“It’s perseverance that’s the key. It’s persevering for long enough to achieve your potential.” – Lynn Davies
Last week, I shared that the common denominators of those who model resiliency and achieve success are: having a clear goal; willingness to risk everything to become more; learning from failures; and choosing to stand up and step forward.
Today, I’ll share a personal example showing how it worked for me – and will absolutely work for you, too. [Tweet this.]
My junior year at St. Louis University I met my wife. It took me all of 30 seconds to realize I was head over heals for this girl.
But, it took me another year to finally build up the courage to ask her out! When I finally did — we had hung out dozens of times, obviously grown close and I was finally confident that she would say “yes.” So, when I asked, I was anything but ready for this response, “John, you are like a brother to me.”
My friends, I don’t know what you’ve heard about Missouri, but this was her way of saying “NO!” …and letting me know, as sweetly as she could, that she wasn’t interested and it wasn’t likely to change.
In my mind, I failed. But: when you know your why, you can endure any how.
So, we remained “brother and sister” for another 12 months. With all that time passing and spending so much time together I felt that surely things had shifted for her! So I asked her again.
She looked at me sweetly, and told me nothing had changed. She still loved me…like a brother.
We all fail, my friends. What’s important is not what leads up to it or how you feel in the midst of it, but how you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue to stand tall after it. We must “persevere long enough to achieve our potential.”
Our friendship continued with casual dinners, movie nights and I even brought her to my REAL sister’s wedding! We shared a wonderful friendship, even if not exactly the one I’d envisioned.
It was on one of our casual dinners that an inflection point occurred. We were at a wonderful Italian place (her favorite kind of food), sitting on the patio (my favorite place to sit).
Shortly after ordering she leaned over to me and said she had something to tell me.
She went on to say that the past six months, every time she’d spent time with me, she’d gotten butterflies in her stomach. She had fallen for me — this was her way of asking me if I’d date her.
I was shocked. I didn’t expect it and didn’t know how to respond. So I told her I don’t date sisters. KIDDING — I said “Yes! Let’s try this!”
Three years later, we were married. Today, we’re blessed with four healthy kids, a strong marriage and great families.
I could have let fear of rejection lead me away from my friendship with Beth after she turned me down the first time (or the second time)! But in life we must risk failure and persevere in order for there to be a worthy reward. [Tweet this.]
Are there things in your life that you have allowed to pass you by because your fear of failure kept you from pursuing them? It could be a girl, like me, or a dream job, or a new adventure, or running for office. Are there areas of life that are stagnant that are in need of you recommitting to? Perhaps decisions in regards to your health, your faith, your work, your family. Share your answer in the comments below!
Remember, once you get clear on your “why” — your goal, your purpose in life, in your day in the activity at hand: then all you have to do is persevere long enough to achieve your potential.