How important is perseverance in achieving your goals? Many success gurus tell us constantly that to achieve your goals, you have to keep on going, have faith in yourself, and never give up.

To keep persevering to achieve your goal does not mean that you forge blindly ahead, regardless of the consequences. To achieve your goal does not mean you refuse to listen to those around you.

This is one mistake that many people make in trying to achieve their goals. They believe they must persevere, but they don’t step back to see if they are actually taking a path that will lead to the right place.

Instead of measuring and evaluating whether the road they are on is the best path to reach their destination, they keep on going blindly and full of determination.

In my city, we have a woman who is a prime example of the danger of pursuing your goal without measuring whether or not you are on the right path to achieve it. I’m sure that every big city has someone like her, someone who can teach us to question the true value of perseverance.

This woman comes out every day to walk back and forth in front of a government building, holding a sign that is protesting something unfair that happened to her thirty years ago during her divorce.

Rain or shine, she is out there. She waves at every car that passes, and she smiles at every body. She looks very happy.

She has been doing this for over thirty years.

In all that time, has she come closer to her goal? Has anyone who works in the government building behind her ever come out to say, “We decided we are going to help you fix your problem.”

If she is trying to undo the unfairness that some government bureaucrat caused to her over thirty years ago, it seems to me that her tactic hasn’t worked yet. And, I might be wrong here, but I don’t think that her tactic is likely to make a difference in the future.

Does she think that if she just keeps walking for one more day, sooner or later, somebody is going to fix her problem? I don’t think it will ever happen, yet she must have a different opinion than I do. I’m sure she thinks that perseverance is going to pay off.

In the meantime, how much life has she given up to make this protest that isn’t going to have any effect?

One of the great dangers in focusing on achieving a goal is that we can become as blinded as this woman seems to be. We can believe so much in ourselves, and believe so much in our goal, that we think that all we have to do is persevere, and eventually our goal will be achieved.

I'm absolutely certain that this woman believes in her goal. I'm sure she believes in herself. I'm sure she believes her path will get her to her goal, but she never checks to see if it is actually working.

The truth is, we can’t persevere blindly. When we have a goal in mind, we have to keep checking whether the path we are on is the right path, whether we are getting closer or farther from the goal we want.

Does stepping back every once in a while to check whether we are on the right path scare you? It should, because it will call into question a lot of your beliefs about how you are spending your life. What you discover if you take the time to explore this question honestly is that you don’t always know what you should be doing. To admit that can be terrifying.

Then to try and choose a new goal or a new path can be terrifying as well. Still, it is necessary to step back every once in a while to make sure we are not on a path that leads to nowhere.

If this woman I see almost every day had the ability to step back and evaluate her direction in life and the choices she is making, perhaps she would decide to explore a different path.

Those of us who can still choose our paths, need to step back and evaluate every once in a while whether that is the right path for us.

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This article was written by self help author Royane Real. Read more self improvement articles by Royane and other authors at