There’s a lot of talk about Grit and how it can improve the quality of your life but have you ever wondered if people are actually born with grit or if it's something you develop with time ?
Like any trait I am sure some people are born with it but as for me, growing up into my teenage years I didn’t have much grit at all. As I look back and reflect on my younger self, I can absolutely say that I was subconsciously building grit without even realising it.
Here are 3 steps which can help anyone develop unwavering grit.
Step 1- Set a Clear Goal
To develop grit you must first have goals.
I believe without goals that inspire us, it would be very difficult to have grit.
Because the road to success is messy. whether it’s success in sport, business or life in general, becoming successful at anything is damn hard and requires hard work, discipline and the grit to keep going when the odds are stacked up against us.
If you don’t have a burning desire to achieve something that’s important, you simply won’t stay on path and you will eventually quit.
Think of a sales person who’s job is to cold call and prospect clients. Most sales people who fail, don’t fail because they don’t know what to do. They fail because it all gets too hard and the pain outweighs the rewards which is usually commission as opposed to a goal that is worthwhile to achieve.
Many people don’t have any worthwhile goals which they are striving to achieve. They are living life on auto pilot and almost every action they take is dictated by either their boss at work, their partner or society.
To develop grit, you must first set a goal. For some it’s buying an investment, getting a promotion, finding a new career, buying the dream car, becoming wealthy, losing weight or starting a business.
Step 2 - Develop Your Personal Mission Statement
Start by asking yourself some questions.
Why do I exist ?
What is my role in this life ?
What comes first purpose or passion ? (hint - it's neither. Work comes first !)
The greatest companies in the world have a strong and meaningful mission statement which becomes their driving force. As individuals, we also need a mission statement which can be our driving force and one that keeps us on track, help us stay focused and develop grit so we can deal with the messy path of success.
My personal mission statement for this chapter of my life is — to empower the team at my company and as many people as possible through my experience, knowledge and my own personal journey.
This wasn’t always my mission statement.
Growing up it was to build wealth because I grew up in a family that always struggled financially and I was desperate to break that cycle. I wanted a better life for myself and my family.
You’ll need your mission statement when shit gets hard.
In my current start up Sales HQ, I have days where I doubt myself as well as my ability.
I sometimes lie awake at 3am in the morning worrying about the business. I worry about whether we’re moving quick enough and whether we’re doing enough to stay relevant.
I have days where I feel defeated because I’ve failed but having already built a number of businesses, I know that this is normal and it’s part of every successful journey.
So once I stop feeling sorry for myself, I think about my vision, my goal and my mission statement and I make a choice to keep going. I am constantly trying to push through the fears which attempt to cripple all of us and that is exactly how you develop grit.
Without a clear vision of your goal and a burning desire to achieve it, there is no way that you will have the grit required to keep going because quite frankly It’s much easier to quit.
Step 3 - Align Your Daily Actions to Your Goal
This is by far the most important step.
You can have all the goals and all the mission statements in the world but if you don’t have a plan or you're not working on your daily necessary actions you simply won’t achieve what you want and even grit won’t save you.
Don’t set yourself up to fail. Start with writing down just one or two action items every day which will get you closer to achieving your goal.
Typically it is the hard things which are required of us to do which will get us closer to achieving our goals. Even if you’re feeling scared and not feeling confident, just push yourself to do it anyway.
Take baby steps if you have to but avoid doing nothing or running away from doing the hard things. You will have days where you feel like you’ve achieved nothing. That’s also normal so don’t beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow brings new opportunities.
Dr. K. Anders Ericsson concluded from his studies:
The differences between expert performers and normal adults are not immutable, that is, due to genetically prescribed talent. Instead, these differences reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance.
Developing grit is like developing confidence. You don’t just wake up one day and find that you have it. Grit is like a muscle that you build over time.
1) Set a clear goal
2) Develop your personal mission statement
3) Align your daily actions to your goal