How To Harness Your Mental Grit

It’s fair to say that we’ve all been through turbulent times over the past two years.

Yet, even in times of business-as-usual, it can feel lonely at the top as you navigate the choppy waters of owning and running a successful business.

Whilst coaching CEOs from multiple industries across the UK, I pass on tried and tested mini solutions for how to find the strength and focus to stay positive and remain an inspiration to those around you, no matter what arises. I’ve listed some of them here. Think of it as your go-to resource for giving your mind a well-deserved break and a positive boost. Plus, be sure to take me up on my free offer at the end of the article for a more personalised one-to-one session.

What is mental grit?

Sometimes referred to as mental toughness, grit is the passion and persistence to keep striving toward your long-term goals.

According to pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth, grit is more important than talent when it comes to outstanding achievement. In her best-selling book, Grit, Duckworth reveals that not only is grit the hallmark of long achievers, but it’s something that individuals can grow. 

What are the benefits of harnessing your mental grit?

Harnessing mental grit isn’t about trying to eliminate stresses and problems from our working lives. Instead, it’s the process of optimising them as positive experiences that help us grow.

Developing your mental toughness enables you to see past issues as they arise and effectively recognise the silver lining that can arise from any situation.

Mental grit can help you overcome challenges, accept that you are on a continuous journey of self-improvement, and boost your confidence when it comes to decision-making.

In other words, mental grit is a significant driving force toward achieving success.

5 ways to harness your mental grit

1.    Focus on micro-decisions

Do you sometimes feel like you don’t have all the answers?

The refreshingly good news is that nobody has all the answers. Yet, what you do have is solid intentions to continue growing and achieve success. And when you believe these intentions strongly enough, they become solid facts. 

Be sure to regularly reinforce your solid intentions so that everyone understands where the business is heading. And don’t worry about having all the answers right now. Focus on providing enough knowledge for your team and business to achieve what it needs to achieve each day. These micro-decisions pave the way for macro-outcomes. 

2.    Every experience is a learning experience

As we learned with the lockdowns during the peak of the Covid pandemic, the second time around is often less scary than the first. The key is to treat every experience as a learning experience and learn from the choices you made so that you are in a stronger position to overcome the same (or similar) issue should it arise again.

As Elizabeth Day, author of Failosophy, says, ‘One way of draining the emotion from failure is to think of it as data acquisition. You’re gaining valuable info about what doesn’t work. Applied correctly, it will bring you closer to the thing that does.’

Past experiences guide future behaviour. They teach you the skills, strategies, and processes to action if and when history repeats itself. They empower you to make decisions based on data, rather than gut feelings.  

3.    Embrace your mission

When it feels like things are out of your control, focussing on what you can control can help keep you grounded. 

That’s why, in times of adversity, I recommend you dust off your company mantra and start living and breathing your mission statement. Think of it as your blueprint for guiding your team towards the future that you envisage for the company. 

Great power and focus can be derived from the words in turbulent times, so be sure to use them and display them everywhere from email signatures to Zoom meeting backgrounds. Plus, living your mission statement is the best way to discover if it’s still relevant…and to do something about it if it’s not.  

4.    Create lists

Looking at the big picture can be overwhelming. On the face of it, reaching the end goal can seem insurmountable and facing multiple micro-decisions can become exhausting. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way.

The secret is to make lists. Writing down what needs to be done, by whom, and by what date turns a complicated task into an actionable plan. Physically writing everything down also saves you from feeling like you’re going to implode from holding everything in your head.

Instead, you’ll have a list of priorities, mini-tasks, and large tasks that empower you to feel decisive and focus on the task at hand.

5.    Take time out

Regular breaks as humans rejuvenate us and give us the strength to mentally recharge. For this reason, I advise the CEOs that I speak with to do the following:

  • Make a list of the small things that bring them pleasure in the everyday
  • Find someone to help them accountable to doing them on a daily basis

Start actioning the above and you will face each day with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. A recent example of my own came during lockdown when my son and I challenged each other to learn to touch type by practicing – uninterrupted – for thirty minutes each day.

It took our minds off everything else, it was entertaining, and it’s a great skill. Just think what you could achieve with your daily time out.

Want more advice tailored to your business? 

Follow me on LinkedIn where I share business tips and challenges to help you unwind and stay focused.

Plus, I’m offering free 30-minute confidence-boosting one-on-one sessions where we can discuss your fears, ideas, and stress points as a CEO.

To book your confidential session, call (0)7973 137470 or schedule a call.

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