The best way to make yourself invulnerable is to not try. The student in school who doesn’t study for a test and then fails has a built-in excuse; “I didn’t really fail. I just didn’t try”. The person who sits in the corner at a party or meeting and doesn’t start or join in a conversation doesn’t risk having others reject his or her words. The person who doesn’t apply for a job that s/he isn’t certain of getting has avoided the risk being turned down. And the person whose interpersonal interactions are always carried out with sarcastic or even negative overtones has set the ground rules to avoid being hurt – no matter what the other person says.
Not trying can make for a pretty invulnerable life, but an unsatisfying one. The person who doesn’t try is always left with the question of what might have been able to be accomplished with a little more effort. The lack of effort has an ally in “low expectations,” and the enemy of low expectations is “persistence”.
Persistence is a necessary component for personal growth and change. The persistent individual is willing to take risks, knowing that s/he won’t always be successful on the way to achieving goals. The persistent individual accepts and embraces the fact that personal growth is a process. When one falls short or gets rejected or finds that an attempt at reaching out to someone isn’t reciprocated, it doesn’t mark the end of the process. It marks a time to re-evaluate, regroup, and maybe even modify expectations. It may mean that the achievement of a realistic goal may take longer or be more challenging than previously expected. The persistent individual understands, however, that giving up is rarely as satisfying as persisting, and giving up will never lead to achieving. That is why persistence is such a critical attitude and skill, and one of the 5 P’s of the Type P Pesonality.
As always, your comments and examples from your own lives will be greatly appreciated and helpful to others.