According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, successful people are not the ones with most talent, intelligence or resources but the ones with grit and resilience, the good news is our mind can be trained to build these qualities. Like any other skill it needs patience and practice to develop grit and resilience. The mind has the ability to evolve and develop with willingness and commitment towards self-development.
What are grit and resilience?
Professor Angela Duckworth defines GRIT as the passion and perseverance towards your long term goals despite their challenges. It’s the continuous effort and sustained interest in your purpose. Its the daily grind and small habits needed to be done consistently. Grit is the ability to go on even on the days you lack motivation. After all success is not achieved by putting in effort once in a while!
RESILIENCE is the emotional strength to bounce back from disappointment, failure, stress or heartbreak. It’s the hope, confidence and optimism to get going in tough times. Its the ability to pick yourself up, dust off and move on from adversities.
Grit and resilience are 2 important components of growth mindset– Now growth mindset is the ability to view obstacles rationally with the determination to find a solution rather than feeling defeated. Its the attitude of finding ways to win time and time again.
Both grit and resilience are pre-requisites for success in any area of life be it professional or personal. The opposite of growth mindset is fixed mindset where one feels bound by their limitations, they feel stuck and have the urge to give up without even trying.
Grit is guts, resilience, industriousness and tenacity. Grit is ability to focus, to stay determined, stay optimistic in the face of a challenge. Simply work harder than the next guy or gal.Linda Kapler Thaler
Steps to build/develop grit and resilience
1 Define the purpose you need these qualities for
A clearly defined purpose will help to navigate your efforts towards its attainment. People are happier when they have a purpose. Make short term goals that align with your definite purpose. Achieving small goals will help you to stay motivated.
Pursue your passion. Focusing energy on 10 different goals will lead to nowhere. To have clarity of purpose you can start writing about where you are currently, what changes do you want in life and where do you see yourself in 3 years. Write everyday, it will bring out what you really want. Other way is to practice Meditation techniques for self-awareness and clarity. You can start with simple breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation.
Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.Buddha
(Related post–Quick Micro-meditation techniques.)
2. Self-control and daily practice
Everyday you have a choice to either work little hard or give into your urges. If you are able to give up distractions and finish the daily goal, you’ll feel stronger and in control of life. Gradually the mind will become more resilient and you will feel empowered.
Feeling of accomplishment is much more gratifying than giving into yearnings. Do that extra work or something little harder everyday to become better than you were yesterday. Practice as much as you can, after all practice makes perfect.
Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.Tim notke
3. Be flexible
A person with flexible thinking pattern has the ability to adapt to change quickly. They can find opportunity in new challenges. Whereas a person with rigid thinking does not allow grit and resilience to grow. Creative thinking fosters resilience.
Mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it, to see a better picture.Amit Ray
4 Spend time with positive and resilient people
The people we spend time with have a huge influence on our thoughts and actions. Though we can’t choose everyone in our life. But we can find a coach, mentor or anybody who’s gritty and resilient. Spend time with positive people who can motivate you to do better in life.
To be of good quality, you have to excuse yourself from the presence of shallow minded individuals.Micheal Bassey
6 Focus on your choice of words
Self negative talk is more harmful than you can imagine. Our mind starts believing the lies we keep telling it and acts accordingly. Practice self-compassion and learn from your mistakes. Credit yourself for the effort and good decisions you’ve made overtime.
In case of kids its important to take care of the words you use to praise them, words like ‘You are so intelligent’ can lead to fixed mindset. Instead praise them for their effort and approach as this builds resilience and breeds growth mindset.
7 Practice mindfulness
Studies suggest that people with higher level of mindfulness have better emotional health and are more resilient. Mindfulness is nothing but a state of complete awareness. Here’s an example- when a negative thought comes up our heart starts racing faster and the body becomes tense. Being mindful means instantly recognizing these physical signs of stress and shifting focus towards something positive.
The point is to not get tangled in negative thought pattern and shift the focus to anything that relaxes and puts you in a good mood, like a run, listening to music, painting, cooking or simply focus on deep breathing. Different things work for different people, mindfulness can be practiced in any activity that you most enjoy.
With practice the mind becomes calm and positive. Your thinking can be both constructive or destructive to you so be aware of your thoughts.
Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience
Before achieving anything, its important believe it to be true. As they say ‘you are what you think’. You have to know that you can do it, you have the ability and potential to achieve what it takes. Start your hard-work with this attitude, it will keep you motivated to stay on the road to success.
Everything is created twice, first in the mind then in realityRobin Sharma
Though some people are born with grit and resilience but it’s possible to train the mind to build these qualities with daily small habits. To achieve success just keep the following things in mind:-
- Positive self belief
- Clarity of purpose.
- Flexible and creative outlook towards challenges
- Practice, practice and more practice.
- Spending time with the people you want to be like.
- Mindfulness towards thoughts and situations.
- Uplifting self talk.
Its natural to face disappointment and challenges, learn from them, find solutions, make a plan B and move on. Perseverance and hard-work value more than talent, IQ or courage. You can also read books or listen to speeches by famous personalities who have these qualities, watch inspiring videos and listen to audios that will help to build grit and resilience overtime. Mental toughness/growth mindset is a skill that can be mastered with effort.