Learned helplessness is a concept I have come upon several times in my reading or conversations over the last few days. A repeated idea, coming my way, is a sign for me to pay attention. As humans we are taught both directly and indirectly at home, in school, at church and by those around us. We also are always learning through our life experiences. Sometime we learn things that make life work better for us and other times we learn things that limit us.
Learned helplessness is something we learn through our experiences or through those around us. If we fail at something or see others fail we may think that what we are attempting to do isn’t working and therefore it is something that will never work. This is learned helplessness. If we try and don’t succeed we may think that we are incapable of this task. That is not true but our interpretation of the life lessons may lead us to faulty conclusions. Where is learned helplessness limiting what you think is possible in your life?
The opposite of learned helplessness is persistence. Thomas Edison was one of our greatest inventors and he failed constantly until he arrived at success. He was known to say there is no such thing as failure; each attempt was instead a time to eliminate what didn’t work. Abraham Lincoln lost almost every election he ran in until he won the election to be President of the United States. Persistence guided both of these famous people to success.
Look around your life and see where you are falling short of expectations. Do you need to be more persistent to reach the results you seek? What persistent action is need today to jump-start something that matters greatly to you?
Here are some quotes that you might find inspirational and keep going all the way to the finish line:
Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.
Energy and persistence conquer all things.
Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
What you are will show in what you do.
Thomas A. Edison