Grit may not be a word you hear very often but it’s something that business leaders should strive to have ascribed to themselves. While the verbiage may differ in different definitions the main mark of someone with grit is their courage, strength of character, and perseverance. All attributes that influential leaders aim to possess. So how does one come to have grit? How is it acquired?
Real grit can only be developed through practice, experience, and failure. It’s not something you just wake up with one day, unfortunately. The only way to develop it, is to earn it. Not every business person or entrepreneur has grit and having grit doesn’t ensure your success. Being resilient and showing up consistently despite setbacks, that’s how you cultivate grit. It’s no wonder that grit is often magnified and fortified in difficult and strenuous times. If you’re looking to get to the next level and become a better version of yourself, here are 4 ways you can increase your grittiness.
This one may seem obvious but it’s something that some people overlook. It’s not just enough to learn a skill and be complacent with being average. Gritty people are always pursuing excellence at their craft and strive to learn better and more efficient ways of doing things. You want to become a little bit better every day, not remain stagnant, and satisfied with your current achievements. Practice also means that you don’t look at failures as setbacks, but rather view them as learning opportunities and a chance for you to improve for your next attempt.
Having a strong sense of purpose is a key ingredient in developing grit. Practice is useless if you’re not highly interested in what it is that you’re doing. Purpose can be extremely important if you’re in a business that serves others. Feeling truly connected to your business and what you’re doing to help improve the lives of others can really help keep you aligned with what you’re doing and be passionate about your work. Most things that are worth doing require time and sustained commitment. Feeling a sense of purpose for what you’re doing ensures you won’t veer off the path just because it’s challenging.
You need to truly believe you can succeed at what you’re doing. If you have limiting beliefs about your abilities then your grit will be affected negatively. Having hope also makes setbacks much easier to handle since they can simply be seen as a bump in the road and not a total car wreck. Having a vision for the future and maintaining a strong desire to reach your goals keeps everything progressing forward, even when things get tough.
You are the company you keep - and having gritty people in your corner will help you advance your own grittiness. Positive peer pressure, much like negative peer pressure, is contagious. Being around other people who are trying to elevate their skills, connect to their purpose, and have a strong vision for the future is an easy way to fast track your own grit skills.
Grit is revealed and developed in times like these. With all of the turbulence and uncertainty that has been swirling around, those who are able to rise to the challenge and turn a setback into an opportunity are those who are going to flourish. Being able to get out of your own way to focus on what’s important and what will move things forward is critical for any business when things don’t go to plan. Grit allows you to pivot and persevere and possibly come out of a rough situation better than when you entered it. That’s because those with grit are always focused on moving forward. Even if it’s not as fast as they’d like or the way they envisioned, they keep putting one foot in front of the other, determined to keep moving.
Being gritty is similar to being stubborn but in a very positive way. It’s the relentless pursuit of the end goal and the tenacity to keep moving forward, even when things get tough. It doesn’t diminish when the odds are stacked against you and can be one of your greatest assets when things don’t go according to plan.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.