Grit is a muscle
“You realize, cadet, that you will never fly an attack aircraft.” “Yes, sir,” replied Shannon Huffman Polson, who had just enlisted in the Army. She went on to become one of the first women to pilot an Apache, an American attack helicopter.
Polson could tell us a lot about grit – the grit she had to nurture to achieve an apparently unachievable goal. And she did so by working on these five points:
– Go back over your own story and own it: you’ve faced challenges since your childhood. Draw up a list of these and think about how you overcame them. You’ll realize you have far more tools in your kit than you thought.
– Adopt the “Five Whys” method to work out what really matters to you. By staying focused on your end goal you’ll spend less time thinking about interim obstacles.
– Invest in others: Grit doesn’t depend on you and you alone. To go the distance, you need to know you can count on a circle of people you can trust – a circle you will have taken the time to establish beforehand. Who can you count on?
– Practice: Grit has to be worked at. Build it up as you would a muscle by facing increasingly difficult challenges. You will build up your confidence at the same time.
– And celebrate your interim victories!