Grit: Part 3 – Get More of It

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Happy Tuesday!

This post is on Grit: Part 3. Over the past two weeks, we have looked at what Grit Is and Grit and You.

Now we look at how to Get More Grit.

Never Give Up

The old cliché when the going gets tough, the tough get going is a direct testament to the nature of grit. It is both a result and a resource for working through difficult times. Grit is fostered and gained by working through setbacks and coming out the other side. It is also something to call upon the next time the going gets tough.

There’s a story about a group of warriors who needed to claim very important land to expand their resources for their tribe. It was vital that every man be on the same page with the fact that failure wasn’t an option. The leaders devised a plan to increase the likelihood that the attack on the new land wouldn’t fail. When the men approached the shore line and hit the sand, the leaders set the boats on fire making it impossible to flee or retreat. The warriors were forced to win or die trying. This is where the phrase burning the boats comes from.

Failure Is an Option, But…

In truth, failure is always an option. There’s no guarantee that you will win, achieve, or succeed. The only thing you can control is whether or not you give up. Grit makes it possible to never, ever give up as Winston Churchill said. Grit finds the emotional wherewithal to handle each thing in front of you time and again until you make it or conclude that prevailing is impossible.

Our minds are designed to protect us from pain. Physical and emotional pain is a signal in the brain to stop what you’re doing. In caveman times, this was part of the reptilian brain that saved the vulnerable early man from being eaten by larger and faster animals. The fight or flight reflex is designed to keep us safe and sound. Grit is the override mechanism for playing it safe. Grit is what drives us when we ignore the part of us that wants to climb into our beds and pull the covers up over our heads.

Why Is It Important to Never Give Up?

  • Your breakthrough may be a moment away
  • Your sacrifice may make a difference for generations to come
  • You may be the first in your family to break free
  • Your children are relying on you
  • You may develop the cure the world has needed
  • You might experience a level of success you never dreamed

Grit can help you develop a mindset that is open to learning new material, adapting to change, and learning new tactics or tricks to dig deeper, to solve bigger problems. In other words: Not giving up. Talk to a trusted mentor, glean wisdom from those who have gone before you, and apply that wisdom to your current situation. Keep striving and be ready for your breakthroughs.

How to Develop More Grit

Grit is a character trait born of passion. Gritty people are typically down-and-dirty, take-no-prisoners types of people who want an outcome more than they want a scapegoat. Not to be confused with arrogance, grit is a powerful form of determination rooted in the belief that all things are possible.

Some may believe that only type A individuals have the tendency to exhibit grit personalities. Not true! Anyone who has a willingness to do what it takes to either target and reach a goal or withstand and weather a challenge has the potential to develop grit as a skill set.

Is there a direct path to grit? Maybe not, but there’re certainly opportunities all around to develop more grit in your life.

Tips to Get More Grit

Develop an Antifragile Outlook

Gritty people aren’t delicate. Gritty people don’t expect a participation trophy; they respond with strength when they have to endure something they don’t care for. Grit development comes from realizing that all people will face things they don’t want and don’t understand. Instead of reactionary responses, they focus on what needs to happen in the moment to withstand and continue on.

Have a Growth Mindset

One of the hallmark skills that grittier people exhibit is a growth mindset. Being open to new ways of thinking and behaving, being open to constructive criticism, and hearing the word “No” are part of their toolbox. Equally important is a willingness to stand up for things that matter. Grit-based thinking doesn’t champion every cause or theory that comes along–It chooses wisely. Growing and expanding your mind brings wisdom and the ability to discern. This discernment works in tandem with your focus and actions, reducing the chatter that distraction from what really matters.

Learn to Adapt

In this life, we’re guaranteed drama. Survivors learn to adapt using grit, the tool to adapt to unpleasant things. Grit is what brings a man lost in the mountains the courage to eat bugs or forage for shelter and water until he’s found. Grit is what gets the soldier through the battle, the injury, and the trauma.

Grit may feel intangible until you are faced with a situation that calls for more than you think you had to give–more than you want to sacrifice. Grit becomes real to you when you want to overcome more than you want to give up. You likely have already developed grit in the past but didn’t have the label you needed to identify it. Think back on a time in your life when you persevered; that’s an example of how you developed grit.

Routines and Habits That Will Help You Get More Grit

Developing grit is not based solely on negative experiences. You can train yourself to be gritty before you need it. Challenge yourself; one big way is to become a part of a cause or organization that requires you to regularly dig deep. Through that, you can develop your grit foundation.

Sports

Sports are an excellent outlet for cultivating grit. Not only the physical activity but the mental aspects of being in the game will only help you in this department. You can participate or lead the team. It doesn’t matter as long as it engages your mind and body at a level that exceeds your typical ability or your comfort zone.

Examples of Grit-Building Roles:

  • Join a city league team
  • Learn a new sport outside of your wheelhouse
  • Coach a team
  • Mentor an athlete

Life Organization

Becoming more organized and raising your personal standards can help you develop grit as well. Not letting yourself off the hook and following through with household chores is a perfect way to develop grit. How we do anything is how we do everything — even if it seems to be a small issue. Those who have control and organization over their homes and lives are generally able to have control and organization over unplanned big issues.

Examples of Grit-Building Tasks and Organization

  • Do the dishes nightly
  • Always fold and put away the laundry
  • Manage your diet well, making good food choices
  • Make your bed daily
  • Mow the lawn every week

Volunteering

volunteerCommitting to a cause or volunteering can create a grittier lifestyle. It takes effort and stamina to donate your time when your time is a precious resource. Consider dedicating significant participation in a cause that you believe in.

Grit-Building Volunteer Strategies

  • Pledge income that requires you to dig deep with your finances
  • Run for office or become part of the board for an organization
  • Be the chairperson for a major activity or annual event
  • Make a statement by doing something surprising to draw attention to a cause you support like running a marathon or participating in a long-distance bike ride for cancer research

You won’t have to wait until something unexpected or harrowing happens to develop grit if you make stretching yourself part of your everyday lifestyle. You can develop grit by developing habits and actions that stretch you and make you grow internally and externally.

 

Now we have thoroughly explored the topic of grit – from definition to how to get more for yourself. Have you experienced anything that helped you develop more in your life? Tell us about it in the comments.

Loving Life–The Reboot!

Dominique

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