Who doesn’t feel like quitting – everything – now and then? Pretty much every mom (maybe, even every person) I know. Sometimes, it can all seem like just too much.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with taking a timeout here and there when it’s much needed. Yet, it’s not always convenient to do exactly so when we feel like it’s necessary.
There will always be points in our life when we feel like we can’t go on, but we also can’t stop. When this happens, it’s grit – a dogged determinedness to keep on keeping on, even when feeling like you’re swimming upstream – that helps a person keep moving forward.
In his article, A Navy SEAL Explains 8 Secrets to Grit And Resilience, Eric Barker gives these keys, as outlined by his friend James Waters. James was a SEAL Platoon Commander at the time of the interview. However, when he became a SEAL, Waters was one of only 16 to graduate—of the 256 who started.
Below is a brief overview of these eight secrets to why some succeed and some fail, when the going gets tough:
- A life of purpose and meaning
One common mainliner of self-help professionals is, “Show me your ‘why’ and I’ll predict your success.” The reason this statement is common among this group is because why you are doing something is a great indicator of whether you’ll succeed. In other words, it’s your motivation. And your motivation must be great enough to give you purpose and your actions meaning, for you to keep going when the deck feels stacked against you.
- Make it a game
People who survive horrific events commonly recount turning their survival into a game. Likewise, people who see obstacles as challenges and not threats, surmount those obstacles more often and more quickly. You’ve probably also noticed that your kids do better at anything – or show more enthusiasm and effort – when things you want or need them do are turned into a game. Look at whatever hurdles you need to overcome as a game, and the odds of clearing those hurdles, goes up quite a bit.
- Be confident—but realistic
Be aware of the challenges you are facing, but also confident you can overcome them. Says Barker, “Research has shown that both hope and despair can be self-fulfilling prophecies.” Therefore, choose what you believe…wisely, since it is likely to become the reality you create.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare
There’s a saying that goes, “Perfect practice makes perfect performance.” One of the biggest hindrances to performance in a crisis – or in a time of great challenge – is fear and uncertainty. Practice helps to reduce uncertainty and reducing uncertainty – something that happens with practice – also reduces fear. Don’t ever underestimate the role of preparation on results.
- Focus on improvement
Everything doesn’t end in win/lose—even though we sometimes feel that way. However, when we do view life or our circumstances that way, if we don’t win, we lose. Yet, there is way more to any situation – and life – than “winning” and “losing.” Changing your focus to improving your situation – or any situation – makes the road much easier.
- Give and get help
Helping others is one of the biggest ways to give a life meaning AND make your problems diminish in importance. Yes, we may be facing a tough time. On the other hand, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t facing worse. Actively seek out those people and lend a hand. It will help you put perspective on your problems most of the time and give you fresh encouragement on your ability to solve them.
- Celebrate small wins
Research on motivation shows that small wins do huge things to keep the motivation fires fueled. There are also lessons to be learned from small victories—lessons to celebrate and learn more, no matter the “final” result. Celebrate those small victories and the lessons learned, to pave the way for larger ones.
- Find a way to laugh
When you feel like the world has given YOU all you can take, find something – anything – that will make you laugh and it will do wonders. Those who can laugh at themselves – and the world in general – almost always have the last laugh. “Ha ha ha!”