My parents always told me I was very stubborn as a child. When I had decided not to try the weird squishy culinary experiments of my Dad, even when they had funny names like Dim Sum, he had to fight hard to try to change my mind. I remember that little person back then thinking that being stubborn was probably not such a good thing. But, still I couldn't help finding myself in situations where I just felt I knew better than all the adults around me. Now I'm 29 ,and while I've certainly matured from back then and learned that trying new things is good, I've also come to appreciate my stubborn personality more. I made a list of 5 things that it has actually helped me with.
Ps. i've also since then tried Dim Sum, and just as I suspected, that mushy stuff was not at all my thing. See Dad? I did, and still do often know better than you.
1. Not giving up easily.
When I was 16 I decided I wanted to pursue a career as a dancer, despite not having danced full time since I was a child. I worked my butt off (quite literally) while I was in high school, going to dance classes every evening and weekends to trim my ballet technique and learn as much as possible, tried everything from Hip Hop to Flamenco to belly dancing.
After graduating from high school I got into a dance school in Germany, but soon found that it was not the place for me. After a year I auditioned in London, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Finland, and got rejected from every school. I was heartbroken and felt defeated. But I continued to dance in Berlin, stubbornly determined with every tendu and plié to get into a better school next year. Good things come to those who wait, and well, those who are just stubborn and persistent. Next year I got into a school in Amsterdam which is one the best in Europe. I would never have gotten that far if I wouldn't have been so determined, even when facing doubts from everybody else in the world.
2. Following my gut and creative visions
I have a bad habit of asking people close to me for creative advice and then bluntly ignoring it. The thing is, I need someone to talk with about my creative ideas because explaining things out loud helps me sort out my own thoughts. The problem arises that when the other person (usually my boyfriend or my Mom) engage in my ideas and start trying to give suggestions or advice, I often don't take them and that can come off as quite unappreciative. That's because I often already have a strong gut feeling for my project, even if it's not yet completely articulated or clear.
Even though it might not seem like a very nice way of using someones efforts it does help the process incredibly much. Getting another persons suggestions to push against means I often end up staying true to my own intuition and creative visions. I will immediately know if a suggestions feels wrong for the thing I am trying to make.
Of course getting other peoples perspectives and thoughts on things can also work in much more direct ways, but it can also sometimes throw you off your path and just confuse you more. So, sometimes being headstrong isn't such a bad thing.
3. Knitwear without holes in them
I will unravel a knitting project a hundred times if I am not happy with the result (okay maybe not a hundred times, but you get the idea) .
4. Proper running technique
I've had all kinds of problems with my feet and knees, which has made running, something I love, a challenging activity. I wanted to improve my running technique and started to run with my toes first touching the ground instead of the heels. It felt super awkward and exhausting in the beginning but I kept at it and now I can run without pain, hurray!
5. Finding love
Yes, I believe that here too my stubborness played a part. Before my current relationship I was single for almost four years. Single, and desperately wanting not to be single. Like many others, I put myself out there a lot in hopes of finding something meaningful, and of course got disappointed many times when shorter or longer flings ended. But, I didn't give up and no matter how many times my dreams of finding "rock your world" love (or at least "make your world inch a bit from side to side" love) came crashing down.
But, I searched for it and in the end I found it.
There is this weird mysticism revolving finding love I think, where many people seem to think that you shouldn't try too hard or say out loud that you want to be in a relationship. Like there is this notion that you should just accept that it happens when it happens, you just have sit and wait around for it. Well, that idea never worked for me, I was stubborn and put myself out there over and over again, no matter how many times that meant sobbing alone in the kitchen after yet another potential love story ended.