am talking about.  Can I…, I want this… it just goes on and on from our kids.  It doesn’t get easier when they get older.  As a young teen they want to go here and there and do things – some of which just do not work for us parents either schedule wise or philosophically.  But with persistence they attempt to wear us down till they get the answer they want.

It is that experience that makes me remind our students over and over again that respect is hearing the answer NO and accepting it for the final answer.  Or if we are practicing assertiveness asking for the reason – but on getting that answer, accepting it as the parents best they can do at that time.  There is a big difference between persistence and nagging.

Persistence however is a great quality that we want to encourage in our children, may I say also in ourselves.  Persistence is continuing to study, asking questions until we understand, practicing and asking for help – not giving up even when our brain is giving us excuses for not continuing.

Balancing persistence with respect for others is a practice for us to have.  For children the respect they show for parents and their right to make decisions is a part of a healthy family.  For those who are married or in a relationship, balancing the needs of our spouse or family with our own persistence for reaching a goal we have is showing respect.  At the same time, respecting the goals of our spouse and allowing them the space to be persistent in their personal goals is part of a healthy relationship.

Persistence will help us reach the end of our life and know that we have applied ourselves to the things that are important to us and not feel as if we caved in to the pressures around us.  Nagging or ignoring the needs of others is simply annoying.


Persistence vs. Perseverance

perseverance vs persistenceWhen I first looked at the word for this month, Persistence, I wondered to myself – ‘what is the difference between persistence and perseverance?’   Both seem to be about reaching a goal and the goal not coming easy.  Both require discipline, focus and determination.  I thought about it for hours, trying to determine how to deal with this subject with our students.

The first requirement for successfully reaching a goal is to have a goal, a purpose / mission that we are committed to and have a strong desire to reach.

Once we have a goal or chief aim in our mind we must have perseverance, because there will be things that come up that will block the easy path to that goal.  We may get sick, not have the financial resources.  We may get hurt or other situations may arise outside our realm of control that could easily make us believe that we cannot continue.  It may seem that it is just not ‘meant to be’  due to these circumstances or events and therefore easy to give up.  Perseverance is not allowing these outside forces dissuade us from pursuing our mission or specific goal.

Persistence is also needed but is far more internal.  We may have a goal in mind that we believe in and want to accomplish, that while may be possible, may also be very difficult or require more time, energy or creativity than we expected.  Persistence is the quality that keeps us going, even when others have given up.  It is reexamining our motives and desires and pressing forward – to find the answer or accomplish the goal.  Our desire is so strong that when one way of approaching the challenge does not work we do not give up – rather we look at it from a different point of view.  Our desire to reach the goal continues to drive us even if the process become monotonous or even boring.  Our internal drive does not stop.

There are times when perseverance and persistence no longer make sense and we need to adjust our goal in some manner.  Most of the time though both of these character traits will help us accomplish our mission or purpose when put into practice in a balanced manner.


Life Skills: Persistence – The Definition

Word of monthEach month we will discuss a life skill with all of our students. This month the word is Persistence.  This word will be defined in the following ways for our students.

Young students: Persistence means: “No matter how tough, I won’t give up!

Older students: Persistence means:  The determination to keep going even when faced with challenges or initial failure.

Each age group has a worksheet that parents can use to continue the discussion at home with their children, and one for adults to allow them to think more deeply about the skill and how it applies to them. Would you like to receive the worksheet? Stop by our studio at 133 Gibralter Avenue in Annapolis, MD and tell us the age of your child. We will give you a worksheet and invite you to watch Mr. Joe discuss the word with the students in class.  You can also follow our discussions here on this website.

If you would like to become a member of Balanced Life Skills, come TRY CLASSES FOR FREE.   We are not your typical martial arts school, in fact we are an education center, working with our students on physical skills along with empowering families with compassion, awareness and respect – creating a culture of peace. We believe in every child and build their self – confidence.  Balanced Life Skills takes part in community service and encourages each student to do the same.

Come in and talk to the parents that are here and watch the class for the age group you are interested in.  Learn about the Balanced Life Skills Way.


Are You THAT Parent?

We have all seen them, the bad sports parent. You know the one I am talking about: the mom or dad who gets so caught up in winning (or losing) and on how well their child is performing that they forget the most important part of competing… being a good sport.  THAT parent who constantly yells out commands to their kid, “Stop kicking the dirt. Pay attention Johnny, look alive! Put your hat back on. What are you doing out there?’ Or maybe THAT parent the one who blames everyone else if his child messes up; “Are you kidding me ref do you need glasses? That was a foul!!!”  Then there is the worse of them all; THAT parent, the one who shouts insults and passive aggressive comments at the players of the other team, saying things like, “my grandmother can bat better than that!”

Most likely you are not the one who is yelling at the umpire or calling the opposing team’s pitcher a few choice words, but, you still could be THAT parent. “Not me!” you may be thinking, I would never be THAT parent. I respect the coaches and the referee’s decisions and I always encourage my kid to do the same. Or do you?

couchpotatoIts Sunday afternoon football and you have been waiting all week for this game. You are sitting back relaxing in your easy chair when your team’s quarterback throws the ball that is intercepted and the opposing team runs it all the way for a touchdown. But wait there was flag thrown. You are positive it will be called on the other team and therefore the touchdown will not count, but nope it is against your team and the 6 points stays which just so happens to mean your team loses the game. You are angry and you let that referee on that little screen know exactly what you think of the bad call. Voicing your disappointment makes you feel, well better. No harm, right? WRONG! Because while you are ranting, and blaming and basically throwing a small fit… little Johnny could be watching. And since children learn the fundamentals of sportsmanship from the grownups around them, it can still affect the kind of sport they will be.

Remember that old saying, “Actions speak louder than words”? Well it is particularly true when it comes to teaching our kids the basics of good sportsmanship. The behavior we have during practices, games, while sitting in the stands or in our own living room watching a game on TV matters more than any lecture or pep talk you can give them. So the next time you want to talk back to the TV set and complain about a foul ball, a missed pass or even your candidate who lost the senate race… think about who is around watching and how you would want them to act, and then act that way yourself. After all, you don’t want to be known as THAT parent do you?