It’s time for another mental health check and this month we’re gonna talk about grit. Do you have it? What is it? Why is it important? Let’s discuss!

I read an article in Forbes not too long about talking about grit, link will be attached like always in the show notes, they had a five question quiz, so now we’re gonna quiz youuuuu. 

  1. How’s your courage? – it’s hard to quantify but apparently is proportional to your level of grit. Mostly they’re talking about your ability to manage fear of failure, because that’s the first thing that will sink your ship of success.
    • People with grit understand that there are valuable lessons that come with failure, and that the ability to deal with it is needed for high achievement.
  2. Do you have conscientiousness? – There are five core personality traits from which everyone’s personality comes from called the big five… they are: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neurotic. Each one has an opposite and human personalities are a cocktail of these five traits, but at different amounts.
    • Conscientiousness is the one trait that is most closely related to grit. Why? Because it means that you’re careful, meticulous, if you will. Someone that’s achievement-oriented usually tries to do a good job, does their assigned tasks, aka their bitch work. If you’ve got grit, then you know it’s important to give your whole ass instead of just showing up and doing the minimum.
  3. Are you good at making long-term goals and following through? – This Forbes article cites a researcher named Angela Duckworth, and she’s quoted saying, “acheivement is the product of talent and effort, the latter a function of the intensity, direction, and duration of one’s exertions towards a long-term goal.”
    • Just as we mentioned with conscientiousness, people with grit understand that you need a baseline time commitment to excel at something. Practice has to have a purpose, and this is where long-term goals come into play… they help build the framework to help bring value to your long-term efforts which helps build drive, sustainability, passion, courage, and stamina… AKA, grit.
  4. Got resilience? – You’re going to stumble, resilience is what you need to dust yourself off and stand back up after hitting the dirt. Resilience is a combination of optimism, creativity, and confidence… this helps you assess and attack situations after they blow up in your face.
    • “Resilience is the powering mechanism that draws your head up, moves you forward, and helps you persevere despite whatever obstacles you face along the way… in other words, gritty people believe that everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay it’s not the end.”
  5. Do you understand excellence vs. perfection? – Do you seek perfection? If the answer is yes, you may not have grit. Perfection is excellence’s cousin, it’s unforgiving and inflexible… basically, as we’ve said before, it’s unrealistic. There ARE times where perfection is absolutely necessary, but in general it’s usually someone else’s idea of what’s ideal. Perfectionism can be linked to anxiety, low self-esteem, OCD, substance abuse, and depression just to name a few ways it can hang you up.
    • Excellence is an attitude, not the plan of attack. Humans with grit don’t want perfection, but they definitely want to be at the head of the class. They’re always seeking, striving, finding, and never stopping.

Grit is a part of the growth mindset, and we’ve talked about that briefly before on previous mental health checks, but TL;DR, here’s what the growth mindset is:

  1. “A growth mindset means that you thrive on a challenge, and don’t see failure as a way to describe yourself but as a springboard for growth and developing your abilities. Your intelligence and talents are all susceptible to growth.”
    • The first person we heard talk about the growth mindset was Dr. Carol Dweck from Stanford University almost 30 years ago… she studied the behavior of students and kids, and that’s where the term “growth mindset” was born. 
      • This mindset means that you believe that you have the talent to improve yourself through hard work and help from others. 
      • Dr. Dweck says “The growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments… everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”
  2. A few tips to develop a growth mindset: 
    • listen to the voice inside of you – don’t let the intrusive negative thoughts derail you before you even set sail. That’s called a fixed mindset voice, and it’s bad news bears.
    • recognize that you have a voice – you know that the negative voice is dissuading you from trying, but it’s up to you whether or not you’re actually going to listen to it.
    • talk back to yourself with a positive growth-oriented voice – talk back to your internal dialogue from a new angle. Say things like “I’m not sure I can do it, but it’s worth a try” or “If I don’t try, it’s an automatic failure.” This helps you drown out the negative noise, and you get better at it with time.
    • practice – you know the saying, it makes perfect… put yourself in challenging scenarios to help practice your new mental skills. 
    • find outside help – this is a long weird journey, don’t go it alone. Find a mentor or confidant. You’ll need a shoulder to cry on and an ear to talk to from time to time when shit gets hard.
    • replace the word “failing” with “learning” – spin that shit into a positive, just because it blew up in your face on this attempt, doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen like that next time.
    • stop seeking approval from others – we talk about this from time to time from experience. Try not to compare yourself to others, as you usually don’t have the full context of the situation, so don’t set yourself up for that.
    • take growth mindset action – you need to follow through on the stuff that’s important… sometimes you may not pull it off, but that’s okay. As you practice growth mindset and positive self talk you’ll follow through on your promises, and that’s how you get to the growth mindset you’ve been hearing so much about.


There’s a fantastic article from Psychology Today about grit and how to grow it, it comes complete with a list of twenty ways to grow your grit, but we aren’t gonna do another long-ass list, if you want to see the full list, hit the show notes for the link.

  1. Remember Angela Duckworth? She wrote a book about Grit, and she says grit is “the embodiment of several characteristics: commitment, intention, stick-to-it-ivemness, resilience, and persistence.” She also goes on to say that grit trumps talent every time. Talent is fixed and stays pretty constant throughout life, grit can be developed and strengthened through intentional practices.
  2. Grit matters when shit gets hard, and I dunno if you’ve noticed or if you haven’t been listening to the mental health checks lately, we’re all burned out and tired. We need grit now more than ever.
    • Grit is linked to self-control, as we mentioned loosely before, but it’s needed in your fitness journey. Grit is what pushes you through the plateaus and shitty training sessions… it’s what makes you show up on the days where you don’t feel like going to the gym… it’s the flame that burns inside of you. Stoke it often.

Take care of your brain, it’s more important now than ever, we love youuuuu. MTK OUT.



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