How to Strengthen Your Resilience, Perseverance and Grit to Get Success in Your Life
When discussing success and achievement, often time you’ll hear words like resilience and perseverance used to describe qualities associated with, or necessary for, one to be successful in attaining goals. These may be business or life goals or both. In recent articles I’ve covered Goals and Getting Your Life Priorities Straight and the Importance of Resilience in Overcoming Life Challenges but today I wanted to discuss with you the need for Perseverance in the overall life equation for success, and especially how it relates to its twin sister of Resilience. Now people may get the terms resilience and perseverance confused as they’re usually paired together when discussing the ingredients for successful living especially for entrepreneurs. Even though they’re needed in the equation for success, they’re different, but go hand in hand. Most recently, the term Grit has entered the vocabulary. Let’s start by looking at a few definitions to level the playing field… DEFINITIONS FOR PERSEVERANCE AND RESILIENCE AND GRIT: Perseverance in a nutshell means keeping on keeping going, staying the course, not giving up! No matter how many difficulties, obstacles or delays you face on your road to achieving your goals or dreams, you ‘persevere’ – you keep on going to the finish line! To persevere means taking a ‘no giving up approach’, no matter how tough things may get. Your dream or goal is all you can focus your mind on, and you’ll do whatever it takes to get there. You could say it’s akin to willpower in you resist the temptation to give up when barriers appear. People also use the word steadfastness in describing this characteristic. Resilience on the other hand is the ability to rebound, bounce back or recover from difficulties you may have experienced in your life. It’s about being able to manage and adapt to the situation, or stress, and want to plow on, forge ahead. Often times there’s a toughness you possess that allows you to recover faster than most, and gets you back into living life the fullest or pursuing your dreams. When you live with a sense of resilience, you live with a sense of purpose, and a drive to get to what you want. Even though you have resilience, it’s the ‘perseverance’ component that makes you want to get back in the game and never give up chasing your dreams. When you possess perseverance, you lock onto your goal like a heat-seeking missile. No matter how challenging the obstacles or roadblocks look, you’re committed to chasing down your dream(s) because quitting isn’t an option, or at least that’s how you’re wired to believe. Finally, grit is all about sustaining effort towards your long-term goals. It’s all about self-control and being able to sacrifice short-term gratification. To me it’s a subtle difference from perseverance, which requires grit to sustain and persevere. When people are down, discouraged or even suffering from mental health issues or addictions, they may have greater difficulties in persevering, that is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Mental health issues or sudden ‘tragedies’ one may experience in life have a harsh way of derailing a person from achieving their goals and dreams. For some, they give up at this point. To be different requires mindset changes and exercising the perseverance and resilience muscles. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER AND GETTING WHAT YOU NEED FOR SUCCESS: The major difference between those who manage to keep going despite adversity and major challenges is their… mindset. People who are able to persevere because they possess resilience, view challenges or barriers as opportunities, or view them as setbacks to allow them to make comebacks. They view these as occasions to overcome ‘tests’ in order to share their testimonies for success. If you’re lacking in both perseverance and resilience then sooner of later one will take you out of the game. But while your environment, either in the past or current, can cause your mindset to lack both, or one of these traits, they can be learnt. You weren’t born with either characteristic and so if you recognize it as a deficiency then you can change. But it won’t happen overnight – be in it for the long-term and you’ll automatically grow the trait of perseverance. But telling yourself or somebody else to persevere and get to your goal despite everything that could stop you is just words. We tend to be lazy and look for “short cuts” or give up quickly when we realize “this is going to take work.”
Mindset is the key to change. One study conducted in England showed developing strategies to overcome being stuck and “dealing positively with challenges” changed the words kids used to feel about an issue. For example, before implementing strategies negative words such as “frustrated, angry, confused, nervous, worried, and sad” were used to describe feelings of being stuck. After implementing strategies that overcame being stuck, the kids in the study, though still exposed to the same challenges, described their issues more positively using words such as “surprised, satisfied, tired, happy, and relieved.” You can read more about this study with kids in a school environment in the resource section below where I’ve included a link. But what does a study done in England with school kids have to do with you exercising your perseverance and resilience muscles? Well, it teaches us if you think differently about a problem – or let’s call this mindset (or re-framing if you prefer that term)- then you’re more likely change your outcomes. So, even though this was a “lab” environment so to speak, and the problems may have been small, nonetheless the exercise is relevant to the wider world and longer time frames. One of the qualities of a positive mindset is “belief.” Having belief in your abilities helps overcome those thoughts, and labels put on you by others of “you’ll never amount to anything.” For example maybe you’re trying to learn a new skill and its going to take a long time – a different language as an adult – and it’ll be difficult and not come easy. A person with a fixed mindset that views their abilities as limited is more likely to quit when the going gets tough – geez after all mastering English is hard enough, right? But those who’ve developed a growth mindset welcome the opportunity to learn something new, and accept it won’t be easy but believe they’re in control of their own ability, and can learn and improve, and this is the key to their success through perseverance and resilience. You can read more about the importance of mindsets in the link to an article in the resource section below. If you’re lacking in the resilience and/or perseverance department, then hypnosis may be a great option for you to consider. It can help you retrain your thinking and help rid the obstacles you perceive standing in your way and hindering you from getting the success you deserve. Hypnosis can help retrain your mind and remove old negative thinking patterns, and replace them with new, positive ways of thinking. Instead of seeing road blocks and reasons to give up, hypnosis can recreate your thoughts to give you every reason why you should not give up. Resilience and mental toughness are two topics included in my own online and in-office Special Hypnosis Services Programs. CONCLUSIONS: Perseverance, resilience and grit are traits used to describe people who seem to be able to achieve their outcomes despite odds being stacked against them. But these traits are developed, or not, over time, and so if lack of these characteristics of your personality is stopping you reaching your success then changing your mindset will help you exercise and develop these “muscles.” Develop a growth mindset to focus on learning to expand your abilities and think positively as challenges and opportunities arise, instead of a fixed mindset that gets stuck in negative self-talk on all the reasons why you can’t overcome barriers to get the outcomes you want and deserve. If you change nothing, nothing will change.