Dear Soulseekers,

Do you have grit? Are you resilient? They seem like the same trait, but actually they are a little different and I think they go hand in hand.

Grit is that deep down toughness that you find when you know you have to do something hard and stick with it until the end. Usually it’s a task that you are passionate about. Running a marathon, completing a project at work, starting and owning your own business are a few examples. Grit is perseverance. You’re the Energizer bunny and you just keep going and going until you achieve your goals.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back after difficult experiences or having the belief that you will be OK after negative experiences and you keep trying. In Texas we call it “picking yourself up by your bootstraps”. Despite whatever obstacles are in the way of achieving your goals or how many times you fail, you continue to believe you will be successful and you try again. To be resilient means to be optimistic.

About 10 years ago, I decided to join a friend group and train for a half marathon. Crazy right? It was the best thing I ever did! I went from being a non-runner to training for a half marathon literally over night. There were obstacles in my path to the race. Initially my insides were sore. You don’t really hear people talk about that and maybe it’s just me, but my innards were kind of sore from all of the bouncing up and down. My knees got sore too. I couldn’t breathe while running. I had some chafing issues. But these all went away as I ran more often and for longer distances. My biggest problem though was Runners trots. If you don’t know what that is… google it.

And that’s what struck during my first race. Big time. I think I made it to about mile 8 before it struck, and when it hit, it hit hard. I had severe cramping and was in the restroom a long time. I finished the race. All 13.1 miles. My stomach cramped for the final 5 miles and for several hours afterwards. While everyone else was enjoying the pool, I was in my hotel room close to the toilet. It was brutal.

But here’s what I want you to know. I am still a runner. I ran more races after that first awful experience, and I learned a lot of lessons from that first race. I persevered because it was important to me to finish the race. I had trained for months for that race, and I was going to finish if it killed me. GRiT

After that experience I know that it is highly important for me to watch what I eat leading up to a race or any long distance run, don’t eat any strange gels/gus/sports drinks on the race route, and poop BEFORE I run. I overcame my obstacles. I was optimistic that the next race would be better if I tried again, and so I did. RESiLieNCE

Want to know how gritty you are? Check out the quiz below.

Feel like grit and resilience is something you need to work on? Here are 5 tips to help improve those areas courtesy of

  1. If you are not a social person, become more social, i.e., purposely connecting with others, can help.

2. Get control over how you respond to the adverse events you experience.

3. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus gets credit for saying, “The only constant in life is change.” Get used to it. Sometimes a goal needs to be abandoned because it is no longer attainable. The inability to accept things that one cannot change is like continuing to spin a chainless wheel.

4. Apply the Kaizen principle to your goals. Start with the absolute smallest component that relates to the larger, long-term goal. As Walt Disney famously said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

5. Commit to making decisions when you find yourself in a tough situation. There is no room for wishy-washy actions.

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I'm honest, sarcastic, funny, loyal, a goal setter, determined, health conscious, a dreamer, a bibliophile, and a creative.

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