Lately, I have been hearing a lot about Grit. If you are really into TED talks, there are some brilliant discussions there too. Sometimes that means different things to different people. After all, perception is everything, right? I guess the bigger question is figuring out what that means to YOU. To me, grit is digging a little deeper than I thought I could. Letting something go that was difficult, to move forward. That urge to strive to be better that I thought I could be. It is a big thing for me, and a lesson in integrity that I hope to model for my family.
The reality is…it is really hard. Sometimes it feels impossible. Life happens. This is one of the amazing things about FBT, that I find. We are a network of people…a unique culture of people who serve each other through accountability and outreach. What that means is, if we haven’t seen you in a week…we are going to check in with you. We want to know that you are ok…and if you aren’t, is there something we can do to help. Maybe it is as simple as a friendly voice on the phone and you just need to talk out a scheduling conflict. We all have those times. Maybe it is something more…the point is…you have a group of people behind you to cheer you on, support you and when you get through whatever it is, we help you celebrate it. We have goal setting systems also that might help…again, remember perception IS everything. When all else fails…we are a network of people that might just be able to offer some insight that will help you though, whatever it is. We all go though something some time.
I recently read an article from one of my favorite coaches/mentors on this very subject and how it impacted him personally. I enjoy his reflection, I share it in hope that it can help someone else too. Enjoy!
1. Get Better At Asking For And Accepting Help.
Being an “independent” person, I am not the best at relying on others. Having trained myself to carry the weight and do the work, it took me time to accept help. Whether at home or in therapy, I wasn’t good at relaxing and letting someone else help carry the load. “I got it,” was my default even when I didn’t. During this process, my wife and kids and extended family rallied around me and it has taught me not only to accept assistance, but also the best thing you can do in return is say, “Thank you.” People will want to help you when you need it. Let them. It is the greatest gift you can give them back.
2. Be More Patient.
After discovering vulnerability wasn’t one of my strengths, patience was the next area I found lacking. Slowing down was a new skill I was forced to learn. I had to get used to only 2 degrees of new motion a day. When my wound wasn’t healing properly, I was forced to see sometimes it is “two steps forward and one step back.” With patience, you must stay consistent. Trust in the process and the results will slowly begin to follow.
3. Be Thankful For And Celebrate The “Little Things.”
This process really challenged me to “look on the bright side.” Perhaps the greatest skill I learned from the experience is that there is always something positive on which you can focus. I committed each night before going to bed to list 5 new things I was able to do that day. Each night this left me feeling positive and reminded me I was making progress, even if it was small. I realized all the things I had with my health and life instead of the things I didn’t. You should try this exercise for a few weeks and see if it helps you.
4. Find Your Inspiration.
Even the motivator needs some motivation sometimes. One of the first days after the surgery, I’ll admit I was a close to depressed as I guess I could be. I was down and questioning would I ever get better. Serendipity took over again. I clicked on ESPN’s series 30 for 30, and the Terry Fox story was just starting. I was a kid when I first watched Terry go through what he did. I recorded the piece and watched it multiple times a day for the next 10 days. If he could run 3500 miles into the wind on one leg, I would return to run much further on two. I realized my purpose was to serve. Like Terry, I tried to lose myself in other people. I did podcasts and organized a global charity event that focused on helping people with their problems. It really helped me to forget about mine.
5. This Too Shall Pass.
Life is going to knock you down. It is not if that happens that will define you. It will be how you get back up. When I was stuck on the couch I had a choice: stay down or move on. It wasn’t easy. It was hard to see your challenges will really make you stronger. At first, I really couldn’t see how it was going to make me better. Now after passing through, I am less scared because I see what I am capable of.
Sharing this story is part of my healing. I still have work to do and even when I am better, the scar will remain. We all have scars. I think the trick in life is to use them for the lessons they teach us how to come back stronger.
Yours in Strength,