Stubborn People Are Not Closed-Minded, They're Just Self-Assured

At times, it’s hard to distinguish between stubbornness and determination.

I mean, both of them, in their rawest form, refer to the will -- the perseverance -- to do or attain something despite what anybody else has to say on the subject. Whether you’re considered stubborn or simply determined, either way, you aren’t easily deterred.

Yet, regardless of how similar they might be conceptually, the two bear very different connotations within them.

Stubborn people are viewed as difficult to work with. They’re seen as selfish. In today’s society, stubbornness translates to the downfall of team building -- an overall resistance to conformity.

It’s not something a young person, freshly injected into the workforce, would necessarily try to aspire for.

When that same underlying drive that fuels stubborn people is framed slightly differently, however, it leaves an entirely different taste in the mouths of others.

Suddenly, the sense of resistance that follows stubborn people around like an unshakable rain cloud will feel a lot more like the persistence required by determination.

Determination, unlike stubbornness, is not merely something to aspire toward but a quality that’s vital for any type of success.

Before you can achieve something, you’ll likely have to fail a few times first. Whether it deals with a dream job or a dream girl, for that matter, defeat should never mark the end of the road when you truly desire something.

True desire -- true determination -- means not taking “no” for an answer. When determined people fall down eight times, rest assured they’ll get back up nine. Stubbornness really isn’t any different, is it?

I’ve always felt the two deviated by scenario and perspective. The person who appears stubborn to the rest of the room will probably maintain an impression of willpower in his or her own mind.

For instance, let’s say a guy sees a girl from across the bar, one who strikes his eye in a special way. Let’s say he spends the rest of his evening pursuing her -- he buys her drinks; he attempts some conversation; he gives her the full-court pressure -- to no avail.

As the night draws to a close without a modicum of interest felt by this lady, she’ll likely go on to tell her friends about the stubborn guy at the bar who wouldn’t leave her alone the entire time she was there, however, if you asked him, he was simply determined in his effort to make a good impression.

Oftentimes, stubborn people get misinterpreted. Being stubborn doesn’t necessarily make one ignorant or blind to the facts; it just signifies a self-assurance -- one that’s typically not shared by everyone else.

Having said that, any type of confidence must first come from within, so if you’re not self-assured from the onset, how can you expect anyone else to buy into you? Still, stubbornness doesn’t come off as confidence but usually close-mindedness.

See, when stubborn people have their mind set on something, they’re usually not the most receptive to alternative options. They know where they want to go and how they want to get there, and their intentions are rarely wavering.

The way I’ve always seen it, if I was going to chase something -- and risk the possibility of failure -- I was going to do it on my own terms, following my own instinct.

Granted, I’ve always been one to take advice, and I’ve always taken that advice into consideration. Yet, when push comes to shove, I’ve always viewed my own assessment of a given scenario to be on even keel with any of those advice givers.

At the end of the day, none of us knows all that much. In an extremely subjective world, there are very few universal truths out there. What might work for some, won’t work for others -- every situation and person is different. Advice can usually be a very fickle friend.

Subsequently, if you have any hopes of seeing something through, you’ll probably have to do so for yourself -- otherwise you’ll risk speculating about someone else’s experience that might not hold much practicality with regard to your own.

Standing firm on your own morals or beliefs doesn’t show ignorance or arrogance; it demonstrates strong-mindedness.

Ultimately, the difference between stubbornness and determination is how you, individually, go about it all. If you close yourself off to what other people have to say, you’ll only be spiting yourself.

No matter how much you might think you know on a subject, there’s always more you can learn. Whether or not you choose to put that knowledge into effect is your own prerogative, however, it could never hurt to gain more opinions.

Keep in mind that taking a step back from your own convictions is never a sign of weakness. And, at the same time, tuning out what the rest of the world has to say from time to time isn’t a mark of stubbornness but, instead, one of pride.