Third time’s a charm
Like many this time of year, I had a fabulous getaway planned.
Even more exciting? It was to a dream destination: Costa Rica.
You might recall me mentioning that my family initially scheduled a trip there during the winter holidays but had to scrap it last minute when we realized one of our daughter’s passports had expired months prior.
Luckily, the hotel said we could use the credit at a future date, so my husband and I picked a Wednesday - Monday stretch in early April where the two of us could make it a quick, semi-working vacation.
(Fortunately, because of the nature of my work, I can literally do it anywhere in the world as long as I have WiFi.)
I was prepped and ready to experience my share of beaches, rainforests, and monkeys, until the wee hours of Tuesday morning, when a stomach bug cruelly said, “Not today, Amy.”
Being the optimistic and rarely sick person I am, I hoped it was a 24-hour virus, something I could shake off and still make the trip. But when it became clear there was no way I could rally, we had to cancel our trip.
For a second time.
Was I extremely disappointed? You bet.
Have I given up on visiting Costa Rica? Not a chance.
Instead, I’m hoping the third time’s a charm by leaning into my “grit,” a soft skill comprised of a unique blend of passion and persistence.
Grit is the ability to maintain a long-term focus on a highly important goal. It’s about having the stamina and passion to keep going, even when you get frustrated or feel challenged.
Which comes in handy with twice-canceled vacation plans, sure, but also in your career.
The keys to developing your grit are practice, maintaining the resiliency and optimism to bounce back from failures, and adopting a growth mindset where you believe you can—and therefore, will—get “grittier” over time.
Here are seven questions to ask yourself to help you develop grit:
1. What do I want?
To maintain an unwavering focus on your goals, you first have to be able to enunciate them. And when you have clarity on what you want, you can also explain it to others to enlist their help.
2. How can I increase my exposure to new ideas, experiences, and possibilities?
To grow your grit, you must be curious. Those who maintain a growth mindset are open to and seek out the unfamiliar to creatively expand their horizons.
3. How can I help others?
Those who embrace grit understand that it’s not always about them. Instead, they reframe situations to find ways to be of service to others because by doing so, they know they will also thrive.
4. What are my fears?
Fear is a powerful emotion. It often masquerades as procrastination and discomfort, keeping you from making progress and threatening to derail you on your grit journey. To combat this, you need to muster the courage to acknowledge and tackle your hidden fears.
5. What is my intention, and is it aligned with my attention?
You can only develop grit when you create an unshakeable determination to accomplish what you want, also known as your intention. And when you pair this with the focused attention of your time and energy, you’ll up your grit factor.
6. What actions and behaviors serve me well and which do not?
Growing your grit requires a level of self-awareness that means you understand that everything is connected: your actions, behaviors, and results. Having this front of mind means intentionally avoiding things that derail you and keeping those that best support your goals.
7. What parts of my environment do I need to change, keep or remove?
With grit, your environment matters. Make sure to surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history. If something or someone no longer serves you, remove them to make room for those that do.
Grit is linked to two seemingly opposite traits: consistency and adaptability.
Consistency speaks to reliability and trust, while adaptability lends itself to innovative thinking and problem-solving.
On their own, consistency and adaptability are admirable traits; combined, they’re a potent combo when leveraged in the professional world.
In my latest Forbes article, I share why you need to master both to drive your career.
P.S. When I’m not writing this newsletter, rebooking our Costa Rica vacation, or getting gritty, I’m a social media ghostwriter. (Yep, that’s a thing). I help founders, entrepreneurs, and CXOs craft their stories to communicate and connect better by magnifying their reach and impact. (Think personal branding and thought leadership.) Learn more here.
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