Grit is a concept popularized by Angela Duckworth ten years ago with her book and 6-minute Ted Talk (watch it). It appears to be making the rounds on Linked In again.
To me, Grit is focus and intensity, and a desire to succeed. A classic example of using grit is finishing a marathon (or improving your time). But grit can also be summoned to do everyday chores like homework or cleaning a bathroom. In other words, it takes grit to clean the grout.
Grit is the dedication to doing a thing and doing it well.
And yet, grit has been receiving a similar backlash to the Tiger Mom philosophy. , But I keep thinking that this is exactly what our often entitled, comfort-seeking society needs right now.
I hosted a birthday party recently for my 10 year old twins at a climbing gym. Some of the climbs go 50 feet in the air, and we strapped every last kid into a harness and had them up there.
These were not simple climbs.
But I saw multiple kids do things they didn’t think they could do. They went up two, three, ten times to climb higher than before. Kids were running over to me with just pure joy on their faces at what they were able to achieve.
They were afraid, nervous, and ultimately, proud of their accomplishments.
They reminded me, as energetic 10 year old boys can, of how wonderful it is to be challenged, and to do that thing you didn’t think you could do. They cheered for one another with gusto, and even hauled my sons up onto a throne 30 feet in the air.
WHAT GRIT IS and ISN’T
Grit isn’t an obsessive at-any-cost pursuit of a goal. As my clients know, we begin with one goal and sometimes change course as we learn more about ourselves, our values and what we truly want.
Grit isn’t compromising your values for a win. Grit isn’t stepping on others to get ahead.
Grit is eyes on the prize, playing the long game, and as James Clear says, getting 1% better every day. Grit can be kinda boring, grit means going to hockey practice at 6 am on a cold winter day when you’d rather stay home, in bed.
It’s doing the right thing when no one is looking, whether that’s your workout, healthy eating, or getting your taxes done on time.
COACHING TO LEARN
As you may know, I had a crazy back surgery malfunction in late 2021, and am still taking a minute to get back into running. My rockin 9 minute mile is now closer to 11:30. And I’m pissed about that.
But instead of joining a running club, or trying harder (which I’m doing, but it’s not super fun), I signed up to coach with Girls On The Run. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing more exhilarating than running a marathon is cheering for the runners. And as a coach, I’m going to be trained to help 3rd-5th grade girls run their first 5K.
What better motivation to practice what I preach than to preach!!
I cannot wait to see these girls raise their grit game – just like the climbers at the party. I can’t wait to run hard, run in bad weather, and reward the effort.
ET TU, GRIT-TAY?
Spring is almost here. What new challenge might you take on? Climb a wall? Do trapeze? Polar plunge? 5K with me?
And more importantly, where might you volunteer your time with someone who will benefit. Is there a sport you can coach? A meal you can bring to a new neighbor or family in need?
You got this. Show yourself what you’re made of. Find a thing you want to do that raises your game, and supports someone to raise theirs. Set goals, achieve, pursue new ones.
Let me know what you’re planning to do. I can’t wait to hear about it!