If you have perseverance, it means that you will continue to do something despite facing difficulties, barriers, obstacles, or delays.
Perseverance is something that many employers want to see in their employees. This is because they want someone who will not give up easily. These are the sorts of people who get the job done, no matter what.
Similarly, students need to have perseverance in order to complete their studies. There will be times when you face difficulty, challenge, and low motivation. You’ll need the ability to persevere through the struggle if you want to graduate!
Real-Life Perseverance Examples
1. Studying Through the Night – Students exercise perseverance when they feel too tired to continue, but study all night because they have their eyes on the goal of getting a good grade.
2. Completing a Dissertation – A dissertation can’t be completed overnight. To complete your dissertation, you’ll need to persevere with one line of inquiry for several months on end.
3. Retaking a Course – If you have failed your course, you have two options. You can give up, or you can give it another go. Perseverant people will face up to the challenge and try again. Those without perseverance will give up.
4. Completing a Project that Faced Regulatory Obstacles –
5. Going to the Gym Daily until you Reach your Goals – Going to the gym for two weeks won’t cut it. And once you’ve passed that initial motivation, it gets tough. Pushing through the months on end of going to the gym requires a perseverant mind.
6. Waiting for the Promotion – Often, we only get a promotion at work if we put in years of hard work to prove ourselves, make ourselves invaluable employees, and earn the boss’s spot when it arises.
7. Self-Development – All forms of self-improvement require perseverance. Whether it’s going to therapy, learning a skill, or becoming a better parent, we need to commit every day in order to achieve.
8. Running a Marathon – No matter how fit you are, running a 26-mile marathon is tough. You’ll reach a point part-way through where you feel extremely exhausted. To get to the end, you need to push through!
9. Recovering from an Injury – Recovering from an injury requires daily physical therapy and, often, struggle through pain as you gradually improve.
10. Starting a Business – Entrepreneurs put themselves through a lot of hard work and struggle before they start seeing success. There are a lot of hurdles, so starting a business isn’t for the faint of heart.
11. Paying Off a Mortgage – Mortgages are usually paid off over a 25 to 30-year period. It required monthly repayments on a regular basis.
12. Training a Dog – Dogs can be cheeky and hard to train. If you want it to learn to obey, sit, and follow, you’ll need to persevere until the dog internalizes the appropriate behavior.
13. Raising a Child – If you think training a dog is tough, try raising a child. Children have complex needs, go through phases, and can be hard to handle. Parents have to be consistent every day to model good behavior and guide their children in the right direction.
14. Winning a Video Game – Video games are generally designed to be difficult but winnable with hard work. To win the game, you usually have to keep trying over and over again until you learn the tricks and become skilled at the game.
15. Saving Money – If you set yourself a savings goal, you need to persevere with your savings over a medium-to-long term in order to reach that goal. You might come across months where you have unexpected bills, but with perseverance, you can hit the goal eventually.
16. Losing Weight – Many people give up on their diet due to low motivation or self-resolve. To reach your weight goal, you need to persevere through the tough days when all you want is some comfort food!
17. Hard Labor Work – People working in hard labor jobs like farmers and builders have to persevere through the long hours on the job which are more often than not very physically demanding.
18. Applying for Jobs – When I graduated from university, I had to apply for a lot of jobs before I was finally accepted for one (I had to move overseas to get it!). You can’t give up after one or two failed interviews. You have to persevere!
19. Gardening – The perseverance for gardeners is in making sure you go out there every day and tend to the garden, despite the fact that the payoff is slow – it’ll be months before your plants flower!
20. Learning a Language – Language learning takes a lot of time, so many people give up. Those who succeed often have to try various different courses, do daily lessons and immerse themselves in the culture to truly become successful and reinforce the language in their minds.
21. Completing a Ph.D. – Perhaps the greatest example of perseverance in my life was when I did my Ph.D. There were long nights and very difficult months of studying that I needed to get through in order to succeed.
22. Pesky Phone Companies – Have you ever attempted to cancel your phone account, only to have the person on the phone offering you deal after deal to keep you with their brand? They’re annoying, but you’ve got to admit, they’re persistent!
23. Advertisers – Big brands advertise incessantly on television. The point is to gain visibility and become a ‘household brand’. To achieve this, they’ve got to show you the ad so many times that it’s seared into your mind.
24. Elite Athletes – Many of us get good at a sport. But to become an elite athlete, you need to squeeze out that extra 1% in each training session to reach peak performance. You’ll also need to train – a lot. This requires perseverance.
25. J.K. Rowling – The story of J.K. Rowling is a real-life example of perseverance. The first Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times by publishing houses before it was accepted. Without Rowling’s perseverance, we wouldn’t have Harry Potter in the world today!
26. Writing a Book – To write a 100,000-word book, you need to persevere through difficulty and writer’s block. The book doesn’t write itself overnight, and all writers reach moments of struggle and difficulty.
27. Teaching a Struggling Student – Teachers often need perseverance when they are working with struggling students. They need to keep coming back with new ways to present a topic and remain patient while the student gradually improves.
- Adversity – Adversity is an obstacle or barrier that you face. Overcoming adversity demonstrates perseverance. See: Adversity Examples.
- Resilience – Resilience refers to the ability to carry on despite adversity. It relates directly to facing up to struggle, whereas perseverance relates to carrying on through struggle. See: Resilience Examples.
- Persistence – Persistence also refers to the ability to carry on even when you’re dissuaded. See: Persistence Examples.
The best way to demonstrate your perseverance is to give a real-life example from your life. Talk about a time when you have to push through difficulty and hardship to achieve an important goal for yourself. It would be great if you can intertwine the perseverance you’ve shown in the past with the reason why it would make you an employee. For example, persevering through your university degree could demonstrate that you will be a hard-working and intelligent employee who won’t just give up as soon as hardship crosses your path.
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.