Over the last few days I’ve been doing stuff that’s been outside of my comfort zone. And that’s network outreach and getting used to a lot of rejection and radio silence that naturally comes with the territory. And even so it’s not easy. You may be reading every week and think that everything pans out perfectly for me, or that things fall into place easily. But the reality is whatever small amount of success I’ve had, has been the result of consistency and perseverance over the years. Something that is so underrated. Consistency and perseverance is the difference between realising a dream and seeing it through, or it never materialising at all.
Because when we’re outside looking in we just see the things that are going right for the people that we admire. The people doing what we want to do, everything seems so effortless. “If only I had that many followers”, or “if only I made that much money”, or “if only I could build a company like that”. But behind the scenes are all these consistent moments of action that one takes overtime. It’s the 10 year overnight success story as they say. The company Rovio that made the cult hit Angrybirds took 51 tries and fought off bankruptcy before they made Angrybirds. And it took off like a bird on a slingshot. But most people just look at the immediate success as a lucky break and not celebrate the consistency and perseverance that it took to get there.
Like a windy road there are peaks and valleys, where we have to ascend and descend in order to reach our destination. When faced with an impossible peak with no end in sight we find ourselves afraid and uncomfortable.
1. From this moment we can descend from our journey and we can give up, not realising our potential.
2. Or we can consistently show up and persevere. Taking one action after another. Building our resilience with every step. “Where the obstacle is the way” as Ryan Holiday would put it.
When you do outreach – there will be a lot of things that won’t turn into fruition. 100’s of followups and you may get nothing, but all it takes is for 1 yes and momentum starts to build. In the end I started to get responses and formed some opportunities, and that only came about from not giving up and consistently putting myself out there. What could you achieve if you consistently applied yourself everyday or every week?
Most of the time it is the fear rejection that is holding us back. But rejection in and of itself is nothing to fear. There is a great TED talk called 100 Days of Rejection. It’s a fascinating talk where once you’ve built the thick skin and tolerance for rejection, within it lies countless opportunities. Be consistent and show up everyday even in the face of rejection. Didn’t get that job? Keep at it. Didn’t finish the side project you were working on? Dust it off and jump back into it. Didn’t continue exercising? Put on your shoes and start running.
Find what it is that lights a spark in you, what matters to you, your reason for doing what you do. Consistently work at it, persevere when it gets hard and see your vision through.
I love movies and love Shawshank Redemption, so I’ll drop a great line from the movie.“Andy Dufresne, who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.” Sometimes to get to where you want to go you’re going to have to crawl through shit. But out the other end is freedom and something worth doing.
What is 1 thing you can consistently do today to get you closer to where you want to be?
Consistency builds momentum. Which can lead to habits being formed. Positive habits lead to action and personal growth. When it gets tough, if it means enough to you persevere even in the face of difficulty. The power of consistent action is not to be underestimated. And before you know it the results will manifest themselves, and people will look in wondering how you did it so easily.
Remember the peaks and valleys. Have the foresight to see it through and consistently show up, what you want to achieve is just on the other side of that work ethic. Be consistent in your approach, persistent with your execution and anything becomes possible.