Are you burned out, overwhelmed, or feel like giving up? We’ve all been there before. The truth is, for most of us, there are times when life feels overwhelmingly tough, and it’s easy to lose motivation when faced with obstacles that seem unyielding. But what sets successful people apart is their ability to lean into grit – their unique ability to persevere through challenges and setbacks, staying committed to their long-term goals.
While having grit might seem like an innate quality, it’s actually something you can cultivate through self-care practices. In this article, we’ll explore how self-care and grit go hand-in-hand in helping you build a stronger, more resilient version of yourself!
The Power of Self-Care
With over 89% of employees experiencing burnout in the past year, self-care has become a hot topic. Society tends to glorify busyness and productivity, aka hustle culture. We are constantly bombarded with the pursuit of more, and that more requires us to stay head down, grinding out the next feat. The question I always come back to is why? Why are we focused so much on what’s next vs. what’s right here and now? The answer is that what we desire more than most things in life is to be happy and successful. Unfortunately for us, we’ve all been told a lie. We’ve all been told that happiness and success are on the other side of MORE.
But what if I told you that true success, happiness, and flow are found in the pause and not in the more? Would you believe me?
Many self-care advocates will tell you to meditate, read, walk in nature, and eat nutritious foods. While all that may play a part in becoming a stronger, more resilient version of yourself, the piece that’s missing is grit.
Taking care of yourself isn’t just about indulging in pampering activities, nourishing your body, or removing all stressors; it’s also about becoming the kind of person who taps into superpowers such as resilience and grit. It’s about becoming the kind of person who chooses to pause for their growth, discover their next course of action, hit reset when needed, and heed their current ambitious pace.
Building Your G.R.I.T. Formula™
Now that you understand that self-care can be more than pampering or engaging in body-nourishing activities, let’s build your own grit formula.
You first need to identify the areas in your life where you want to improve. Where are you finding the most struggle or challenge presently? Quickly, on a sheet of paper, list out the following eight areas that make up your life; career, fun, finances, relationships, health, spirituality, and personal growth. Now score them from one to ten, with one being not satisfied at all in that area and ten being extremely satisfied. Choose your lowest-scored area to focus on, as this is the area that has the ability to affect all other areas of your happiness.
Once you have identified the focus, think about what specific actions or behaviors you can take that will help you improve this area of your life. This is the creation of your plan. Ensure your goal is 100% within your control, and decide how you will track your progress. A word to the wise here, I recommend starting with small, tiny steps that allow you to have some quick wins and begin to create a success cadence.
Now that you have your goal, we need to begin to prepare for the war ahead. What do I mean? Well, if change was easy, everyone would be doing it! And while I am all for positive self-talk, affirmations, and even a small dose of manifestation, I am a realist at heart. I understand that changing an area of your life that is causing you angst and stress will require a certain amount of tenacity and perseverance.
Resilience is your ability to recover from adverse events, failures, setbacks, and big ole mountains. So when I say we need to prepare for the war ahead, I want you to list all possible ways this goal could go wrong before the challenge ever rears its ugly head. Write the challenges in one column and in the column to the right list possible solutions. This way, if you are met with a challenge, you will have some very clear pathways to recovery.
ITERATE AND INTROSPECT
I’d love to tell you that your initial plan is foolproof, but we both know that’s almost impossible. There are eight billion people in the world, and less than three percent of those people set goals for themselves every year. Of those three percent, only eight percent achieve them. Why? We are wired to win quickly, and when things go off track, we tend to quit.
Choosing to focus on developing a mindset of grit on the pathway of becoming a happier and healthier person requires a level of humility not seen regularly in the world of goal setting. If you think for a moment about the goal you have and the current struggle that is leading to your stress, more than likely, the answer to how you will solve it will come from one of the following areas of your life:
Your circle of influence
What you read and listen to
We are a product of our environment, which means the path we take to achieve our goals is wrong at times! And this is why we need to iterate and tweak along the way. The goal is clear and remains the same, but how we achieve it changes as we embrace new learnings, which is why introspection is also so important here. It’s in the moments where we lean into our resilient nature, that we also need to go inward, checking in with ourselves and our newly learned experiences and choosing to iterate the path (not the goal) along the way.
Lastly, our self-care struggles exist within the space between our goals and priorities. All too often in my coaching practice, I witness extremely intelligent, ambitious humans who choose goals that are out of alignment with their values, their priorities, and ultimately their truth.
If you don’t know what your values, priorities, and truth are, how will you know what to say yes to and what to say no to? How will you know when to quit? How will you know when the scales of balance have tipped too far to the right?
The answer is, you won’t!
When you choose goals that are out of alignment with who you are as a person, you will find yourself feeling out of place. Stress, anxiety, and a feeling of guilt begin to creep in. Slowly but surely, you begin to feel the pull between who you are and who you believe yourself to be.
Maybe you have business goals that require you to work late, but your priorities and values speak to a parent who never misses little league practice. Or perhaps your truth shows you as a person who takes care of your health, prioritizing eating healthy and working out consistently, but your goals have you traveling more and making excuses for not staying true to yourself.
It may sound trivial in the grand scheme of things, but all the data shows that when we are out of alignment with our true selves, we begin to see an unraveling of our self-worth, self-respect, and ultimately our self-care.
Building resilience and grit is a challenging process. It takes time, effort, and patience to develop the skills needed to overcome obstacles in life. However, by incorporating your own G.R.I.T. Formula™, self-care becomes a priority, and you can stay focused on your true self.
Remember that self-care is not selfish; it’s essential for maintaining good mental health and overall well-being. By taking the time to prioritize your goals in alignment with the areas of your life where you are feeling the most pressure, you will be better equipped to face life’s challenges head-on.
So start today by choosing your area of focus and beginning to cultivate the kind of self-care that is led with grit first.
Terri-Ann Richards | Speaker, Consultant, Author
Terri-Ann Richards is a sought-after speaker, insightful host of the Balanced Perspective podcast, and the author of the book “Success Takes Courage: The Inside-Out Approach to Lasting Achievement and Happiness” and its companion workbook of the same name — a compelling blueprint on how to create success from the inside out.