Persistence – Is It A Dirty Word?

What is persistence? Is it stubbornly continuing with something in a pig-headed way, despite all obstacles, at the cost of your health, job, relationship, etc? And what is the point of persisting anyway? What’s it going to do for you?

Persistence is generally associated with a kind of dogged determination to reach the end, no matter what. It’s the realm of those uber-highly motivated life coaches who will rev you up and get you to your goal, even if your wife leaves you, the dog dies and you are bleeding to death from a ruptured artery. Keep going, keep going, keep going. The goal of such persisting is ‘success’, reaching your chosen target, being a world-beater (whatever that is)! There are many disparagers of this variety of persistence, claiming it’s stupid, short-sighted and delivers your goals at the cost of everything that matters, thus rendering the accomplishment of the goal rather pointless.

Falling Off

I prefer the biological context for persistence which is ‘remaining instead of falling off in the usual manner‘, as applied to leaves and horns. My habitual pattern of creating in my life has been to ‘fall off’. I find all manner of excuses and justifications for not completing what I set out to accomplish. These include: creating illness and being ‘unable’ to continue; having time issues because of the excess of children I have begot (or should that be ‘begat’?); deciding that what I’m doing really isn’t for me; finding something much ‘better’ that I would rather be doing; having a major freak-out and being completely incapable of continuing; and establishing that I’m definitely no good at what I have chosen to do and so shouldn’t do it.

I know I’m not alone in the use of these cunning strategies, but the end result of indulging in them is that I quit, feel depressed for a couple of days and then try to forget about it. It’s deeply unsatisfying and frustrating.


But what happens when I remain ‘instead of falling off in the usual way‘? Ah (deep breath in), what a marvellous, expansive, creative journey that is! Not forcing, or doggedly continuing despite near fatal injury, but quietly remaining in my creation, whether it’s my relationship, my book, or the 120 Day Do What You Love Challenge.

Remaining is about continually reminding myself of what I would love to create and taking action towards that. It doesn’t involve blood, sweat and tears, just quiet action.

Sometimes I don’t ‘feel’ like it. Sometimes I think ‘I’m not going to enjoy this‘. However, when I quietly remain in my creations, despite the thoughts, I always discover that those thoughts are utterly misleading! Once I have begun my activity (even if it is through slightly gritted teeth) – editing my book, writing this blog, putting my arms around my beautiful partner – all the thoughts vanish, I’m absolutely engaged in what I love and it’s always enjoyable.

I spent about forty minutes yesterday attempting to avoid editing my book (Facebook is very handy for this). Eventually, reminding myself of what I would love to create, I sat down, got out the manuscript and got stuck into it. I was completely unaware of the passing of four hours, I enjoyed myself immensely AND I finished the book! Then I did a little dance for five minutes. ‘Remaining’ brings great rewards.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t ‘feel like it’, or something hurts, or someone else is telling you not to, or whatever your particular brand of ‘falling off’‘ happens to be. You always have an option to ‘remain‘ in your creations and quietly take action towards what you would love to create.

© 2011 Pollyanna Darling

originally published on the darlingwords blog in 2011

Would you love to ‘remain‘, to keep taking action towards creating a life you will love living? Get instant access to a powerful process to help  you move through and beyond resistance and into falling in love with your life.


  • Deniece

    Reply Reply March 6, 2017

    Love your work Pollyanna..I think I will try some ‘quietly remaining in my creation’. You give me hope (thank the powers that be) lol! xx

    • darling_lover

      Reply Reply March 6, 2017

      Thanks Deniece! Yes, quietly remaining can be lovely xx

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