Well which is it?!
Should I stick to my guns and be persistent… even if it causes me anguish?
Should I not sweat the small stuff and just let things go… even if they are really important to me?
The answer is, of course, that it’s best to find a balance!
“Sticking to your guns” is advice people give when they are suggesting that you persevere. Persevering is when you keep trying to do something, accomplish something, get your way—no matter how hard it seems, no matter what obstacles you face. Thinking about perseverance, you can imagine a fist clenching onto something tightly.
And there are times when it’s beneficial to persevere. For example:
Persevering a little helps when you’re stuck on a math problem and you need to just try another solution to get the right answer.
Persevering a lot can be necessary in certain situations, like pushing back against a company that’s overcharging you for something you’ve bought and hoping you’ll just give up and pay the unfair amount.
But persevering too much, or at the wrong time, can often make situations worse. If you persevere and insist that a classmate change a word in a paper you’re writing together because you don’t like it, even though her word is still right… and she’s explained it to you… and it really just comes down to a difference of opinion—that could end in a damaged relationship with your classmate.
Sometimes it’s just not the “right fight.” Maybe that was a time to let it go.