There is absolutely no substitute for perseverance. There are so many millions upon millions of stories about people whose perseverance paid off. Thomas Edison made 1000 different attempts before he finally invented the lightbulb. Supreme Court justice Ketanji Brown Jackson related a story of her first year at Harvard. As a young black female, she saw almost no one on campus that was like her. It was like nothing she had ever seen before. As she was walking along, most uncomfortably being clearly “odd man out”, an older black woman walked past her. Noting the clear anxiety and lack of confidence on Brown Jackson’s face, the woman looked her straight in the eye as she passed and uttered but a single word “PERSEVERE” . That one word changed her perspective. Without perseverance she would not be the first black female sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States of America!

I believe there’s a difference between persistence and perseverance. To me, persistent means keeping out something until you finish the task. I think perseverance is different because it implies that not only have you continued until you completed the test, but on top of that, there were quite a few obstacles that you had to overcome in order to finish successfully. Put another way, persistence means being stubborn, perseverance means grit. Do you hear the word grit used in conjunction with clamping your teeth together when you make up your mind that you will succeed at your task. It’s good old fashioned determination, like a bulldog grabs something in his teeth and won’t let go no matter what.

You don’t have to be a Supreme Court Justice to be confident, but practicing perseverance will help you get a lot further than otherwise!