We’ve all heard that saying that “You are capable of much more than you think you are.” And while we know deep down this is true, we’re getting a bit soft.
Little league teams are giving out trophies for participation. Parents are pulling their sons off teams because the coach is harsh. Children don’t want to try new sports or events they aren’t comfortable in and parents don’t urge them on.
We’re getting soft.
I think it’s because – we don’t want to see our children suffer. But we’re cultivating an atmosphere of quitting.
I remember attending an educational conference years ago about the importance of allowing our children to struggle. The speaker told a story of a young boy who loved football and joined a high school football team. Instead of loving football the boy grew to hate going to practice because of the heat and difficulty of the practices, which gave him intense headaches. Although it was difficult for the father to refuse his son, he thought it was important to teach his son the value of grit. Each week the boy came home begging to quit the team, each week dad refused.
Though that seemed like an impossible situation, with no relief in sight – except that the football season would eventually end, it is exactly that grit that helped that young boy endures immense difficulties after he grew up.
As soon as you quit it shifts you into a mindset that you can quit. That quitting is okay.
It’s easy to think that successful people have arrived to their pinnacle of success without challenges and trials. For the most part, they make it look quite easy. But truth be told, their success is due to their grit: they didn’t allow their problems to stop them. In the face of problems, they don’t quit. They don’t look for an out. Instead, successful people look for a way when there is no way.
For that boy, there really was no way for him to succeed. Except to hang in there. He tried drinking more water, taking salt tablets, eating differently, but nothing worked.
Here are some small steps that you can take when you want to develop GRIT:
- Acknowledge that quitting develops a pattern that is not helpful towards your goal
- Make a list of those who are “watching” you. Does your success/failure matter to them?
- Think back to a time when you persevered and things turned out more favorably than you expected.
- Write down your goal again. Is it worth pursuing?
Success takes many forms. It is on a timetable of its own. Not quitting is a success in and of itself. It shows you that you can persist beyond what you think you can and gives you a platform to build upon. Success is built upon a strong foundation of perseverance.
Don’t discount the journey. Our greatest character traits are built in the fiery times of trials.
Be Assured: Developing a habit of not quitting gives you an advantage!
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