Most of us are very familiar with adversity, and the challenge of trying to not only survive in the face of it but to actually thrive despite the difficulties that we face.
From time to time, we all experience situations that are challenging, but finding ways to overcome those challenges by developing strength couldn’t be more important if we want to enjoy the best possible success in life.
Relentless drive is the answer. When we can find ways of boosting our ability to cope, even if nothing is going our way, we can become unstoppable. Grit and resilience lie at the heart of this. Persistence, perseverance, and perspective are all essential when we want to move forward in strength and success.
So, what are grit and resilience? And how can their power be harnessed to create the relentless drive that we need to thrive? In this book, we take a closer look at the importance of these things in our lives and examine how we can begin to develop them and hone them into a weapon that we can then use to our best advantage. When we know how grit and resilience can help us in different areas of our lives, and we know how we can foster those skills and put them into practice, we can stand the best chance of success both in our personal lives and in the workplace.
Chapter 1: Grit, Resilience, and the Growth Mindset – A Key Trio
There are two different mindsets that we can experience – fixed or growth. The fixed mindset involves believing that your qualities cannot be changed and are set in stone. Meanwhile, the growth mindset involves believing that you can cultivate your own basic qualities through your own efforts.
Often, individuals have a fixed mindset about one aspect of their lives but have a growth mindset about another. Maybe you’ve always thought you were bad at math and believed that others were born with an innate ability to calculate. However, you are confident about your musical talent and seek opportunities to showcase it as often as you can. You believe that it’s a skill you can develop over time with practice.
Every time you show off your talent and get positive feedback, you use it to improve. You’re motivated to carry on practicing and perfecting your abilities.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why having a fixed mindset holds you back, preventing you from taking opportunities that are presented to you. But, how can a growth mindset be developed? The answers lie in grit and resilience. These three things work together to form a key trio that sets you up to overcome adversity and achieve success in your life.
Gaining Perspective for Growth Increases Resilience
When you exhibit resilience, you can step back from challenging situations, accepting their negative elements while finding meaning and opportunity, even in the middle of adversity. When you find opportunities, you strive harder, set more ambitious goals and take the necessary actions to achieve those goals.
Perspective plays a major role in this. When you look at things from a more positive standpoint, your resilience can be greatly increased. Let’s take a look at why.
When you take a positive perspective, your choice options expand exponentially. You become empowered rather than
disabled. You can begin to focus your efforts on the things that you’re able to change while accepting those that you cannot.
With a positive perspective, you naturally become more resilient because of your acceptance of negativity. When you accept that bad things happen and sometimes there’s nothing you can do to change them, but that instead, you can harness your own potential to change those things that are possible to alter yourself, you are given the power to improve your life.
You become more able to cope with problems and overcome adversity because you understand that you are the one thing in life you can control, and when you’re able to take control over any aspect of your life you can take action to improve your circumstances. Meanwhile, being able to accept the things you can’t change without frustration, anger or fear allows you to be more at peace with the challenging elements of your life.
Confidence and Motivation Boost Grit for Growth
Everyone stumbles occasionally on the path to success, and that means you’ll need at some point to get back up again and back in the saddle. So, how can you find the strength to do this? The answer is by developing resilience and grit for growth.
Unforeseen surprises and shocks are a fact of life, but if you can maintain your integrity and core purpose even in the face of those unpleasant experiences, you can overcome adversity most effectively. Grit for growth lies at the center of this.
Grit for growth is a dynamic blend of confidence and motivation. These two things work together to empower you to regulate your emotions and reappraise the situations in which you find yourself. When you believe you can find a meaningful purpose in your life, believe you can influence your own environment and the outcome of events that affect you, and believe that both negative and positive experiences alike can lead to growth and learning, you can develop the kind of grit that leads to resilience.
With resilience and grit, you can move forward and persevere, whatever obstacles you’re facing in life. You can begin to believe the saying “everything will come out right in the end, and if everything isn’t right, it isn’t the end.”
5 Steps to Developing a Growth Mindset for Relentless Drive
Are you ready to develop a growth mindset so you can have the relentless drive you need to succeed? Then here are five steps for you to follow:
- Focus on your choice of language. This works whether you’re trying to boost someone else’s growth mindset or your own. When you praise yourself or another person for a strength or characteristic, make sure you use words that emphasize a growth mindset. Instead of thinking or saying, “you’re so smart” or “you’re so flexible”, instead, praise for strategy or effort.
Telling yourself you’re intelligent fosters the fixed mindset. Telling yourself that you’ve put in a lot of effort and used strategy to your advantage fosters resilience. It reminds you that you have a key role to play when it comes to achieving a successful solution to your problems.
- Surround yourself with positivity. Thoughts become reality. Although you can’t choose everyone you interact with every day, you can spend time with certain people intentionally. When you create an environment of positive thinking, growth mindset becomes the norm. You start to see view everything around you as supporting you instead of thwarting your efforts.
- Adopt flexible patterns of thinking. If you become less rigid in your actions and thoughts, grit and resilience can blossom. Flexible people never see problems. Instead, they see only opportunities for learning and growth. If you meet every challenge with more creative patterns of thought, you begin to realize that you’re capable. This confidence will only serve to breed more resilience.
- Set goals to align with your own purposes. People who have a sense of their own purpose are naturally happier. It can be hard to define purpose though. If you create small goals on the path to a larger purpose, you’re able to increase your successes as well as the speed at which those goals can be accomplished.
- Build time into every day for reflection. If you take time to think about things and reflect, you can bring a greater awareness to everything you’ve accomplished. It also allows you to see more clearly the path you need to take. Perhaps that reflection can take the shape of journaling, meditation, or just a walk outdoors in the sunshine. However, you give yourself space and time to think about your accomplishments and assess them non-judgmentally, this allows you a chance to weigh up the pros and cons of your actions and adjust our behavior accordingly.
Like all valuable skills, grit and resilience will need to be practiced. But this work will be worth the effort since fostering mindset-expanding traits has a positive impact on all elements of your life.
Chapter 2: Two key Components in Relentless Drive – Grit and Resilience
A relentless drive requires two major components – grit and resilience. So, what are these two things and why are they so important? Research has shown that if you can be gritty and resilient – sticking with the things that matter to you and bouncing back if and when you fail – this is a vital component of your success, regardless of how much intelligence and talent you possess. This gives you the relentless drive you need to succeed, whatever adversity you face.
What Is Grit?
Put in basic terms, grit is perseverance and passion for meaningful, long-term goals. It’s the capacity to continue to persist at something you’re passionate about and to persevere even if obstacles get in your way.
This is the type of passion that’s about commitment and direction, not infatuation or intense emotion. With this type of passion, you’re able to remain committed to tasks that are boring, difficult or challenging.
Not only that, but grit is about perseverance too. Persevering means sticking with it and continuing to work hard, even if you experience failure or difficulties.
Grit is incredibly important in life because it drives our success and achievement. Being naturally talented and smart is great, however, if you want to truly thrive and do well in life (and who doesn’t?) you need to be able to persevere. Without grit and resilience, talent can amount to nothing but unmet potential. It’s only when you put in effort that your talents become skills that can lead to success.
What Is Resilience?
Let’s look more closely at resilience. Typically, resilience is defined as being able to recover from even the most difficult of life’s events. It is your ability to cope with adversity, withstand it and, when you fail, to bounce back and carry on growing, even when life takes a downturn.
Resilience isn’t a trampoline. You won’t be up one moment and down the next. Rather, it’s more like a mountain climb with no trail map. It will take strength, time and support from others. You’re sure to experience many setbacks on the way. Eventually, though, you’ll get to the summit and be able to look back and see the distance that you’ve traveled.
It’s important to note, though, that resilient people will still experience emotional upheaval, suffering, and stress. While it’s common to equate being resilient with being mentally tough, instead, demonstrating resilience means working through that suffering and emotional pain and coming out the other side stronger and more positive.
Resilience is vital since it gives you the strength you need to process hardship and overcome it. If you lack resilience, you’ll be overwhelmed too easily, and can be tempted to adopt unhealthy coping strategies to get through the tough times. Resilient people, on the other hand, can tap into their own support systems and strengths when it comes to overcoming challenges and working through problems.
Resilience comes in two forms. Emotional resilience allows you to tap into your own optimism, even if you’re trying to cope in a crisis. Meanwhile, physical resilience is your body’s capacity to adapt to a challenge and to recover more quickly. Both are helpful when it comes to overcoming adversity.
The good news is that resilience isn’t a trait that’s fixed in place. You can bolster or even build resilience in yourself by changing your behaviors and patterns of thinking, helping you to find more inner strength.
Chapter 3: Some Real-Life Examples of Grit and Relentless Drive
Everyone will undoubtedly be able to think of some famous examples that demonstrate grit and relentless drive. Some obvious ones include Henry Ford, who declared bankruptcy no less than five times before finally achieving success with the Ford Motor Company, or Bill Gates, whose first product, the Traf-OData, was a shocking failure before he went back to the drawing board and developed Microsoft. However, how can you apply grit and relentless drive to everyday life?
Here are a few examples that may resonate more easily with you, and that you may recognize from your daily life.
- You’re on the wrestling team. It’s your first year and you’re still learning more about this sport. Each time you go to a tournament or dual, you lose. Instead of quitting, though, you continue returning to each drill and practice, and attend the next tournament or dual.
- You’re learning an especially challenging piece of music. The finger movements are complex, and you’re considered to be “average” by your instructor. Most of your peers are able to perform better than you. However, rather than quitting, you continue to practice each day, taking deliberate effort to get better and, over the weeks and months, your finger movements start to become more fluid.
- You’ve always wanted to learn karate, but now you’re middleaged and your body isn’t as flexible as it once was. The other students are strong, more flexible and faster than you. Yet, you never miss a training session. You practice the different techniques you’ve learned and work out how you can adapt them for your own body while boosting your accuracy, speed and stamina. Finally, you earn your first belt.
- You’ve never been good at art. You struggle to even draw a basic stick figure. However, with a determination to learn how you can draw a person you start taking classes and, after several months, you’re able to make your own self-portrait.
- You’ve always been keen to learn a different language, but you’re worried you’re too old now that you’ve retired, and it’ll take far too long to become fluent. One day, you spot an advert for a language course that promotes fluency in just three months. You join this program, complete all the lessons and, once the course is complete, you’re able to hold a conversation in the language of your choice.
All of these are examples of how grit and resilience work in practice. These are just some of the ways in which ordinary people harness the potential of these two key elements for success in their own lives.