In a society that views academic grade letters, test scores and other external markers for achievement as measurements of our worth and success, it can be easy to miss the real – and wildly beautiful – growth taking place within us.
Brilliant University of Pennsylvania psychologist, Angela Duckworth, has identified “that it's resilience, not IQ, that is the best predictor of success.”
In fact, as Duckworth defines it: true grit…combines resilience, ambition, and self-control in the pursuit of goals that take months, years, or even decades.
Read that again.
Resilience. Ambition. Self-control.
What if, instead of working to fit into other people’s expectations—society’s expectations and even your OWN expectations—of who you are supposed to be…You chose to become the best, most resilient, ambitious and self-disciplined version of yourself, that YOU want to be.
Think of how radically different life could look.
Now, this is not some far-off, unattainable idea. This version of you is in your reach if you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone.
Truth #1: Resilience can be taught and learned.
Becoming resilient is not one of those “you have it or you don’t” character traits. It’s a skill that, like a muscle, develops as a result of hard work, perseverance and bravery.
Do you consider yourself – as you are right now – to be resilient? What about 10 years ago?
Stopping to assess where you’re at and how far you’ve come is essential to tracking your progress and growth.
The next piece of the puzzle is a mindset shift. And it requires you to believe me when I say:
Truth #2: You are more resilient than you think you are.
Are you waking up each day, knowing that hard things are required of you, and still choosing to get out of bed, put one foot in front of the other, etc.? Celebrate that. You’re resilient AF.
The degree of what qualifies “hard things” varies drastically for everyone. But, that doesn’t mean someone else’s hard thing discounts yours.
The more exposure you have to challenges, the stronger the degree of resilience is instilled within you, allowing you to bounce back from future challenges much more quickly.
Here’s the important differentiator to make, though:
Truth #3: Challenges alone don’t equal resilience. It’s about how you RESPOND to that particular hardship, uncertainty, struggle, etc.
And this can look like a lot of different things.
Sometimes, it looks like being terrified, but taking action anyway.
Sometimes, it looks like practicing self-compassion and prioritizing your own needs.
Sometimes, it looks like protecting your mental health instead of listening to limiting voices.
Sometimes, it looks like choosing to indulge in self-care despite the anxiety you feel.
Sometimes, it looks like rearranging and reworking your schedule to better serve you.
Truth #4: It’s okay to not have all the answers, not know what’s coming next, not have it all figured out.
As long as you know what you want (or at least a general direction to work towards) – and you lead with bravery despite your fears – you have the power to build an exceptional, ambitious and disciplined life of resiliency. And that, my friends—like Angela Duckworth said—is the highest level of success you could ever hope to strive for.