How Gritty Are You?

How Gritty Are You?

The pandemic is testing everyone’s grit right now.  How gritty are you?

Are you the kind of person who pushes through adversity?  When a situation becomes uncomfortable, do you endure the pain in order to progress toward your goal?  When you are knocked down, how often do you get back up?

Grit

When it comes to grit, professor Angela Duckworth is the expert in the subject.  She reveals her research and theories related to grit’s correlation to success in her bestselling book entitled, “Grit: The power of passion and perseverance”.

The book provides numerous examples which show that talent is often not the best predictor of success.  From the Army’s West Point graduates to the Green Berets, from Spelling Bee Champions to Swimming Champions, from Superbowl winning coach, Pete Carroll to MVP quarterback, Steve Young, Duckworth makes the case that a person’s Grit is the true predictor of high achievement.

Duckworth concedes that underlying talent does play a role as a baseline for success but sustained and focused effort is the true source of extraordinary achievement. She writes,” Our potential is one thing.  What we do with it is quite another.”

Grit is about holding the same top-level goal for a very long time.  Strategies can change but grit involves continually striving toward the ultimate prize.

The author believes that attributes of grit for those who reach the greatest heights of achievement are passion, practice and purpose.   First, you must be interested in what you are doing to the point where it becomes a passion.  With this passion, a desire to practice develops.  Your deliberate practice will lead to continued improvement.  As skill develops, the purpose behind your grittiness can evolve into a purpose beyond yourself.  This greater purpose allows you to drive yourself toward the pinnacle of achievement.  Grittier people are dramatically more motivated than others to seek a meaningful, other-centered life.

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

My coaching school, iPEC, taught me, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”.  Pain is prevalent in so many ways right now.  Many people are suffering.

Our lives have changed.  Everyone is longing to resume business as usual but Covid 19 cases are on the rise around the country.  It is an incredibly difficult choice to choose between the hardship directly caused by the virus and the hardship caused by trying to mitigate the spread of the virus.  The choice is a personal choice for each person but also a choice that affects everyone in the community.

The strength of the human race is found in the community.  Our species would not have survived if our primitive ancestors had not banned together.  It is that instinctual drive to factor what is best for the community along with what is best for the individual that makes the current choices so difficult.  Do we choose additional suffering by individuals who become sick by the virus or do we choose additional suffering caused by the consequences of avoiding human physical interaction?

Regardless of the choices that are made, we all will need to endure some level of pain for a while.  Will you allow that pain to cause suffering?

Adversity wears people down.   Without the right perspective, passion, and purpose, it can be easy to give up. 

Perspective

The ambiguity of the situation has caused many people to be filled with both anxiety and hopelessness. 

Some people feel threatened and choose to fight for survival.

Others may be telling themselves, “this too shall pass” in order to persevere. 

As an Energy Leadership coach, I help my clients to see the world from different perspectives.  You can choose how you view the world and your experience will change depending upon your perspective of the situation.  Studies have shown that certain perspectives lead to greater satisfaction in life.  How do you choose to see the world?

Passion

Enjoy what you do.  If you are passionate about what you do, you will be able to stay on track, pick yourself up and keep moving toward your goals regardless of what may get in your way.  If you are passionate, you will exhibit that Grit necessary to achieve higher levels of success.

Purpose

Pursue a higher purpose beyond yourself.  Looking beyond yourself can harness the power of the community and allow you to persevere in the face of adversity.  Pushing forward to champion a greater purpose is much more powerful than pursuing goals of self-interest.

Your fortitude will continue to be challenged as we deal with this pandemic.  Do you have the perspective, passion and purpose to remain gritty?  Do you have the grit necessary to continue to move toward your goals?

If you would like a facilitator to help you to enhance these attributes, let’s talk.  My initial discovery sessions are always free so if you are curious, please reach out to me in LinkedIn or contact me at jay@jayvarcoe.com.