The Grit Reflex
“Grit” is a personality trait that can be nurtured. 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.
Here are 4 things that gritty people have in common -
- They take pride in being gritty;
- They have gritty friends;
- They anticipate setbacks; and
- They have what we call the “grit reflex”.
The “grit reflex” is a mindset that helps people rise up and meet challenging situations. The fact is, gritty people think differently.
- They view adversity as normal, isolated, and temporary. To them, adversity is an unavoidable sign of progress.
- When facing adversity, they think of themselves in the “third-person” so they can set aside their emotions and think more rationally.
- 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 place a high value on the input and support from their gritty friends.
For the lucky few, these reflexes come naturally, but anybody can adopt these best practices.
To develop the grit reflex, you've got to commit to it, and be willing to hold yourself accountable to this higher psychological standard.
- Then 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 an opportunity to eliminate an obstacle and get one step closer to your goal.
- Step back, take a deep breath, and think of yourself in the third-person, like you're watching yourself in a three-act play.
Remember, all stories have three parts - The “setup”, the “confrontation”, and the “resolution”. Think of yourself as the protagonist, the story's hero! And now you’re in Act 2 - confronting the adversity. How would the hero think! And what would they do?
You’re in control! How do you want Act 3 to play out? You can choose, but you have to hold yourself to that higher psychological standard.
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.