Today I want to teach you a new word. Stick-to-it-ivness. Now although this may sound made up to any of you English fanatics, it has actually been used since 1859. By definition - although I’m sure you can guess, stick-to-it-ivness, means to stick to something.
I came across this new word through Erin Brockovich. Erin is best known for her involvement in one of the largest direct action lawsuits in U.S. history. She said this when asked about stick-to-it-iveness -
“I learned from my mom that you’re not born with stick-to-it-iveness. You have to develop the habit of persevering, even if you don’t want to and you’d rather give up. It takes a moment of trying to persevere. If you get beaten down and when you do, you pick the ball back up. It’s the process of going out there with determination.”
Erin says she likes to visualise a Super Bowl game where everybody is watching you. If you pick up the ball, run 10 meters and get slammed, you don’t throw the ball down and walk off the field. Imagine if we saw the Highlanders doing that on TV! Be prepared that you could get pushed back five or even 10 meters. But also be prepared when you pick that ball up again, you could make a break and rush forward 30 or 40. It’s a process, and it doesn’t happen on the first try.
In Year 11 I was named in the Senior A netball team. This was an amazing opportunity, however my court time was scarce that season - being a baby in the team. Being in the position where you want to take the court but can't is difficult. Especially as a competitive and result-driven person who feels they aren't contributing to the outcome of the team. After sitting on the bench week after week, getting 5 or 10 minutes here and there, I could have easily let this affect my confidence, but I didn’t let it get me down. I showed stick-to-it-ivness. I kept pushing myself at training, working hard, contributing how I could and stuck at it.
So I challenge you... When you get that feeling of constantly doing internals, or you open the never-ending to-do list, pull this word out of your toolbox and remember to keep plugging away. Keep working on your goals, cut your big jobs into small achievable tasks, make a plan and stick to it.