The key to success lies in pursuing long-term goals and seeing them through to completion. This means that you need to view your life as a marathon rather than a series of 2-minute sprints. You need to have the big picture in mind.
Of course, short- term goals will propel you towards your ultimate goal but they should be seen as a means and not an end in themselves. This is the typical mindset of a person with grit.
Following the seven steps will help you develop that mindset.
STEP #1: Surround Yourself With "gritty" People.
Grit is contagious. This applies to all human qualities such as fear, panic, pessimism and procrastination. These negative human qualities are instant grit-killers. Nothing saps drive and motivation more than people with a negative outlook and a passive mindset.
Take a moment to reflect on the type of people you regularly associate with. Are they the pessimists. The cynics and the constant complainers who are always finding justification for not getting ahead? Is this sense of perpetual "victimhood" wearing off on you? Do you always find excuses for giving up and getting things done?
It's just good common sense to avoid people who are negative and lack motivation, passion and drive. They sap your energy and optimism and leave you feeling drained and depressed. Reflect on who these people are in your life and just avoid them as much as possible. Steer clear of people who give up easily and lack focus.
Conversely, the more time you spend in the company of people with grit, the more their powerful qualities will wear off on you. You will gradually find yourself adopting their outlook of perseverance and passion. They will keep you fired up, motivated and brimming with self-confidence.
Whether at work or in other settings, observe how these people tackle goals and overcome hurdles. Listen to them talk with passion about their goals and how, for them, achieving those goals is a given. Learn from them and let them inspire you.
STEP #2: Visualize Your Goals
Let's say you have a long-term goal of becoming a best-selling author. For 10 minutes each day, sit back, relax and picture yourself when you have achieved that goal.
Visualize how you will feel when you finally succeed after years of hard work and the passionate pursuit of your goal. Visualize the rave reviews by literary critics, the offers to turn your book into a movie and your large base of dedicated readers…
Whatever your goal is, create an appropriate scenario of amazing success and run through it every day. Try to be as specific as possible and add more details every time you practice these visualizations.
Holding these images in your mind will keep you inspired and on fire. In addition, visualization is essential for staying on track with long-term goals at times when things get tough and your goal seems elusive.
There is actually a scientific basis behind visualization. It trains your brain to focus on your goal and constantly search for new and innovative ways to reach it. Your Positive visualization actually wires your mind to focus on your goal because it understands that it's something that makes you feel good.
STEP 3#: Cultivate Hope
Unless you believe that it's absolutely possible to achieve your goals, you'll never achieve them.
People with grit have limitless hope and optimism and never allow limiting beliefs to stand between them and their goals. In fact, their mantra is "if you believe it you will achieve it!"
Positive affirmations are the best way to cultivate home. They are also backed up by science. It has been found that they rewire your brain to think positively and over time, carve new neural pathways that allow you to enjoy lasting hope and optimism.
Affirmations are statements that you repeat to yourself every day to help your brain begin the rewiring process. Here are some examples of hope-promoting affirmations:
- I can achieve anything I want to.
- Nothing stands between me and success.
- The sky is the limit. Great things are in store for me.
- I choose to see only the positive in everything.
- The past has no power over me. I choose to focus on the future.
- I embrace my courage and strength.
Search for more affirmation online or get creative and make up your own to align with your specific goals. Just make sure you repeat them daily to yourself to start rewiring your brain. The shift will be gradual but you will be amazed at how your outlook will change.
STEP #4: Embrace Challenges
People with grit embrace challenges. In fact, they look forward to them. Challenges and hurdles keep gritty people on their toes, allowing them to draw on their inner strength and creativity to overcome them, and allowing them to grow more grit in the process.
"I can do it" is another mantra that people with grit have adopted. Repeating this mantra silently in your head can do wonders for your perseverance because it eliminates negative self-talk.
When faced with a challenge or obstacle, what does a grit-challenged person typically do? They let the negative self-talk creep in, along with all the fear and self-doubt that comes with it. "I'm just not cut out for this…" I'm way in over my head Page | 11 here…" This isn’t going to work. I might as well just give up…" "This is a lose-lose situation…"
Do these thoughts sound familiar? We've all fallen victims to these crippling thoughts before. They are the main reason that people procrastinate or give up. They create a huge barrier between us, our goals and our ultimate success.
When you develop grit, you recognize that obstacles, challenges and even setbacks are a fact of life. But rather than throw in the towel at the same time, you are confident that you have what it takes to tackle them.
The best way to cultivate grit is to embrace each day as a new challenge in itself. Stay open to change and self-development. Never think that you are limited in what you can do. Instead, embrace challenges as opportunities for learning and change.
STEP # 5: Pursue Your Passion
There's a weird trend these days where so-called self-improvement "experts" are advising us not to pursue our passions. Instead, we need to become passionate about what we are already doing in our lives. They claim that some passions are simply not realistic and that pursuing them will only result in failure and frustration.
Therefore, mastering what we are already doing and finding ways to do it better will make us passionate about it. The theory is that the more skilled we become at something, even if we don't particularly like, the more we learn to love it.
The arguments that blow this theory out of the water would require a separate book. Steve Job's passion for building a simple home computer that would be accessible to the average man must have sounded crazy in the early seventies. Yet by pursuing his passion, Jobs became a pioneer of the digital revolution. And today, there is a computer in almost every home worldwide.
Martin Lither King's passion for civil rights and equal opportunity was controversial and downright dangerous at the time he made his famous "I have a dream". Today, his dream is the reality and mainstay of a democratic society.
These two men who are the embodiment of grit never gave up despite the tremendous odds they faced. Imagine where we would be today if they had! Never let anyone discourage you from following your passion.
People with grit all have one thing in common. They pursue their passion with a passion! Because quite simply, you are going to have a tough time sticking to your goals if they don't fire you up and motivate you.
If you know what your passion is then you're already on the right path. It may be becoming a successful doctor with a chain of clinics. It may be owning your own business. It may be developing a revolutionary new software solution. It may be becoming an actor.
But what if you're not sure what your passion is? Angela Duckworth is the leading expert in the field of grit cultivation (Yes, there is actually a field that studies grit!) She advises that people who are uncertain about what their passion is should go out and try new things until they discover it. The next step is to find a mentor or coach to help you develop your passion.
The next step is to create short-term goals that will help you achieve it. This could be getting a specific degree, taking a course, saving up money, or switching to a job that allows you to develop skills related to your long-term goal. Once you have identified, your passion, it's time to tie it in with your higher purpose.
STEP #6: Know Your Higher Purpose
Connecting your passion to a higher purpose develops more grit and almost always guarantees success. This means stepping back and seeing the bigger picture of how you are able to help others or enrich their lives through your contribution.
Your contribution doesn't have to be revolutionary or groundbreaking. You just have to be able to step back and see how it contributes to the wellbeing of others.
Recognizing your higher purpose not only develops grit and fuels passion, but it also makes your goals more fascinating and compelling.
Consider gritty people like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson. They are living proof that connecting passion to higher purpose breeds amazing success.
Ask yourself the following questions to pinpoint your higher purpose:
- What is it that makes me feel alive and fuels my passion?
- What are my special skills and talents?
- What talents or special skills do others say that I have?
- What values and beliefs make me feel good about myself?
- How can I direct my passion, skills, talents and values towards making this world a better place?
- How can I use my passion to enrich the lives of others?
- What is the legacy I want to leave behind?
Always keep your purpose alive in your thoughts and let it be your guiding star as you pursue your passion.
STEP #7: Practice, Practice, and More Practice
Studies tell us that people are more likely to stick with things they are good at doing. To cultivate grit, you need to work hard to master the skills that are relevant to your goal.
People with grit are always looking for ways to improve their skills and talents. They're always asking themselves, “How can I do this better? How can I do this more efficiently? How can I do this differently to get more outcomes?”
So, if you want to grow your grit, don’t ever be satisfied with just doing something well enough to get by. Look for ways to do it better each time. Take courses, get coaching, read books and listen to podcasts to constantly improve yourself. Don’t forget to stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in your niche. You can do this by joining a like-minded community to share experiences and exchange ideas.
Another great way to up your practice is to compete with yourself on a daily basis by practicing something a bit longer than the day before, setting the bar higher than the week before and seeking feedback from others.
Build your mental resistance by reflecting on future challenges you may be likely to encounter and how you will confront them.
Pursue your passion and work hard through constant practice to get better at it every day. We all know that practice makes perfect but when your goal is to cultivate grit, your slogan should be that perfection can always be perfected upon.
In summary: These seven steps are all interconnected and feed upon each other. When you practice them often enough, they will become lifelong habits that can transform your life. More importantly, they will surround you with an impenetrable armor of grit that keeps you motivated, hopeful, resilient and steadfast. Once you have accomplished this, nothing can hold you back!
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To Great Success,
Relentless Entrepreneurs Founder
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” – Richard Branson
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