Your Own Grit and Perseverance When Times Are Hard

Hey there y’all! Was it just me or did this week fly by? I know that when we are busy, time moves fast, but I feel like the last couple of weeks have been moving at an incredible rate! And, I am not sure about you, but I don’t think I took enough time to stop and “smell the roses”, so to speak!

I have learned to love podcasts these days…probably why I started my own! I love them because it is an easy way to multitask when doing things that need to be done and still have an opportunity to listen and learn. Starting my business has been quite a learning experience, with something new every day, and if I had not had the input from some of these great entrepreneurs through their podcasts, I would be years behind! One of the podcasts I listen to regularly stood out to me, and I want to expand on the content and share my thoughts with you this week. Let’s get started!

I am preparing to speak at my first live speaking event on April 25, and so I have been intently listening and learning from all of these experienced businesswomen as I am preparing. My topic to discuss is how to pivot and adjust when your business (or life) is not going the way you want it to go. I have not been in “business” long, but in life and in my own career in education, I know that I have quite a bit that I can share with the 60ish women who will be in attendance. Of course, my focus will be exactly how I have made my own pivots and shifts in my world when things haven’t worked out quite as I want them to…and just like anyone…I have had a few of these events in my almost 52 years!

The podcast I was listening to was focused on the concept of mental toughness…which to me definitely translates to grit and perseverance. These two words have such a high place in my own life and without them, I would not be where I am today. As I was listening to the host discuss this, frame it into my own thoughts, the first thing I thought about was how I raised my daughter. Looking back on my own upbringing, I did not want her to have to endure all of the things that I had…so I know I sheltered her and did a lot of overcompensating in her life. What I learned, as she was going through one of her early adult struggles, this caused her to not have the skills to effectively problem solve in situations that did not go her way and she had some difficulties that needed my help. I was there of course, but what I quickly learned was that my job as a mom was not quite over, although she was in her 20s at this point…because now I had to help her learn problem solving and some grit…that mental toughness when times are hard.

It also made me think back to times when I was in my early adult years…transitioning into my career, learning how to balance life as a wife, parent, and educator, and dealing with those dreaded curve balls that would come out of nowhere while learning how to navigate and build a life I wanted. So many times, I would feel frustrated, and I know I would lash out to my ex-husband or those closest to me because I had not yet effectively developed my own grit and perseverance when times were hard. I remember thinking so many times, ok…this is just not going to work so just keep living in your comfort zone and learn to enjoy the life that has been presented to you. If you know me now, you definitely know that was never my plan…to just live the life that came to me…oh no…my goals and dreams were too big, and I know that was probably a pivot point for me…realizing I didn’t yet have that mental toughness and definitely had to develop it if I was going to live my dream life!

So how about you? How do you handle setbacks in life? How do you show up when times are hard? What go to strategies do you have so that you can problem solve life or career situations and continue on a path to success? Here are a few of my suggestions to use when you know you need a little extra help developing your own gritty skills!

  • When a setback comes your way, stop, breathe and take a minute to assess the situation. I like to follow my coaching process for this. I first look at the circumstances, your reality. What is happening at the moment? Then I map out my thoughts and feelings about it. Once I can process that part, I take a break…come back, and look at what actions got me to my current reality. If this is where I want to stay, great…continue with these actions. But chances are, you want a different path, so you must then determine what you want and build your own actions on how to get there. This is very effective in guiding you through most situations and can be done with just a bit of self-coaching.
  • Remove the emotions when problem solving what to do next. When we are highly emotional, we cannot problem solve in the most rational way. Most situations are not emergencies…meaning you do not need to solve them within seconds of them happening…although they do sometimes feel that way. Take a breath…step away from the problem for a moment (or more)…and remember, whatever is happening to you may not be personal or an attack on you…it is just life. Life happens and it is not always going to be roses for anyone. Taking emotion out of these tough times can really help you realize where things went wrong and develop a plan on how to solve the situation.
  • Give yourself grace…which is one of my new catch phrases in life! We are all human and no one is perfect. We are going to experience good days and bad…make great choices and make mistakes. No one is immune to tough times…no matter what social media may make you believe 😁. When we give ourselves permission to try and fail, we also give ourselves permission to learn lessons in all life experiences. Now, I am not saying fail, do the same thing again so that you fail again without learning what went wrong and making adjustments…that is just the definition of insanity. What I am saying is that if you make a mistake, if something goes wrong, knowing it will be ok…it may take some extra work on your part, but you will figure out how to resolve the problem. Grace also gives you permission to ask for help from others…which could be needed when we are problem solving. And that does not mean we are not mentally tough, it means we are smart enough to know when we need a little extra help.

Life is hard sometimes. We have all been through some difficult times and if we have the right tools and mindset, we can get through almost any situation still thriving toward our goals. What we can’t do is just stop, give up, and let someone else fix it for you or just accept that now life dictates how you will move forward in your own future. Reflect on this over the week and see what you can do to ensure you are living the life you love…with that grit and perseverance to conquer whatever obstacles come your way! Until next time! Cheri ❤️

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