Hi Friends! Today’s Wednesday Wisdom comes from Dr. Ivan Joseph and is titled “The Skill of Grit:”
Angela Duckworth’s famous study of cadets at West Point Military Academy, drew world-wide attention to grit. Despite having one of the most rigorous admission processes in the world, West Point found that 1 in 20 of accepted freshmen dropped out before the first summer was over. Duckworth found that a prospect’s grit score predicted their success during “Beast Barracks,” the seven-week-long Cadet Basic Training. The capacity to stick with something and endure setbacks was more predictive than measures of intelligence or physical characteristics.
My own dissertation focused on grit because I have noticed as a coach that many talented people quit early—they couldn’t handle setbacks like waiting and training through a red-shirt season while a stronger and more experienced veteran took the field. Sometimes talented folks never develop grit, and as a result, underachieve in the end. If you’re someone who found school easy and flew through job interviews only to find yourself in self-doubt months into the position and frustrated with the role you’ve got, consider making this moment an opportunity to grow your grit rather than leaving.
  1. Get away from the people who will tear you down. The nay-sayers…the Toxic avengers…the Debbie Downers. There are some people that might be in your orbit who are constantly critical of you. They point out your flaws. They reinforce your self-doubts. They love to catch your mistakes. If you are not careful, all of that negative communication and energy coming at you starts to change your belief in yourself. When your self-belief goes, your behavior changes. You stop putting yourself forward. You stop taking risks. Your start to think differently, and your ability to recover from a setback is significantly impacted. Negative people attack your grit.
  2. Narrow Your Focus. Well-roundedness is not excellence. Choose to pursue one ambitious goal at a time.
  3. Stay the Course. It’s important to stick with situations. Constantly switching from challenge to challenge and leaving when the going gets tough chips away at your resilience.
Simply put: By becoming more gritty, you grow your self-confidence—the belief that you can master any task you need to achieve your goals.
You can learn to stick with things right where you are. You can practice perseverance. Grit is a skill learned through repetition. And when you acquire more of it, your belief in yourself rises putting you another step closer to being self-confident and finding out what you’re truly capable of.