The story of Nelson Mandela's fight for freedom is a great example of the quality of persistence. Born on the 18 July 1918 in Mvezo, a small village in South Africa to Nonqaphi Noskeni and Nkosi Mandela, he was originally named Rolihlahla Mandela.
Nelson Mandela took keen interest in the apartheid rule dominant in South Africa upon hearing his elders recount stories of his ancestors' bravery during the wars of resistance. He was determined to contribute to the liberation of his people. The years that followed saw him sacrifice more than twenty-seven years, fighting relentlessly for racial equality in South Africa. Although the journey was full of bumps - betrayals, defeat, trials and even convictions, his efforts finally paid off, as generations to come will still feel the impact of his legacy.
Now, while striving towards building a global business, a career or fighting a cause, throughout your journey there will be resistance, sometimes from external sources and at other times from internal sources. This could appear in form of fear, defeat or low self-esteem. How do you persist through them? Here are three suggestions to guide you.
Set your eyes on the prize
The prize is synonymous with the motivations for your aspirations. Simply put, what do you stand to gain after you have attained that goal? All Nelson Mandela wanted was for racial discrimination to end in South Africa. This quote from his Dock speech at the Rivonia trial of 1964 provides insight into his motivation.
"I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and equal opportunities. It's an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it's an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
Setting your eyes on the prize helps you to endure and also propels you to go the extra mile in your endeavors.
Learn from your mistakes
You will make a lot of mistakes along the way, but a mindset that failure is part of the process will help you move forward. Hence, focus more on learning from them and moving on quickly, and remaining resolute. The Harvard Business Review recommends that business leaders should study causes when analysing a failure event. They should create an environment that counteracts the blame game and encourages employees to feel more comfortable with learning from their failures. The result of this, in the long term, is strong controls and secured processes.
Shut out Negativity
Psychologists agree that people are likely to remember unpleasant memories than they will pleasant ones. It is OK to agree that you are not getting your expected results if that's your reality. You can always review your methods and devise new strategies to meet your goals. Look out for constructive criticisms and try to resist the urge to dwell on the negativities.
Your focus should be on the goal at all times. Whenever you are stuck, remember the popular Nelson Mandela quote: "It always seems impossible until it's done."