I have read many books throughout my years and, if I am not lost in the fables of Robin Sharma or Paulo Coelho, I can be found (every-now-and-then) looking into sport and elite performance – I love considering – What does it take to be at the top? Is it all about Talent? How can these high levels of performance be spotted at an early age? Does the 10’000 hour rule really contribute?
But here is the thing that comes up time and time again, and is something that I discuss with Business Owners and CEOs who are working with high level teams and performance identity….
People with similar levels of talent and opportunity have differing levels of success.
And research (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4737958/) has shown that it is down to two things:
- Self-Control – your ability to maintain focus and complete an important task whilst overriding other temptations (e.g. business administration instead of procrastinating and scrolling through insta or exercising in the rain despite wanting to stay warm inside and watch netflix)
- Grit – your ability to tirelessly work towards a goal in a single-minded way over years and decades despite obstacles and setbacks (e.g. being rejected for a promotion at work and continuing to work towards your goal by reapplying the next opportunity that arises).
These two things are distinct entities with distinct timescales. Self-control needs to be applied DAILY whereas grit refers to a pursuit of a goal overs years or even decades. As a result, self-control is linked to EVERYDAY success whereas GRIT is linked to lifetime achievement.
Research also found that these two elements are correlated i.e. if you are good at one, you are likely to be good at the other – but not always so!
Some people may have the ability to forgo distractions daily BUT have no focussed passion or get disheartened easily via setbacks and give up on their goals or may go from one passion to another in short succession (e.g. a photographer one month, to a business coach the next month, to a brand ambassador the next).
Likewise, some people may be single-minded about what they want to do in terms of their goal but do not dedicate enough time getting better at it due to their inability to resist daily distractions.
Knowing the IMPORTANCE of these two qualities – self-control and grit – to overall success is a stepping stone to changing something in your own life or business RIGHT NOW if you are someone who is feeling lost and frustrated with their lack of progress.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS TO ASSESS YOUR CURRENT LEVEL OF SELF-CONTROL AND GRIT:
- Are you able to focus DAILY on reducing your times of distractions and seeing the rewards in DAILY self-control? How can you do this? What plans and actions can you put in place?
- Are you able to assess the progress you have made to date, the determination and challenges you have faced and overcome as a pursuit to GRIT? Write a timeline of key milestone markers towards your goal. What challenges did you face? What did you learn? How has this helped you to move forwards?
- Is you goal and purpose STRONG ENOUGH so that distractions and opportunities to “switch-it-up” are small in comparison to your greater goal? Go back to basics and assess your goal. If you are someone in business – get the basics down – what is your vision, your purpose, your mission, your strategy.
- Are you able to step back, with honesty, and assess if these are areas that you would like to develop and if so – be honest that you might need some support doing that in terms of belief challenge, skill development and accountability? If the answer is yes – who can help you? Are you willing to invest in yourself to make those changes for the greater OUTCOME of being successful in your life and business?