Super Habit #28: Stick-to-it-iveness

If you want to succeed at something, you have to stick to it. Super Habit #28 is one that has led many people with average abilities to becoming the greatest at what they do. Stick-to-it-iveness is the super habit of champions.

Becoming successful at something requires hard work. You have to be willing to sacrifice. You need to take the time necessary to improve. In other words, you need to stick to it.

Stick-to-it-iveness Is Not Always Easy

I used to believe that I sucked at writing. Every time I started a writing project, I’d become overly critical of myself. I’d crumple the paper and give up. But I never really quit. A few days or a couple of weeks would go by and I start again. Then I’d become overly critical again. Crumple. Trash. Done.

Giving up on writing completely would have been easy along my journey. But I chose the harder route. Whether it was passion, stupidity, or practice, I can’t be certain. However, in time, I became less critical of my work. I slowly began to keep more of the material I wrote.

When I started writing books and blogs I thought I’d overcome my self-critical nature. However, I continued to second guess my own work for years. Still, through it all, I stuck with it. I kept writing. Now I’m not only less critical of my own work, but I also have continued to excel as a writer with several books and blogs to my name.

It’s Okay to Lighten up on Yourself

Stick-to-it-iveness doesn’t mean never giving yourself a break. You might make the false assumption that in order to succeed at something one has to be driven. There is some drive and passion required. But you don’t have to spend 16 hours a day improving your game. In fact, that can backfire. Putting too much pressure on yourself does not always beget good results.

Sometimes our minds and bodies need a break. The key is to know when to get back on the horse. There is no easy formula for this. If what you’re working toward really matters to you, you’ll have a sense of when to restart. In sports, you have to wait injuries out. We can apply a similar logic to almost any goal. When we experience a setback, it’s usually a good idea to let yourself heal before jumping back into the game.

That said, stick-to-it-iveness is a quality that will keep you going back. I’ve taken long breaks from writing and songwriting. But in the end, I stick to writing because it’s something I love to do. It’s also something that I believe will pay off one day as long as I stick to it.

Don’t Forget Super Habit #28

As you work toward your own goals, don’t forget Super Habit #28. Do you think Michael Jordan would have been a six-time champion without stick-to-it-iveness? Would Bruce Springsteen ever have had a hit song without it? It’s highly unlikely in both cases.

And so it is with you and me. To succeed at anything, we have to stick to it. I encourage you to take a little time every day to work on that one thing you want to accomplish more than anything else. Never give up and you’ll be on your way to becoming the best at what you do.