The Science of Perseverance: How Your Beliefs Can Strengthen (Or Weaken) Your Motivation

Persevere: To persist steadfastly in pursuit of an undertaking, task, journey, or goal, even if hindered by distraction, difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement.

First, the bad news. When it comes to creating change in your life or achieving your goals, it probably won’t be easy. You may struggle. It’ll likely take longer than you expect. It’s almost certain that you’ll have setbacks and short-term failures along the way. Especially when it involves creating new habits, developing new skills or learning new concepts. This helps explain why 92% of people fail to achieve their New Years’s resolutions.

Now, the good news. Struggle, setbacks and short-term failures don’t have to drain your motivation. They don’t have to make you want to quit before you’ve put in enough time and effort to reach your goal. In fact, psychologists who study motivation and achievement say it could be just the opposite; as long as you adopt the right mindset.

According to decades of research, there are two fundamental belief systems (mindsets) that determine how people respond to struggle, setbacks and failure. In one mindset, you’re likely to get discouraged and give up on your goal. In the other, you tend to embrace the struggle, learn from the setbacks and keep moving forward – you persevere.

Before I tell you more about these two mindsets, I want to share this inspiring, true story about a boy named Stevie.

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