If you’re doing these 7 things, you’re likely a naturally determined person

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Do you ever wonder if you are a naturally determined person? Do you find yourself persevering where others give up? Or realizing that others are inspired by you?

If so, there is a high likelihood that you are a very self-motivated person.

Even if these qualities are not naturally instilled in you, you can learn from the people and behaviours described in this article.

Read on to find out the most common traits of innately motivated people, and become inspired by their stories.

1) You see things as a journey, not a pass/fail

A lot of being determined is about mindset. A good mindset equals success. 

If you are the kind of person who sees your goals and tasks as a journey, this is an excellent sign of your natural determination.

On a journey, we can recognize that life is a marathon, not a sprint. The marathon runner takes pleasure in every mile marker, and stops to enjoy the view from time to time, without obsessing over the finish line.

Someone who comes to mind is my friend Casey. She loves to garden bonsai trees. When she first started many of them died or didn’t grow as expected. She could have given up. But she didn’t, because for her, tending her plants isn’t a chore but a wondrous expedition. 

Each seed planted is a new adventure, and she nurtures her trees with loving dedication. Regardless of occasional withering setbacks, Casey never loses heart. Instead, she views the journey as a chance to learn, adapt, and grow alongside her bonsais. Now she is an expert in these magical little trees.

Just like Casey, naturally determined people embrace tasks not just for the goal of success, but also for the profound experience of growth and discovery that the journey offers.

That said…

2) When you do ‘fail’, you dust yourself off and try again

Like Casey and her bonsai trees, perseverance is key. If you recognize and enjoy the journey, setbacks can actually spur you on to do better.

Consider Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time. His story is a testament to the power of determination. His journey shows us the true meaning of the phrase “never give up.”

Despite facing many failures early in his career, Michael Jordan refused to let those setbacks define him. 

When he was cut from his high school basketball team, he transformed rejection into motivation, pushing himself to work harder.

As his career progressed, he faced various challenges such as playoff eliminations. However, each loss made him even more determined. Instead of giving up or feeling sorry for himself, the losses encouraged him to push his physical limits and improve his basketball skills.

His natural determination and willingness to bounce back paid off, as he won an awe-inspiring six NBA championships. He is now a sports legend.

Whatever your journey or passion entails, if you keep going no matter what, you can become a master of your craft. Just like Michael Jordan with basketball.

3) You don’t take no for an answer

If you are the kind of person who keeps going with things, the chances are you will get what you want. For example, applying for jobs. 

I know first-hand that breaking into a new industry or role can be really hard. Why? Because employers usually want experienced people. It can be easy to get disheartened, but everybody has to be new at some point!

A couple of years ago I found myself unemployed and running out of money. I applied for hundreds of jobs before I got an interview. It was draining, depressing and I wanted to give up. 

But I didn’t. 

After my very first interview, I was working in a new industry and within a short time got promoted from the bottom of the company to the top.

Now sometimes you actually should take no for an answer. Judgment is needed here! Consent is a good example of when no really means no. Being a stalker isn’t cool either!

But another positive example of not taking no for an answer relates to people (respectfully) pursuing the one that they love. My best friend’s dad asked his wife to marry him four times before she said yes. 

They have now been together for over 45 years. He knew what he wanted and he didn’t give up.

4) You look for other ways to get what you want

Maybe you aren’t taking no for an answer but it still isn’t working. Then what do you do?

The naturally determined person will dare to break the conventional mold. Like the marathon runner, you might find a huge boulder that blocks your path. 

Do you give up? No. Instead, you look for an alternative route.

This happened to me in my early 20s (not an actual boulder, rather another job-related drama!) 

I was working in the adventure travel industry, and wanted to change from sales to operations. 

After a year of unsuccessfully applying for jobs, I knew I had to try something different.

So what did I do next?

I searched for overseas opportunities relating to my passion. I wrote to many people and organisations and asked if I could volunteer with them. 

Eventually, I was invited to work in a nature reserve in Nambia, and with a lady building eco bungalows in the jungle of Cambodia. 

Why did I do this? Because I realised that I needed to prove my skills before I could change roles.

When I got home, I prospectively applied for jobs, seeking out all the tour operators in my area and sending my CV. Eventually, I got a job in operations and as a travel writer! 

If you find yourself taking the lesser trodden path when you get stuck, then you, like me, are a naturally determined person.

5) You stick with things even when they get hard

Bonsai tree gardening, professional basketball playing, learning a language, changing careers, long-lasting marriages.

What do these seemingly random things have in common? 

Well, in one way or another, they are all difficult things to do.

If you’ve ever learned a language or an instrument, you’ll know that there are times when you feel that you have plateaued. This is because progress is often not linear. 

What often happens is that you realise you’re improving, and then suddenly feel stuck. This phenomenon is well-known in learning and psychology.

A lot of people give up at those plateau moments.

This separates the regular people from the determined ones. If you find that you keep going even when it feels like no improvement is happening, at some point, you will jump higher again.

6) You don’t back down in the face of adversity

Have you heard of Malala Yousafzai? She is a Pakistani activist who stood up for the rights for female education, despite the dangers of doing so. 

She was the youngest ever person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She began her activist journey in 2009 at the age of 11, when she started anonymously writing a blog about military activity and her fears for her school’s safety.

At age 15 she was shot by the Taliban for opposing the restrictions on female education.

Despite the dangers, Malala and her father persisted in advocating for the right to education. 

Her efforts inspired people in Pakistan and around the world. Over 2 million Pakistanis signed a petition supporting the right to education. 

But Malala didn’t stop there. Together with her father she founded the Malala Fund, which continues to emphasize the importance of girls’ education and empower people to demand change.

Malala’s case is an exceptional one. But whether your struggles are big or small, Malala’s actions and efforts serve as an example and inspiration of determination in the face of adversity.

7) You inspire and empower others

Malala’s story shows us how the actions of a determined person can inspire and empower other people. If you find that by focusing on your goals, others are inspired by you, this is a clear sign of your inherent tenacity.

Ever seen the award winning movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’? 

In essence, it’s about a man who is wrongfully convicted for decades but never gives up trying to prove his innocence. The protagonist, Andy, displays many of the skills mentioned in this article. As he does so, he encourages and inspires his best friend Red to never give up.

A real life example of this comes from British TV presenter Raphael Rowe. At age 20, he was sentenced to life in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. He spent 12 years in harsh conditions, fighting to prove his innocence.

While he was in prison, he spent time with others who were wrongfully imprisoned and saw each one released. He says that these stories inspired him to keep going.

Upon his release, he was noticed by a BBC (British Broadcasting) professional. He was offered a job but turned it down as it involved staying indoors, something he had had enough of! 

Just as Raphael never gave up, the BBC guy didn’t give up on him. Raphael became an investigative TV presenter. 

He currently presents the documentary “Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons”, where he uses his experience and stays for a week inside some of the harshest prisons in the world.

Malala and Rafael come from very different backgrounds and situations, but both of them are inspirations to this day for many people around the world.

No matter what you do, if you show natural determination, you will inspire those around you.

Louisa Lopez

Louisa is writer, wellbeing coach, and world traveler, with a Masters in Social Anthropology. She is fascinated by people, psychology, spirituality and exploring psychedelics for personal growth and healing. She’s passionate about helping people and has been giving empowering advice professionally for over 10 years using the tarot. Louisa loves magical adventures and can often be found on a remote jungle island with her dogs. You can connect with her on Twitter: @StormJewel

9 signs you’re a ‘black and white’ thinker (and how it limits you)

9 personality traits in women that all men secretly admire