"Grit is a personality trait that you can nurture. It's the gravitational force that pulls you through tough times. Grit requires resilience and focus so you can bounce back and stay the course. It's a vital life skill and a vital professional skill. But it takes practice.
We've studied gritty people for these past ten years, and here's what we found:
- Gritty people take pride in being gritty;
- They have gritty friends;
- They anticipate setbacks; and
- They have what we call the 'grit reflex'.
When adversity strikes, they tend to think the same way and do the same things.
- The grit reflex becomes an out-of-body experience. When dealing with hardship, gritty people take a step back. They assume a third-person point of view because it helps them set aside their emotions and think more rationally.
- They view adversity as normal, isolated, and temporary.
- To them, adversity is an unavoidable sign of progress.
- They're self-compassionate. They don't beat themselves up.
- And they view setbacks as learning opportunities.
- They don't fixate on potential worst case scenarios. They focus on what's right in front of them.
- They don't look for quick fixes. They plan for patient incremental recovery. They set short-term milestones and focus on making daily progress.
- They also seek input and support from their gritty friends.
For the lucky few, these reflexes come naturally. Anybody can adopt these best practices, but it takes very purposeful practice.
- You start by holding yourself to a higher standard. To develop the grit reflex, you've got to commit to it, and be willing to hold yourself accountable.
- Tighten your circle and surround yourself with gritty people.
- Whatever your goals, anticipate and plan for, setbacks in advance. When adversity strikes, view it as one of the defining moments in your life, your professional career.
- Step back, take a deep breath, and think in the third-person.
You're watching yourself in a three-act play. All stories have three parts - The setup, the confrontation, and the resolution. You're the protagonist, the story's hero, and you're confronting adversity. Life and business are a series of setbacks. So how do you want your story to end?
Adversity is just a chapter in your life. But your response to adversity defines your life. When adversity strikes, and it will, you have a choice. You can suffer through it, be a victim, and accept what comes your way. Or you can practice the grit reflex and rise to the occasion."
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