I was listening to a podcast this week and they were talking about Navy Seals. The dropout rate for people who train to be a Navy Seals is 75%.
So why do some succeed and others don't? To even get into training for the Navy Seals you have to be an impressive athlete, but even with all their talents they found that some participants didn't have enough GRIT to become a Navy Seal.
What is Grit?
Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals. It is the ability to persist in something you feel passionate about and persevere when you face obstacles.
Why is Grit Important?
Grit is important because it is a driver of achievement and success, independent of your talent and intelligence. Being naturally smart and talented are great, but to truly do well and thrive, we need the ability to persevere. Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential.
Talent doesn't make you Gritty. The best way to build Grit is to believe that you can constantly change. That you can and make things better each day. Believing that failure is not a permanent condition but just a temporary setback.
Grit is living life like a marathon, not a sprint.
I'm proud to say I come from a line of Gritty women. The above picture is of me, with my mother and both my grandmothers. These women were powerhouses of strength, faith, love and most importantly Grit. They were ordinary women who left extraordinary legacies because they lived their lives with the passionate belief that families and goodness were important.
None of them had easy lives. Both of my grandmas came from very large families of 13 children with little means. They got married and each raised two children during the height of the depression. They worked most of their lives to help provide for their families. They experienced lose of parents, sicknesses, disappointments, wiodowhood.
On paper their lives looked challenging but if you had asked any of these women about their lives, they would say they had a blessed and happy life. They created strong marriages and families and their legacies are still being seen today in over their combined 100+ great grandchildren.
The opposite of Grit might be cowardness or passionless. Learning to live your life fueled by your passion and goals (with Grit) - is living your life mindfully and the result will be the legacy you leave behind.
How to Grow Grit
1, Choosing to love your life.
Grit begins with a decision. A decision to enjoy your life and what you do, which isn’t to say that you life is all fun and no work. Individuals who display grit in their life have aspects of their work that they don’t enjoy. But, they are committed to the idea that they enjoy their life as a whole.
After my mother had her 8th child (in 14 years) and in that time had just completed her fifth corporate move, she said that people would comment to her all the time that they didn't know how she was doing so well, She said she would just smile and nod, but inside she didn't know what they were talking about. She absolutely loved her life. She said that she had been missing us her entire life and that having these children and creating this life with my father was exactly what she wanted to do. Her love and perspective on her life gave her the Grit to handle the demands of raising 10 children.
We all have challenges, they just come dressed in different packages. Challenges will always be part of the human experience. We choose how we react - with grit or with cowardness.
How are you looking at your current life circumstances? Would you say you are handling it with Grit? Or are they defeating you? Remember how you are reacting isn't just happening, your response is a choice you are making dialy.
2. Make Personal Goals on How to Improve
Gritty individuals show their perseverance through the daily discipline of trying to do things better than yesterday-constant self-improvement. Choose something that will be challenging for you to do, but is still doable. Set a 30 day or even a annual goal.
Clearly Define the Goal
What will be your Daily effort
Define what will be success
Don't overthink this. It can be working out everyday for a month, going to 4 social outings, turning in your work a day early, anything you aren't currently doing.
I did this when I first started writing this blog. Writing is not my favorite. This was a stretch for me. I made a goal to write a weekly blog for a year and to have it done every Wednesday. This is my 54th blog and I never missed a Wednesday. Stretching myself in this area and finding my voice has reconfirmed to me what I care about. Having people read my thoughts is a great privilege. So if you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for helping me become gritty and helping me learn about myself in the process.
The key is to do something that will challenge you mentally. Accomplishing this goal will develop your mental toughness.
Mental toughness is like a muscle. It needs to be worked to grow and develop.
3. Choose to feel commitment vs. motivation
Grit isn’t about getting an incredible dose of inspiration or courage. It’s about building the daily habits that allow you to stick to a schedule and overcome challenges and distractions over and over and over again.
Mentally tough people don’t have to be more courageous, more talented, or more intelligent — just more consistent. More committed vs. motivated.
Grit comes down to your habits. Your small daily choices. It’s about doing the things you know you’re supposed to do on a more consistent basis. It’s about your dedication to daily practice and your ability to stick to a schedule.
Remember, it's a marathon not a sprint. Continued effort is the key that makes the difference.
I want you to stop and think about your legacy? What will you posterity think when they look at pictures of you? How will they view how you lived your life? You might have some areas of your life that you feel gritty and others that you feel a little cowardice. We all have areas of our life that we need to grow some Grit.
If you would like help setting a goal and learning how to be more self-accountable to help you create a life that you proud of, let me help you grow your mental toughness. I would love to help you. Each goal you accomplish will build your confidence and give you the skills you need to live life that is filled with purpose and Grit.