How do you Increase Grit?
by Dr. Sebastian Bailey from Forbes.com
Change your mind
- Regain a sense of control. There’s such a thing as “learned helplessness” – if you constantly focus on what’s out of your control, you’ll feel overwhelmed. Instead focus on what you believe you can influence.
- Be open to change. Grit isn’t about following a single course of action no matter what. Be flexible and see obstacles to your goal as a challenge rather than a threat; an opportunity to learn. Easier said than done, but by embracing change you’ll feel less wrong-footed when it inevitably comes about.
- Embrace confusion and frustration. These emotions aren’t signs that you should quit so much as normal markers that a breakthrough is on its way.
- See the big picture. By its very nature grit is about playing the long game – remaining consistently committed as well as pushing past challenges. With any long-term goal or project, interest is likely to wane as progress plateaus, so remind yourself of why it was worth starting in the first place.
Use stress to grow
- Set yourself up to fail, occasionally. Studies show that if we are put in a challenging situation, we put in more effort so our performance on a subsequent task improves. Seekout challenging situations; even if you don’t get exactly what you want, it’ll build your tolerance to stress and means you’ll find a better way next time.
- Aim for excellence, not perfection. Grit isn’t about persevering to the bitter end; perfection at the expense of progress. When obstacles occur reframe what success looks like, so that you can achieve it and move on to the next stage.
- Engage with others. Withdrawing into oneself is a natural response to stress and overload, but a “vigorous engagement with others” is a hallmark of a highly hardy individual. Get out there and be interested in others’ lives and challenges in order to stave off the alienation which hampers your drive.