Difference Between Persistence and Perseverance

Persistence vs Perseverance
 

Even though the definitions given to the words persistence and perseverance are quite similar in most dictionaries, there is a difference between these two words. In certain scenarios, the two words can have similar meaning but this does not denote that they can be used interchangeably. First, let us pay attention to each word. Persistence refers to continuing a task in spite of difficulty until the individual finally achieves his goal. This highlights that there is a sense of commitment and single-mindedness towards the achievement of the goal in persistence. However, the word perseverance has to be understood differently. This also denotes that an individual continues a task in spite of difficulty, but this is not the same as persistence, it is more of endurance. Perseverance is similar to weathering the storm. Through this article let us examine the difference between the two words, persistence and perseverance, while gaining a better understanding of each word.

What does Persistence mean?

The Oxford English Dictionary defined the word persistence as continuing to do something in spite of difficulty or opposition. An individual who is persistent makes a tremendous effort to achieve his goals. This dedication that he has towards goal achievement is immense. He is single-mindedly committed to achieving it.

Persistence can be seen very well in small children. Imagine a kid who continuously demands his parents to buy him something, and would not stop at all. The child would repeatedly ask until the parents give him what he wants. This is a classic example of persistence.

However, being persistent can sometimes be negative for the individual. For example, imagine a relationship where both individuals suffer and no matter how much they persist it simply gets worse. In such a situation, persistence is a mere waste of energy and commitment because the achievement that the individual expects to gain is simply futile. This highlights that the key feature in persistence is single-mindedness of the individual towards the achievement of a particular goal.

Difference Between Persistence and Perseverance

Child demanding a toy until he gets it, is persistence

What does Perseverance mean?

The definitions given for the word perseverance is quite similar to persistence. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, perseverance can be defined as continuing a course of action in spite of the lack of success. However, unlike persistence, perseverance is overcoming obstacles or a difficult situation.

For example, imagine you are having so many family problems and problems at work simultaneously. You feel overwhelmed by the situation, but you keep on working hard and enduring till the situation becomes better. This is perseverance. Unlike persistence, where there is a single-mindedness towards the achievement of a goal, perseverance is a steady determination to overcome one’s difficult situations in life.

This highlights that there is some difference between the two words.

 Persistence vs Perseverance

Perseverance is overcoming obstacles or a difficult situation

What is the difference between Persistence and Perseverance?

• Definitions of Persistence and Perseverance:

• Persistence refers to continuing a task in spite of difficulty until the individual finally achieves his goal.

• Perseverance refers to overcoming a difficult situation through strong determination.

• Denotation:

• Persistence denotes a single-mindedness towards the achievement of a goal.

• Perseverance denotes overcoming an obstacle.

• Outcome:

• Persistence sometimes can have negative outcomes when the goal is utterly futile.

• Perseverance does not have negative outcomes.

• Duration:

• Persistence only lasts for a limited time.

• Perseverance can last for a lifetime.

• Obstinate Nature:

• Persistence can sometimes be obstinate.

• Perseverance is not obstinate.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Teddy bear by thepeachpeddler (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  2. Wikimania 2008 by Cary Bass (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Tim

    This explanation is really interesting BUT what sources support your comments is the main issue I have with your explanation.