Grit is an important characteristic in America. We grew up with the movies flickering the True Grit of John Wayne, the Pioneers and Explorers that braved uncharted territory to discover new territories. It is the relentless persistence that will not allow us to stay down when we fall. It is the survivor instinct that forces up to our feet.
In America, grit is a stubbornness that will not allow us to quit even when the odds are stacked against up. Woven into the fabric of American Spirit is the determination and grit that keeps us moving despite all the forces moving against us.
The grit comes with a price for most. In their suffering, losses and defeats they learn to rise more resilient and more determined. In the 70’s we heard the power of “I am Woman” declaring “yes, I am wise, but it was wisdom born of pain”. The lessons taught in failure and defeat can not be taught in the hallowed halls of the university. They are learned painfully, sometimes brutally as we fall one more time.
Pain in Perspective
It is often challenging in the moment to see the setback as a growth opportunity. It is likely to overwhelm you. It can fire off triggers, heighten anxiety and strengthen depression. It can wash over you amplifying the tape in your head that you are failing.
The basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is to work with a Mental Health Professional to change those tapes to focus on strengths and victories, especially victories where you rise. Your Counselor can help you take inventory, assess the personality traits that have served you and allow you to grow in the moment to focus on how often you have gotten back up.
Einstein famously said, “Persistence is the most powerful force on earth, it can move mountains.” Talk through your goals both short term and long term with your Counselor and generate goals to bridge the gap between falling and getting up again.
Arrange for regular counseling, it is available 24/7 now and plan for your change in perspective and your focus on creating new tapes about your strength and wisdom born of pain. It is important to focus on a plan that allows you to grow from the losses and falls. Depression can rear up when you feel hopeless. Active planning and professional Mental Health can minimize the impact of depression for many. It may help minimize anxiety and thwart the emergence of panic. Planning, evolving and working on the tape in your head will allow you to feel hopeful and in a place of action.
Most of us have fallen more than we stood. We have had to reach deep to find the grit to get back up. America itself came from the determination to do what we were told was unlikely and unfeasible. Knowing we are a country of determination, persistence and grit will help us as we address the rebuilding post-COVID.
Visualize the Glory of the Pearl
The beauty and size of the pearl begins with the irritation of sand, wrapped by layers and layers of protection to the oyster. It builds over time, so the larger the pearl the more layering was required.