Bare Your Teeth. Find Your Grit To Change Your Life.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a love for the underdog.
While the other little girls were dressing up as Disney princesses for Halloween; I was Pippi Longstocking, the orphan, for three Halloweens in a row. My mom and I used craft paint and Kool Aid to get my hair flaming orange, just like hers. I admired her. She was independent and feral, always finding ways to make everything an adventure.
The underdogs were just cooler than other characters. They were funny, they were brave and they always handled their shit. All underdogs have one very important quality; grit.
Grit is courageous and selfless. Grit is real life magic.
Grit’s something that’s not often talked about. We’ve been told that in order to achieve anything, you must have determination, focus, and drive. Rarely we hear the word grit thrown in there but it’s one of the best qualities a Braveheart can have. When we hit a few snags in the road, grit is what picks us up, slaps us in the face and gets us to the end goal.
From the ages of about 10- 13 years old, my favorite movie was “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.” Based on a true story in the 20’s, WHCBB is about a young girl named Sonora, who follows her dreams to “the big city” of Atlanta City to be a daredevil circus performer that jumps off high dives on a horse. After grueling training and tons of falling, she is finally able to perform and she’s killing it. Needless to say (spoiler alert) that wasn’t the end of her struggle. During a performance, chaos ensues and Sonora ends up blind. She then has to learn how to navigate life blind, and of course she still wants to do shows.
The movie ends with her doing her daredevil act flawlessly, and blind. I ended that phase of my life with an amazing perspective on grit, and a cat named “Sonora.”
Grit is composed of many qualities but three qualities are imperative.
- Courage– To have grit means you have courage. You must be brave and steady. Courage means trying new things even when it’s not what everyone else is doing. It is paving your own path and understanding that although something might work for some, it doesn’t for others, and it may not for you. Courage is accepting that. To be courageous is to be brave which also means you can achieve something without searching for approval from others. It is accepting support but not needing it. Courageousness is finding comfort in discomfort and not settling for less when you know there’s better. We all have courage, we just have to access it.
- Perseverance (patience)- Nothing that’s worth a shit will ever be handed to you. Ever. It just doesn’t work that way. And if your expecting it to be handed to you, you might as well just find a new goal that’s worth enough to you that you will work towards it. The quality of perseverance means you stay focused on your goals and your in it for the long haul. It’s un-accepting of anything less than what you set out for; but also having the patience to work for it. Perseverance is patience, it is humble and only wants what is best and for the greater good. Perseverance does not keep tabs on what’s going into something and expecting a greater return. It does, and does again.
- Resilience is so, so important. Often confused with perseverance resilience is different but just as necessary. Perseverance is continued effort. It’s keeping your mind and energy focused on your goal no matter how cloudy it may get during the climb. Resilience is keeping your mind and energy focused on the end goal and when shit doesn’t turn out the way you would like it to, it finds a new angle. To be resilient is to get back up when you get knocked down. Resilience is acceptance. In order to achieve your goal, you may need a different approach. Often times I see people have a great goal in mind and then shit happens and they think it’s a sign that they weren’t supposed to do it. Its actually the opposite. The universe will send us challenges on our journey to see if we actually want to reach the goal. I know this from experience. Anytime I set out on a new goal it’s almost immediately that something goes wrong or something weird pops up. Either a financial thing gets thrown my way or a random time constraint, or cancellation occurs. This is where resilience is KING (queen.) This is the universe asking if you really want it, and this is where you say “heck yes, bring it.”
Grit is necessary. It is bare bones and bullheaded. Grit is also peaceful and accepting. To have grit is a power tool. We all have it Braveheart, it is already within us just waiting to be tapped into. Grit is like a muscle, the more you use it, the easier hardships become. Once accessed, you’ll remember how you persevered through the last one. It’s never ending and ever changing. It is a special type of magic and strength. So how will you use grit in your life to make new magic?
“The Universe favors the brave. When you resolve to lift your life to its highest level, the strength of your soul will guide you to a magical place with magnificent treasures.”
-Robin S Sharma
When was the last time I persevered through a hardship?
What did I learn about myself during that experience?
How can I celebrate that quality in myself?
“I am strong and resilient”
“I can handle anything that comes my way with grace.”
“I already have the answers.”