People with grit are not afraid to change course, to pivot and to let go

I was listening to Brené Brown being interviewed this week and for a couple of minutes she talked about the difference between grit and grind. It caught my attention and I found it helpful so I wanted to offer it to you. 

She said that people who have grit walk away from things often. They’re not afraid to say this isn’t working or it isn’t what I thought it was going to be. People with grit are not afraid to change course, to pivot and to let go. Grit is about knowing ourselves, knowing who we are and what brings us life and leaning into it. It’s about staying connected to ourselves and sticking with something when we know it’s what we want, even when it’s hard. It’s also about letting something go when it’s no longer life-giving or has run its course. 

Grit is what keeps me returning to the water in the middle of winter when it hurts to get in and I don’t like it. I know wild swimming is life-giving to me and I want to do it even on the days when it’s hard. Grit is what keeps us in our work on those days when we’re tired and lacking energy. Grit is what helps us learn something new even when the learning is tough. Grit comes with energy, hope and a sense of purpose even when it’s hard. If fear is present Divine grit brings the courage needed to keep going regardless. 

Grind is much more externally focussed, it’s based on what other people think. It’s about the external reward of being seen to achieve, to do well and to succeed in the eyes of others. It looks outside of itself rather than inside and follows that rather than an internal knowing. Grind is what keeps us in our work when we know it’s no longer life-giving. It’s what keeps us going when we’re learning something but know that that learning is no longer what we want. Grind is what keeps us going in the same direction when we long to take the risk of walking a different path. Grind clings on rather than lets go, it closes down space for something new to emerge. It comes with fear, control and scarcity.

To know whether we’re gritting or grinding takes stillness. We’re invited to be still and connect with ourselves, our needs and our desires. It invites us to connect with what is life-giving for us and what we may need to let go of. 

Perhaps a grit and grind check in would be helpful for us all every now and then. 

Where is grit present and what do I need in order to stay with it? 

Where may grind be inviting me to let go and be open to new possibility? 

Where do I need to be less concerned with what others think? 

Where am I “performing” for external reward and where do I sense I’m following the path that is mine regardless of other’s opinions?

Am I prepared to give up something that’s a grind without yet having clarity about the next step? 

It seems to me that grit and grind will have an ebb and flow. What was once grit may change to grind. The invitation is to live awake to ourselves and follow with courage where we’re being led. It’s an invitation to trust Divine opportunities and follow our hearts. Spirit is with us here offering everything we need for growth and to lean into grit and away from grind. 

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