Or at least, that’s what I thought. I thought I was a person who had grit. People often compliment me on being someone who doesn’t easily give up. But when I learned about Angela Duckworth’s study on Grit, a storm broke loose inside of me. Her grit test showed that I only mark positive on half the scale, that I am only a half gritted person.
Like I would never give up a job until it was killing me. Or I would work on tiny little details instead of the bigger picture for a project. In my yoga practice, I sometimes get stuck in rehearsing a section too often, leading me to lose interest in fulfilling the rest of the sequence and achieve a more balanced outcome. (If you are interested in doing the test start here: https://angeladuckworth.com/
After the inner storm settled, I remembered the most valuable part I learned in coaching recently and which I keep applying not only to my own life but also to my clients’. It’s a method called Kaizen.
Basically, it’s asking you to:
Go lightly. But go. Don’t stop. Repeat the tiniest incremental step possible again and again.
Every day or every other day or each Monday you do what you need to do. Just keep going until the effect becomes apparent to you, your system and body. We can often commit to change and do a head dive into cold water, becoming scared along the way about whether we can maintain our self-promises. This method is asking you to follow through in a way that it doesn’t hurt your system. That way your inner rebel remains quiet.
Of course, the more often you repeat, the greater the results.
To me, it means that I might not dig my heels too deep into projects that scare me. But instead, I start visiting them on a regular basis until it feels more more natural and I notice that I have created real results. And I am always surprised how much I manage to achieve and produce without feeling it was an immense challenge.
Do you have projects that scare you?
How do you keep up?