Grit is perseverance, courage, resolve, strength of character, bravery, backbone, spirit, fortitude, toughness, resolve, determination, endurance. When the going gets tough and the tough gets going, that is #grit. Jonah Lehrer said:

Grit is the stubborn refusal to quit”     

My hometown is in Rochester, NY. We have just completed week two of many changes in our lives due to #COVID19. To help stop this deadly virus from spreading, changes have been implemented in regards to work, schools, shopping, fitness, well for everything. Schools are not open, some businesses are closed, when you go to the grocery store you have to stand 6 feet apart from everyone, people are shopping wearing gloves and face masks. We are physically distancing, socially isolating, and trying to stay connected.

We have to, we need to, to save lives.

In other parts of the world this quarantine has been going on for longer. China has been on lockdown for over six weeks and Italy over three weeks. In some parts of the world, people cannot leave their residences unless it is to get food or a medical issue. There have been stories from all over the world of people singing on balconies, appaulding for healthcare workers, bringing food and supplies to those in need, helping each other.

They have got their grit on.

The reality for everyone is that this is just the beginning. This is not going to be a few weeks or a month break from out daily routines and normal lives, where the restart button is pushed and we all are back doing and living in the way we were living and doing. We are going to need our grit, our resolve, our endurance, fortitude and strength of character more than ever.

We are going to dig deep into the spirit of our souls to help ourselves, and others, be ok. And I mean dig deep.

To wrap my head around what is going on, as it seems so surreal and it happened so quickly, has been a challenge. It sunk in fast when I was out going to mail something the other day  and stopped by the grocery store for some needed items. There were few cars on the road. The grocery store had people walking around with masks and gloves, looking haggard, scared, unsettled. My heart felt such sadness for this struggling and suffering. This is hard. This needs grit.

There are steps you can take to develop your mental toughness of grit, because grit after all is mental toughness. There have probably been times in your life you have used your grit, without perhaps realizing it. James Clear said in an article “Mental toughness is like a muscle. It needs to be worked to grow and develop”.  In the beginning of something mentally it is easier. The newness and “honeymoon” period helps your energy and inspiration to propel you to take regular actions that are good for you. When times goes on, and the newness wears off, is when grit need to kick in.

in an article by Mental Toughness Partners they wrote the ways to develop grit in times of crisis include (I added some of my interpretations):

  1. Know when to stop struggling. This does NOT mean quitting. This means you surrender so you can face up to your fear. You grieve. Once you do work through your emotional struggle, you find ways to adapt to your new circumstances. You can take actions that empower you.
  2. Manage your emotions. This does not mean ignoring or dismissing how you feel. Let yourself feel your feelings and feel them. Cry, get angry, or whatever it is you are feeling. Don’t marinate in them. Then implement healthy ways to cope with how you are feeling.
  3. Keep your ego in check. While this is impacting you, it is just not about you. Once your distance yourself from blaming others for your circumstances, it helps you to move to a mindset of “So what, now what. What am I going to do about this”.
  4. Maintain your clarity of vision. Where do you see your life heading? What steps are you taking to get there? We are the only people who stop ourselves from moving forward. You will keep moving forward if you continue to pursue moving forward.
  5. Develop an entrepreneurial mindset. This type of mindset includes thinking you will not fail and not caring what others think about what you are doing. You become the boss of you and your life.

I am going to add my additional way to cultivate your grit. Do good for others. Yep when you do good for others, especially when you are stressed, it helps to raise your energy and sense of self. According to research in a TED talk by Kelly McGonigal when people in stressful situations spent time caring for others they showed absolutely no stress-related increase in physical health. Zero. Caring created resilience, which helped their physical health and mental health.

Terrific, priceless, valued person you so matter. These are tough times. Yet you can do this. I know it! I believe in you and all of the grit you bring to this world!

May your grit be with you💜

Photo by Stéphan Valentin on Unsplash