Grit: 3 Ways to Develop Your Mental Toughness

"The common denominator to success is
forming the habit of doing things that others don't like to do."
- Albert Gray

One of the most beneficial qualities a person can possess is a healthy self-confidence. There is a direct relationship between grit and self-confidence. 

Grit can be defined as firmness of character; internal toughness; the ability to persevere toward a goal despite being confronted by obstacles, failures and distractions.

Grit is not something that you either have or don’t have, it is developed over time. We all have the power to increase our grit. Here are 3 ways you can increase yours.

1. Keep Commitments to Yourself and Others.

When we fail to follow through on commitments we make to our self, our self-respect takes a hit. When we fail to follow through on commitments made to others, our credibility takes a hit.

When it comes to goals, it’s good to make them ambitious. When it comes to keeping commitments, it is best to start small. It is better to make a small commitment and keep it, than to make a big commitment and break it.

Here are some practical things you can do to increase your grit:

  • Plan your day by making a reasonable to-do list. Accomplish all planned tasks by the end of the day.
  • Decide to forgo an unhealthy food for a day. Be specific. (Example: no french fries)
  • When you are in the middle of a task, quit when you are finished, not when you are tired.
  • Unplug from social media for a day.

In relation to others, determine that you will be a person of your word. Be careful with your promises. But when you make a commitment, do whatever it takes to follow through.

2. Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable.

There are two kinds of stress, distress and eustress. Eustress is healthy, beneficial stress. When you go to the gym and lift weights to the point of discomfort, you are intentionally putting yourself in a state of eustress - for the purpose of getting stronger.

Intentionally put yourself in periods of eustress. Your grit will grow.
Here are some ways to get out of your comfort zone:

  • Volunteer to make a presentation
  • Step into a difficult, but necessary conversation
  • Develop a new skill
  • Apply for a different job 

In other words, do hard things. Make fear your friend. Understand that fear and growth go together. As Pastor Mark Patterson says, “You have to go through awkward to get to awesome.” Get to the point that when you feel fear, you say to yourself, “This is cool, this is how I grow.”

3. Bounce Back from Adversity. 

We all make mistakes and experience failure. Begin to look at failures as temporary, learning experiences. Whenever you experience a setback or obstacle, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this and how can I move forward in a constructive way?

Decide to be resilient. Let your past refine you, not define you. Evander Holyfield once said, “A setback only paves the way for a comeback.”
Research has revealed that grit is one of the most important predictors of success. The Apostle Paul listed self-control (a form of grit) among other qualities such as love and kindness.

People with grit are better off in almost every way. Take small steps to develop your grit today. Get a series of small wins. Soon you will gain momentum and your grit muscle will grow.

Get your grit on!

“Don’t pray for an easy life, pray to be a strong person.” 
– Phillip Brooks