Goal Setting: Determination Versus Stubbornness

I love the concept of determination. You “determine” where you are going and set a path to reach it. People who have determination are often very goal oriented and focused. Yet determination can often be confused with stubbornness.

A stubborn person may also be very focused and set very realistic goals.

Here is the difference…

  • Determination is the willingness and ability to overcome obstacles and to avoid distractions.
  • Stubbornness is the resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires

Determination involves others. It is asking what is best in a given situation and working with others to achieve a common goal. I am determined to do this whatever it takes.

Stubbornness is self centered. It is setting your heels in and not budging unless you get your way. I will not do that new task unless they change the job description.


Determination is positive…

Stubbornness is negative…

Determination gives you the flexibility to achieve your goal.

Stubbornness limits your ability to take the next step to reach your goal.

Two words, Two concepts, Two very different outcomes.


  1. says

    They sound like the same thing to me. Determination is merely the kind of stubbornness we like, while ordinary stubbornness is the type we don’t like. If you think someone is stubborn, maybe they’re determined and you’re just jealous of their determination. :D

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  3. Determine says

    I would not say, stubbornness is negative. It all depends on which angle u wish to view it. Being stubborn can be positive in the sense that you could be ask to go in a direction that u believe is not the right choice. Therefore u resort in the direction that is believe to have a more positive outcome.

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