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Patience vs. Perseverance: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 15, 2023
Patience is the ability to wait calmly; perseverance is the continued effort despite difficulties.

Key Differences

Patience is the capacity to tolerate delay without getting frustrated or upset; perseverance, on the other hand, is a steadfastness in doing something despite challenges or setbacks. Both are admirable qualities, but they address different aspects of handling challenges.
While patience emphasizes calm endurance in face of provocation or adversity, perseverance stresses a determined attitude in pushing forward, no matter the odds. Both virtues can work hand-in-hand: one can demonstrate patience while enduring difficulties, and perseverance in overcoming them.
Patience often pertains to our emotional state – it's the grace we show when things don't go as planned. Perseverance, conversely, is about action – it's the drive to continue even when there's resistance or discouragement.
In relationships, patience might manifest as understanding and giving your partner space, while perseverance might mean working together to overcome challenges for a lasting bond. Both patience and perseverance, therefore, have distinct roles in ensuring the longevity and health of relationships.
If we consider a marathon runner, patience is the mental composure they maintain when the race gets tough, while perseverance is the act of continuing to run even when every muscle in their body screams to stop. The two, while different in nature, are complementary in achieving success.

Comparison Chart


Emotional tolerance
Steadfast determination


Can be indefinite
Often has a specific goal in sight

Associated Action

Waiting calmly
Continual effort

Primary Challenge

Tolerating delay or provocation
Overcoming obstacles or resistance


Waiting for a plant to grow
Climbing a mountain despite difficulties

Patience and Perseverance Definitions


Patience is a willingness to suppress restlessness.
She exhibited great patience when teaching the new student.


Perseverance is the continuous effort to achieve a goal, despite difficulties.
Her perseverance led to the successful completion of the project.


Patience is a calm tolerance of delay or inconvenience.
His patience was tested when the flight was delayed.


Perseverance is the commitment to a task or purpose, undeterred by challenges.
Through perseverance, they overcame all hurdles.


Patience is the ability to endure waiting without annoyance.
She showed immense patience while waiting for her turn.


Perseverance is the sustained effort in spite of discouragements.
Their perseverance in the difficult times was admirable.


Patience is the level-headedness in times of trouble or adversity.
His patience during the crisis was commendable.


Perseverance is the tenacity to persist in the face of obstacles.
His perseverance in the marathon was inspiring.


Patience is the forbearance in the face of irritation.
She maintained her patience even when they kept making mistakes.


Perseverance is the determination to continue even when faced with resistance.
His perseverance was evident in his relentless pursuit of knowledge.


The capacity, quality, or fact of being patient
"The task of mastering ancient languages ... takes years of study, and persistence, and patience" (Cullen Murphy).


Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness.


Chiefly British, Games Solitaire.


(Christianity) The Calvinistic doctrine that those who have been chosen by God will continue in a state of grace to the end and will finally be saved.


Is perseverance about persistence?

Yes, perseverance embodies persistence, especially when faced with difficulties.

Can patience and perseverance coexist?

Absolutely, one can show patience in enduring difficulties and perseverance in overcoming them.

Can someone be patient but not persevere?

Yes, someone can wait calmly (patience) but may not continue efforts in face of challenges (perseverance).

What is patience?

Patience is the ability to tolerate delay or adversity without getting upset.

Are patience and perseverance values or skills?

They can be both; they're values that can be cultivated and skills that can be developed through practice.

What is perseverance?

Perseverance is the continued effort towards a goal despite challenges or setbacks.

How can one develop perseverance?

Setting clear goals, building resilience, and focusing on the bigger picture can foster perseverance.

How do patience and perseverance relate to success?

Patience helps in enduring the waiting periods, while perseverance pushes one to overcome challenges, both leading to success.

Is there a limit to patience?

While patience is a virtue, there are situations where taking action or making decisions is more beneficial than waiting indefinitely.

Is patience always beneficial?

Mostly, but excessive patience can lead to missed opportunities or allow for being taken advantage of.

How do patience and perseverance influence personal relationships?

Patience allows understanding and space in relationships, while perseverance helps in overcoming relational challenges.

How can one develop patience?

Mindfulness, understanding, and self-awareness can help in developing patience.

Is perseverance always beneficial?

Mostly, but excessive perseverance can lead to burnout or pursuing unattainable goals.

Can you give an example where patience is key?

Waiting for a plant to bear fruit requires patience as it takes time for nature to take its course.

Is patience a passive quality?

Not necessarily; patience is an active emotional regulation despite it often being associated with waiting.

Do patience and perseverance relate to emotional intelligence?

Yes, both involve self-regulation, awareness, and handling relationships – key components of emotional intelligence.

In which professions is perseverance especially important?

Professions like entrepreneurship, research, or athletics require strong perseverance.

Is there a limit to perseverance?

While perseverance is admirable, it's essential to recognize when efforts might be in vain and reconsider strategies.

Can you give an example where perseverance is key?

Pursuing a college degree requires perseverance through years of study and challenges.

In which professions is patience especially important?

Professions like teaching, counseling, or nursing require a significant amount of patience.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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