Why is it that some people succeed in starting a new business, ministry opportunity, or creative enterprise and others fail?
If you read or listen to motivational books you learned the importance of knowing you’re why, identifying your passion, developing a business plan, understanding your niche, having goals with measurable outcomes, and having a tribe.
While every one of these is a requirement to pursue your dream there is one vital ingredient missing in the formula. That key component is grit or hardiness.
While anyone can develop hardiness, researchers have identified certain characteristics.
According to the research of psychologist Susan Kobasa, three elements appear to be essential when we look at hardiness or grit to exist: challenge, personal control, and commitment. Kobasa called these the three ‘Cs.’
Commitment. They have s sense of purpose in their life. They are committed to their dream and do the work necessary and tackle challenges head-on. Part of the reason hardy people are able to stay in the game and persist in their coping efforts is that as a group they are committed to an active, engaged stance towards life. They feel that their life has a purpose (whatever shape that may be), and that purpose motivates them to actively attempt to influence their surroundings and to persevere even when their attempts to influence their surroundings don’t appear to be working out. A person who has no purpose in life –no motivation and no commitment –will not be able to lead a resilient life. On the other hand, resilient people find meaning in their activities even when faced with significant adversity precisely because they are committed to finding that meaning; towards taking an active, problem-solving approach to life.
Challenge. Individuals with grit have a sense of purpose in life see problems as challenges and they devote time, effort and energy into solving them
They are connected to their dream, their mission and tackle things head on. People with grit remain involved in an endeavor despite stressful circumstances such as changes in the marketplace, business systems, and the economy. People lacking grit tend to pull back from their dream or opportunity and drift into isolation or alienation. People with grit view stress as a challenge that they can potentially overcome if only they can understand it properly. Their habit of looking at challenges to be overcome motivates them to address the causes of their stress in positive ways.
I remember one of my Battalion Commanders used today. “Men we don’t have problems we have opportunities for growth and excellence.
This active approach to life challenges may be contrasted with the more common approach, where stress and challenges are viewed as an unfortunate, overwhelming or even paralyzing force that overwhelms rather than motivates.
Personal Control. People who are gritty believe they are in charge of and responsible for their lives and that they have the power to change it. If they don’t have the skill set to do something they will go out of their way to get them.
As a group, people with grit people tend to accept challenges and to work to overcome and master them. Even when true mastery of a challenge is not possible (e.g., when a situation is not possible to control), gritty people work to find what possibilities do exist for mastery and pursue them. When faced with the loss of employment, a hardy person would seize upon opportunities for exploring new employment options rather than become depressed and demoralized.
How about you? Do you consider yourself a person with grit, are you someone who exemplifies hardiness? Later this week I will share 8 signs that will reveal that you do have it and on Friday I will give you 8 ways to develop it.
I love what St. Paul said in the New Testament book of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.”