The art of perseverance
As 2018 comes to an end, thoughts turn to our goals for the year ahead. If the last 12 months are anything to go by, we’re in for a bumpy ride. The ability to keep persevering, whatever happens – a trait known as grittiness – is a marker of success in all walks of life. And luckily, grit can be learned.
- Challenge yourself daily. By constantly exposing ourselves to a healthy level of challenge, we become more confident in our ability to deal with it – in short, more gritty. Volunteer for bigger responsibilities, put yourself forward for a presentation – get in the habit of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.
- Build a support network. A strong network acts as a buffer against adversity – not only can you call on others for help, but knowing that you have the support of those around you will boost your confidence and resolve. Think through what types of support you’ll need to achieve your 2019 goals, and look for any gaps in your network. Who could you call on to fill them?
- Use it wisely. Think of grit like a bank balance: you have a finite amount, and there are things you can do to augment or deplete it. When faced with a challenge, ask yourself ‘will succeeding help towards my long-term goal?’ If the answer is no, don’t waste your grit on it. Keeping in mind your overall aim will help you to focus energy on the things that matter.
- Be your own motivator. It can be hard to connect our daily efforts to our long-term aspirations. Motivate yourself to keep going by splitting the goal up into smaller, digestible chunks, reminding yourself what you’ll gain by achieving them, and celebrating your progress at every milestone along the way.
- Learn from setbacks. Even the grittiest amongst us can fall short of our goals. What matters is how we bounce back. Instead of wallowing, pinpoint why you failed and what you could do differently next time. Remind yourself the setback is a temporary, specific situation – it doesn’t reflect your overall ability or future prospects.