I was on my way home from church Sunday morning, got onto Facebook and drooled looking at my friends post about their Sunday brunch meals. As I continued to scroll, I noticed a TED Talk Video that was shared not just by one, but 5 of my friends. Hmmmm. Must be good. I was intrigued.
The speaker’s name was Angela Lee Duckworth, a 7th grade teacher turned psychologist who discovered that to succeed in school and life, you needed more than just a high IQ. She goes on to share that GRIT was THE ONE characteristic which could predict whether or not a child would succeed or not in life. It’s not how talented or smart you are, it’s not how good you look or your state of health, it is your determination to RISE UP and NEVER GIVE UP.
What the Heck is Grit?
Mirriam-Webster’s definition of grit is: “firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger”.
My definition of grit: You have a vision for your life that is SO clear, a belief is SO strong and rock solid that no amount of failures and disappointment could keep you from achieving it.
It’s your ability to persevere even in the darkest moments of fear and uncertainty. Even though you know that the easiest thing for you to is quit, when you have grit, giving up is NEVER an option.
People stay away from hard things because of two reasons:
Both these are excuses we tell ourselves so that we can feel safe and continue to play small in our lives. It’s a lie we convince ourselves to believe because when we don’t do something we are terrified of, we won’t ever fail.
But you know what? We cannot always predict or know the outcome of all of our choices, can we? What we can do is BE BRAVE; even if it is scary; even if we are taking a huge risk because every time we fail, we increase our GRIT-o-meter.
When you fail, you can either feel sorry for yourself and drink your depression away, or get some grit and see it as a learning experience. It’s all about perspective. It’s in the moments of failure that we gain wisdom, strength and a determination that we don’t feel when we succeed. We get grittier!
As a mom, I know that I am teaching my sons to grow up with determination to never take the easy way out, just because “it’s too hard.” How many times have you told yourself this? How have you kept yourself from living an incredible life, your BEST life because “it’s too hard”? They know that to get better at LIFE, they have to try things that they don’t know how to do and risk falling flat on their faces.
You know, I am most grateful for my failures. I took big risks. I failed. I got up again and failed over and over again, and every time I pulled myself up I also learned more and continued to grow and expand.
A life lived without failure is not success.
Let me share with you some of my failures:
-I had to take my nursing license exam twice, because I failed the first time I took it
-I have made mistakes about bringing on the wrong business partners and I had to rebuild my business twice
-I have failed in friendships and past relationships
-I accrued 130k in debt
-I lost 2 of my investment properties and nearly had to file for bankruptcy
-I never had enough money to travel ANYWHERE with my family
But from these failures, have LEARNED and been able to create some incredible successes:
-I started a part-time business that has retired my husband
-I have been a top producer out of 20,000+ of my peers for the past 4 years
-I have the BEST friends and people in my life
-I have paid down 95% of my debt in the last 5 years
-I have travelled and vacationed in 5 different countries with my family in the last 2 years
If I never took these big leaps of faith, I’d still be in debt.
I’d still be dreaming about traveling the world.
I’d still have the negative people in my life.
I’d still be broke as a joke.
A Study of Failure
A Harvard Business Review highlighted a study that was done on how people learn from their failures. The subjects consisted of two companies of soldiers and their performance during navigation exercises. With the first group, feedback was focused on what was done incorrectly and how to correct it. In the second group, feedback was focused both on what was done correctly AND incorrectly. Two months later, the same two companies repeated the exercises. What the researchers found was that “substantial” learning occurred in both groups but that the group which acknowledged not just their failures but also their SUCCESSES, had higher rates and learned faster than the ones who only talked about what they did wrong.
When you fail, don’t forget to celebrate what DID go right. When you don’t succeed at something, you also have to find those moments that you can celebrate too. Don’t just focus on what went wrong, but acknowledge what was successful! When you approach it this way – perceiving failure as a way to get better, failure is pretty awesome!
There Are No Shortcuts to Success
Failure HAS to be a part of your life’s journey, but you don’t have to see it as your enemy. Take HUGE risks, BIG leaps of faith. Make all of your mistakes, celebrate all that you did right, then continue to fail to learn and grow.
Failure helps you to become grittier. And grit is your key to success.
IF YOU LOVED WHAT YOU READ, CONSIDER SUBSCRIBING TO MY UPDATES. I LOVE SHARING MY LIFE LESSONS AND HOPE THAT IT HELPS INSPIRE YOU IN YOUR LIFE TOO!