So perseverance isn’t your strong suit?
But finishing the project no matter what is your goal?
When playing cards, what can you do if you can’t follow suit? You play your trump card! So what is your trump card, your ace in the hole?
Even if perseverance is low on your list of strengths, you can finish what you start by using one of your other strengths as leverage to achieve perseverance.
One strength usually found in academics’ top five strengths is “Love of Learning.”
Consider how you could use love of learning to help you finish your work, even if you find it difficult to keep going. Ask yourself (yes—say this aloud!), “What is it that drew me to this project?” and help yourself, even when you’re weary, to find that nugget that still attracts you.
Finally, when the going gets tough, remember that you have one other trick up your sleeve. If you have played all your love-of-learning cards, then even if perseverance is not your suit, don’t show your hand.
Rather, act as if perseverance is your top strength. Practice and see what it would be like if it were #1 for you. Sometimes merely the acting as if will make all the difference and may allow you to stick with your work a while longer.
Or to continue our card-playing analogy, you will come up trumps.
Remember, you can take the Signature Strengths Inventory at
If you think you lack perseverance, what strength could you draw on to help you keep going? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,
Nancy Whichard, PhD, PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com