Regardless of what you want to achieve in life—whether it’s better strength and endurance, living a healthier lifestyle, or keeping fit—there are two key abilities that you need to foster.
The first is the ability to bounce back from challenges. The second is to keep working towards your goals, even when the road gets tough. These two traits are often known as grit and resilience, and the most successful people have developed them both.
Resilient people are those who can deal with life’s difficulties without losing their motivation or hope. They are often very positive individuals who have found effective and constructive ways to cope with stress. Some people are naturally resilient. But resilience and grit can also be learned to help you prepare to reach your future goals.
Here’s how to develop your grit and resilience and achieve anything you want to achieve.
Grit vs. Resilience
Grit can be described as passion and perseverance for your long-term goals. It’s directly related to how much you can harness your passion, sustain motivation over the long run, and inspire yourself to achieve specific goals.
Resilience, on the other hand, refers to your ability to keep pushing towards reaching your goals, even if you encounter challenges or setbacks along the way.
Resilient people are those who can get knocked down and get up to fight even harder after encountering a failure or an obstacle.
Simply put, resilience is the will to continue when things get hard, and grit is your drive that keeps you pushing through challenges over an extended period of time.
How to Build Resilience
New research on Indian participants has found that mindfulness is a key precursor to resilience. A study focusing on 327 undergraduate students measured the students’ levels of mindfulness, emotional states, satisfaction with life, and their levels of resilience. The students with higher levels of mindfulness displayed more resilience, which had a direct impact on their satisfaction with life as well.
Remaining mindful is a key part of developing a growth mindset, which is crucial for reaching your goals. It’s widely accepted that grit and resilience are both resources that you can hone and draw from if your choices and habits are aligned with your will to succeed. Thus, if you can change your mindset, your beliefs about yourself and your social connectedness, your self-regulation skills and your goals, you can build resilience and grit while prioritizing your personal growth and development.
People who develop a growth mindset tend to perceive challenges as opportunities rather than roadblocks. This perception helps them to respond with problem-solving thinking, constructive thoughts, and persistence. All of which can help them to overcome challenges without losing hope or the motivation to move forward.
Tips for Developing Grit and Resilience
According to personal growth expert Dr Deepak Chopra, there are many things you can do to develop your grit and resilience and prime yourself to reach your goals through constructive action. Chopra’s advice includes methods like:
- Staying positive. What you think informs your reality, and negativity can chip away at your grit and resilience and leave you feeling hopeless and frustrated. You can’t choose to avoid every negative person you encounter. But you can surround yourself with positive and supportive people as much as possible to help keep you feeling motivated. This is especially true when trying to reach fitness or diet goals. “Cheerleaders” can encourage and motivate you, keeping you on track and incentivized.
- Focusing on your choice of words. Any language that you use to praise someone can affect their grit and resilience. So, instead of praising people (and yourself) for fixed attributes and abilities, start offering praise for strategy, effort, and people’s roles in their own successes. Your self-talk can also hinder or help your efforts to meet your goals.
- Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about your own effort, replace them with positive affirmations like, “I can do this”, “I’m making great progress”, and “I can achieve anything that I set my mind to”.
- Honing your flexible thinking skills. People with flexible thinking tend to see opportunities for learning and growth where other people see problems and obstacles. When you meet new challenges with curiosity and creativity, you will be able to enhance your own resilience and your confidence in your own abilities to boot.
- Setting smaller goals that align with your purpose. It’s not easy to define your purpose in absolute terms, or set concrete goals that enable you to reach it immediately. Instead, set smaller goals that put you on the path towards your purpose.
If you’re planning on swapping your daily drive to work for a bicycle commute, build up slowly with an end goal in sight. Start with the goal of cycling a few times a week and increase this over time as you build up your endurance. If you meet smaller goals along the way you’ll enhance your sense of purpose and have a good reason to keep pushing forward.
- Remaining mindful. Taking time every day to reflect on your goals and progress will give you regular chances to revise your objectives and your actions to best serve your purposes. You can do this by meditating, journaling or even walking in nature. Remember to take a non-judgmental approach to your reflective sessions to ensure that you aren’t putting undue pressure on yourself.
- Taking good care of yourself. It’s very easy to neglect your needs when you are feeling stressed or pressured to achieve something. Focus on nurturing yourself, even during hard times, by eating regular healthy meals, getting in enough physical activity, and taking time for yourself and activities that you enjoy. Once you’re taking care of your own needs, you will develop more grit and resilience that will help you to stand up to life’s challenges.
You Can Do It!
Grit and resilience are two characteristics of successful people who are able to consistently meet their goals and achieve what they set their minds to.
Some people are naturally gritty and resilient. But even if you don’t feel that way yet, you can hone these abilities by practicing mindfulness, looking after your needs, connecting with positive and supportive people, and setting incremental goals that align with your greater purpose. Remember to keep your thinking patterns flexible and to praise your own efforts and contributions wherever possible. This will go a long way towards keeping yourself motivated and eager to keep working towards your goals
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