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The Power of Tenacity

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

As I sit and listened to my friend, mentor, muse, and cofounder, Tabatha Coffey, talk to people about being a B.I.T.C.H., I started hyper focusing (as I do) on the 5 words:

Bravery. Intelligence. Tenacity. Creativity. Honesty.

It might just be me but I feel like sometimes I can see people's faces register the slightest hint of... confusion? aloofness, perhaps? at the word tenacity.

Tenacity. Tenacious.

Maybe it's the American thing - growing up here, that wasn't a common word to hear. Even living in New York City most of my life, it wasn't common. It felt like a good Scrabble word... but for Tabatha Coffey, now American, but by way of London, by way of Australia's gorgeous Gold Coast - that word is absolutely authentic and natural. And it defines her, in many ways. She evokes the power of tenacity.

But back to the point, let's define Tenacity. There are several definitions that pop up:

  1. the quality or fact of being very determined; determination

  2. persistence in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired

  3. the ability to keep doing something difficult

But my favorite definition, by far, is this one:

Tenacity: the quality or fact of continuing to exist

Read that again.

It's so simple and yet those 8 words are revolutionary. Because for many people, particularly women and minorities, Tenacity is literally what has allowed them to continue to exist.

Life can be tough for most of us, and the path towards success is usually riddled with numerous obstacles and challenges. However, it is our ability to persevere and weather these storms that determine our successes and our challenges in the long run. Let's be clear about success here - it doesn't just refer to money, or title, or status. For some, success is existence.

Tenacity, and more to the point, the quality of persistence or determination, is a trait that sets apart those achieving quality success from the rest. Tenacity is not something we are born with; it is cultivated through intention, integrity, patience, and mindset. It is a gift we have to cultivate to partake in.

Tenacity is a value that sets achievers apart from the rest. It is the glue that holds us together even when we are on the brink of giving up. Highly tenacious individuals don't just give up when faced with difficult situations. Instead, they engage in creative thinking, persistently trying different approaches until they achieve a desired outcome.

Notice that I didn't say THE desired outcome - I believe the most successful people are the ones willing to put in the work without being tied to a pre-written outcome. So many great ideas were totally missed because people were tunnel vision focused on something else and missed the opportunity. Successful people are tenacious, yet agile - ready to adapt and keep going.

Tenacious individuals don't let setbacks stop them from reaching higher but instead, use them as learning opportunities to refine their approach.

"...adapt and keep going..."

Tenacity is essential in today's fast-paced world because it helps you navigate obstacles that come with pursuing your dreams in a highly competitive and chaotic environment. Whether you're a student looking to get through your exams, an entrepreneur looking to build a successful business, or an athlete working towards a performance milestone, you need tenacity to progress, evolve, and succeed. By persevering through tough times instead of giving up, tenacious people build resilience and develop a healthy growth mindset.

As Tabatha talks about, cultivating your gift of tenacity requires developing a strong vision and belief system. Your values need to be clear and aligned. Having a vision sets a transparent sense of direction for your life. Believing in yourself is equally important because, without self-confidence, you're more likely to give up when faced with a difficult situation. Practicing self-affirming statements, positive self-talk, and visualization can help build your self-belief.

Pushing outside your comfort zone is a sure way to continue to build your tenacity. Trying different things can help you develop a greater sense of resilience and an ability to handle ambiguity. Break down challenges into small achievable ones, and push yourself to try difficult tasks. Every time you fail, get back up, reflect, and learn from your mistakes. Embrace them.

A mistake is only a mistake until you learn from it, then it becomes a "lesson" learned ...and isn't that what life is all about?

My last takeaway from listening to my friend lead a group today is choice.

Choose to dream. Choose your vision for your life. Choose what you want. Choose what you don't want. Choose to go after it. Choose to be tenacious.

Also, choose to be kind and patient with yourself. Building your gift of tenacity is a gradual process that requires commitment. It's not enough to want it; you need to work intentionally toward it. Choose to adopt a growth mindset, invest time in learning new skills, let go of the things no longer serving your updated life vision and be willing to do the work required to get results.

Tenacity is not a gift that is bestowed upon a few; it is an open invitation to take the road less traveled, face your fears, and succeed. Building your tenacity may take time, but it is worth the effort. Tabatha wouldn't steer you wrong, trust me. Believe in yourself, stay focused on your vision, and keep moving forward. Remember, persistence beats resistance!

Tenaciously yours, -Ty


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