“True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be done. No moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows he should have done.” – John Wayne
Grit is a character trait that reveals itself when one is faced with challenges, obstacles, etc. and he/she perseveres with steely resolve. It’s almost a stoic type of heroism that keeps you going despite all odds.
Grit is what you see in a Rocky movie when he keeps standing up despite getting beaten and knocked down repeatedly.
When Greg Louganis hit his head on the springboard during the 1988 Olympics diving preliminary rounds and injured himself, he did not quit. Instead, he pressed on and won the Olympic gold. This is grit.
In order to succeed in business, you’ll need grit. Anyone can decide on a goal. Anyone can come up with an idea or start a project. But to go from conception to completion will require grit.
The good news is that grit can be developed. While some people are naturally born with such a trait, most of us can learn how to stay true to ourselves and fight for what we want.
Like they say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Here are a few ways to muster up that grit…
- Know your why
If you hate starting over, then you should not quit. When the situation you’re in seems to be wearing you down, it’s important to know why you started.
In business, there will be times when sales may slow down to a crawl. Or maybe a marketing campaign does not work. Or you took a financial hit because you misjudged a situation.
All these setbacks are merely set ups for a comeback. But if you let these situations get the better of you and quit, that will be the end of it. You won’t progress further and your goals will never materialize.
So, spend time rewriting your goals and know why you’re doing what you’re doing and you’ll develop the grit to persevere.
Grit is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger it gets. The more obstacles and struggle you overcome, the more grit you’ll have.
You’ll have more confidence that arises from the knowledge that you’ve overcome previous difficulties and will have no problems steamrolling over the current obstacles in your way.
- Do what scares you
Set bigger goals. Take on more daunting challenges. The more adversity you overcome the more determined you’ll become. The toughest steel is forged in the hottest fires.
- Pushing yourself daily
When you’re on a quest to achieve a goal, there will be a plethora of tasks you’ll need to complete. You’ll often find that you tend to want to shirk the most important tasks.
This is your mind trying to protect you from ‘hard work’. It’s a form of self-preservation. This is why millions of people procrastinate and don’t do what they need to. Their minds don’t want them to be outside the comfort zone.
Make it a point to complete your most important tasks of the day first. By stepping outside your comfort zone on a daily basis, you’ll develop a stronger resolve and more grit.
After a certain point, you’ll have more self-discipline and will be unstoppable.
Kaizen is a Japanese practice of continuously seeking improvements regardless of how small the improvement is. It could be a 0.1% improvement daily, but that’s fine too. It’ll all add up over time.
You’ll be raising your standards and asking more of yourself. You’re ‘sharpening your sword’ daily. A few months from now, these daily improvements will transform your life for the better.
- Staying the course
Finally, grit might mean just NOT quitting no matter how tough it gets. There may be times when success in business may come down to you withstanding the constant onslaught of obstacles that life throws at you.
When you can’t withstand and you’re tired of fighting, then just stand. Sometimes doing nothing and just staying calm is all you need to do – instead of quitting.
When you collect yourself, you can summon the courage and fortitude to keep going. That’s what grit is all about.
Just take one step after another gingerly no matter how steep or precarious the slope may be. Progress may be slow… but it’s still progress. That’s how you do it.