Persistance vs. Perseverance, Starting Out And Opting In For Life’s Bonuses!

Hester Bergh-Appoyer

speaker | communication craftsperson | cross-cultural connector | author

connect. communicate. co-create – vienna | cape town | goa | new york

Persistance vs. Persevering And Getting Better At Life!

You know how sometimes the universe sends you a message as if you are the only person on the planet and the words were written just for you? Well not too long ago these words written by Octavia E Butler landed on my planet…

You don’t start out writing good stuff, you start out writing crap and thinking it is good stuff and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits any writer can have is persistence!


That’s it. That’s the word. Persistence. I took great pride in my very own dog-with-a-bone tenacity in not letting some things go. I gave myself a hearty slap on the back for my knack in knowing how to go on and on like Tennyson’s “Brooke”.

But. Had I known just how often I would have to go hunting and gathering to feed its insatiable howling hunger – I might never have started a few projects, let alone write a book!

And then I paused to ponder on the difference between persistence and perseverance.

This. Is. What. I. Found.

Like many other things in life – we need masses of sheer stupid persistence to keep something going. And I mean stupid. Persistence is that thing you’ve convinced yourself is a virtue. Persistence is that thing that keeps you mindlessly pursuing a cause (which you may confuse with purpose) with the expectation that the next time, or just one more time – with no end goal in sight – will be the time you get it right. Persistence is what causes you to stay in a bad relationship or in a job you hate. Persistence is exhausting.

Smart is to admit defeat. And retreat.

But. Wait a minute. I have a vision. And an end goal.

I see my book on a bookshelf in a huge big international airport. I see my book being bought by men, women, engineers, project managers, young aspiring professionals as well as senior execs who need a kick under their comfy butts.
I see people wanting to see a better world, better economies, better communication and better collaboration from all over the world. I see people taking my book off the shelf, opening it and thinking this is it – this is answer to all the world’s problems!

OK, OK! So I’m getting carried away with my very vivid imagination! What’s wrong with that? You might be rolling your eyes and wondering where the heck I get so much mental agility from. You might also be and thinking “get real Hester”. Well here’s the thing, I am. That is why I am doing this. It means a lot to me. This is purpose.

Enter persistence’s helping hand. Perseverance is the cool calm collected one. Perseverance is the one that quietly takes persistence by the hand and leads her on in her purpose. Perseverance helps persistence to keep writing, without overwhelm. Gets her to commit, and stay calm. To love it when she hates it. To stay at it when she wants to quit. Perseverance is smart. Perseverance has a strategy. Perseverance is a source of sustainable inspiration, and energy.

And the bonus points for buying into purpose and perseverance? You get them, whether you want them on not. Life gives them to you just like online service providers lavish you with freebies. The catch? You have to opt in. Here they are:

  • to remain a learner – forever!
  • talking about something doesn’t mean you’re doing it!
  • be your best possible self . Walk your talk – no “fake it till you make it” BS, and while you’re walking your talk you might as well do it to some happy beats!
  • to write is to expose yourself – like standing in front of a huge crowd of people naked – get over it and learn to laugh at yourself
  • to develop a healthy sense of self-worth – get rid of the things that get you more rejection than affection – like big talk
  • to let go of limiting beliefs especially the one about perfectionism
  • to take feedback “like a man” – no more weepy whiny (woman) stuff when things get tough
  • to believe in your own voice because there are times when you might be the only one cheering yourself on
  • to practice “the pause”
  • to go back to your “why” when you feel like giving up
  • and to show up for work (me in my home office) every day – dressed for business.

This is after all my business. My business is serving you. Serving others. Creating heartfelt cross-cultural collaboration through connection, clarity in communication and continued co-creation. In a book.

Keep sparkling and remember to opt-in to offers from the universe! You’re going to get brilliant bonuses. And then go kick some perseverance butt!

– your no-buts kick-butt coach from Kickbuttville!

PS: BS is the abbreviation for the longer word referring to cattle dung!

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