Every single successful person there’s ever been and ever will be shares one trait: persistence.
Even if you have the perfect map filled with every direction you need to get somewhere, you’ll only make it if you continue to take steps forward. This means that you keep going regardless of any setbacks, delays, surprises, or fear.
And that all sounds perfectly great in theory. But actually being persistent isn’t as simple as it sounds.
Like any other skill, you need to repeatedly practice persistence before you can actually be persistent. You can’t just wake up one day and decide that you’re persistent, the same way you can’t wake up and decide that you can bench press 300 pounds. You have to put in the work.
Luckily, some of the best books for freelancers also happen to be some of the best books for improving your persistence. Because sometimes all we really need is a gentle shove to get started, along with some key insights from people who have been there, and done that. So, check out three of the best books for freelancers who want to improve their persistence below.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Psychologist and professor Angela Duckworth has done the research: genius and talent do not drive success. A combination of passion and long-term perseverance (what she calls grit) drives success.
She found that this combination is what puts people at the top of their field—in any industry.
Genius and talent won’t help you if you fall down or hit a roadblock. It’s your mindset when you face challenges that makes all the difference in whether you succeed or not. Do you stop and give up? Or do you get up, take what you can learn from the situation, and move forward? If it’s the former, Duckworth digs into how you can learn to flex your grit muscles.
“Many of us, it seems, quit what we start far too early and far too often. Even more than the effort a gritty person puts in on a single day, what matters is they wake up the next day, and the next, ready to get on that treadmill and keep going.”Angela Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Caution: there’s some language in this pick—along the lines of a PG-13 rating. Sincero has written a few sequels since this book came out, but this is still our recommendation. There’s nothing new or innovative about the material. But sometimes it’s incredibly powerful to hear the same thing a different way.
As Marie Forleo says in the aforementioned Everything is Figureoutable, instead of responding with “I know this already,” ask yourself “what can I learn from this?”
Ultimately something you read could flip a switch that leads to huge self-growth. And, unless you’re living the perfect dream life where you do nothing wrong, there’s always room for improvement. Plus, any reminder that you’re a badass always helps.
If you want to live a life you’ve never lived, you have to do things you’ve never done.Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass
Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
We know, “figureoutable,” is not a real word. But despite the made-up word, this book gets a pass because it’s jam-packed with wisdom. As you might have gathered from the title, Forleo believes that there isn’t a challenge or issue that can’t be resolved.
That’s an awfully strong concept to buy into. But the book offers impactful steps you can take to use that belief as a secret weapon. That secret weapon could be the key to reaching both your personal and professional goals.
Perfectionism at its core isn’t about high standards. It’s about fear. Fear of failure. Fear of looking stupid, fear of making a mistake, fear of being judged, criticized, and ridiculed. It’s the fear that one simple fact might be true: You’re just not good enough.Marie Forleo, Everything is Figureoutable
Remember, persistence is a learned skill that improves with taking action, getting out of our comfort zone, and of course … persistence. So, use the book picks above as tools for inspiration to help flex your persistence muscles.
Your turn! What books do you recommend reading to build your persistence? Drop them in the comments below!