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How To Develop Grit And Overcome Life’s Challenges

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Table of Contents

What’s the one life skill that you wished you learned in school but never did?

Stay tuned, today on the Moxie Talk blog we are unpacking—

  • What is grit?
  • Why do you need it?
  • How do you get it?

Hi everyone, I’m Fia Fasbinder. Welcome to Moxie Talk where we help you find your voice, share your message, and lead with confidence. Today, we are going to unpack grit, but before we do that, please make sure to hit that alert button if you watch me on Youtube, subscribe to our channel, and share the videos if you enjoy them.

I was recently asked to speak to a group of MBA students in an entrepreneurial mindset class and they asked me, “What was the biggest deficiency that I saw with students getting an MBA degree?”

This really made me start thinking about what they should be teaching in MBA programs. In fact, what they should be teaching in all programs, MBA or otherwise. What is the one course that none of us had but wished we did because that course would have taught us what we truly need to prepare for real life and helped us to be successful?


That skill, in my opinion, is grit.

Courage & Strength of character

Let’s start with the Merriam-Webster definition of grit. To have grit means that you have courage and that you show strength of character.

Passion & perseverance toward long term goal

A person with true grit has passion and perseverance towards long-term goals. Goals that are set and followed through on.

Follow through on commitments

A person who works really hard to follow through on commitments has true grit. So there is the formal definition.

Let’s talk about why grit is important and there is a realization that came to me that literally, everything that matters to me in my life would not have been possible without grit. This includes whether it’s scaling Moxie or growing this Youtube channel, even birthing my children all required me to have grit and stay the course.

There’s no substitute for grit in making great things happen

What’s more, I see this in my clients every day. When rehearsals get tough, or they get negative feedback, or they get turned down from a job interview, or the audience doesn’t respond the way they were expecting the audience to respond.

Oftentimes they want to give up, but grit is the resilience to stick in there and stay the course and show up every day even when everything in you wants to throw in that towel—especially when you want to throw in that towel.

This made me start thinking about how I personally have cultivated grit. How do I build this resilience muscle? So that when life hits, I can hit back and when I have a storm that I need to weather, I can keep going and keep pushing through it until I get to the sunshine?

And so here are my top 3 techniques to cultivate grit that I’ve learned the hard way and I am so excited to pass on to you.

Technique 1: Be Brave Enough To Bomb

Technique number 1 is be brave enough to bomb.

Your inner critic is really an ally from the past. It’s past experience that’s no longer relevant because historically speaking, your survival depends on being part of a clan.

If you did something the clan didn’t like then it would be important for you to feel shame about that mistake so you didn’t get kicked out of the clan. It’s not like in our caveman or cavewomen days we could just say, “I’m just going to find my own apartment and live my own best life,” so that didn’t happen.

This ancient survival mechanism is making us feel shame whenever our brain senses a fear of failure. It comes about by criticizing us and telling us that we can’t do things or we shouldn’t do things.

One of my favorite people on this planet is Sarah Silverman. She’s a comedian and I recently listened to an interview with her and she said that:

“You have to be brave enough to go out there and tell 100 jokes and 90 of those jokes are going to bomb. Then you look at the ones that bumped and you decide do you want to cut them or is there something there. Does it just need maybe a little workshopping? Does it need a few more nouns? Did you set it up too much, or maybe you didn’t set it up enough?

But none of these good jokes happen if you don’t go up there first and you’re afraid you’re going to bomb.”

It’s about confident delivery & accepting any outcome

I will say this is absolutely true of my Moxie master trainers that I train here at Moxie. The audience is the missing factor, the missing puzzle piece when you rehearse to lead a workshop.

You can’t rehearse in a vacuum so you really don’t know how your training material is going to land until you do it. You fail and you tweak it and you do it again. Something else doesn’t go right and you tweak it and you rinse and repeat until it starts going well.

Another one of my gritty heroes is Ryan Holiday and he is a modern-day stoic and the author of several amazing books I highly recommend, The Obstacle Is The Way and The Daily Stoic. Ryan says that:

Fear is the resistance between what we are and what we can be

It’s not that the courageous don’t feel the fear, it’s that they push past it. One exercise that you can do that will really help you push past fear is what I call:

Fear setting

This is asking yourself What is literally the worst-case scenario if I do this thing that I’m afraid of what is literally the worst thing that can happen to me?

You’ll often find the fear is very irrational

If I do this presentation or this keynote, what is the worst thing that’s going to happen to me? A group of strangers that I’ve never met before in my life will not like me? So what? Will my life be over or even different if that happens?

Therefore, fear setting helps you turn irrational fears into rational fears.

Technique 2: Choose Courage Over Comfort

Number 2, choose courage over comfort. In order to change in your life, you must choose courage over comfort.

Playing it safe never got any of us to our big audacious hairy goals. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. In fact, I tell all of my clients that public speaking is being comfortable with the uncomfortable but actually:

Grit is being comfortable with the uncomfortable

Discomfort is literally a sign of transformation. Change comes from choosing, purposefully, to turn down the volume on that lizard brain who wants to keep everything in your life safe and secure to ensure your survival and taking a walk down that dark corridor between what is known and what is not known, between the person you are now and the person you know you can be.

Clients are always asking me for public speaking tips and tricks, or hacks to be a better public speaker, and while I have a few of these tips, tricks, and hacks, most of the time my response is that,

The only way out is through

I know that’s not a popular response and I know that means that you have to do the hard work in order to improve but there is literally no shortcut—Breathe-Practice-Repeat.

The good news, and how this helps you cultivate grit, is that the side effect of all of this hustle is confidence. That confidence bleeds into every aspect of your life because you know, believe, and trust that life is tough, but you’re tougher.

That old cliche to do something that scares you every day, I think, is actually a really good exercise and really good advice because you’re cultivating the ability to push past fear and choose courage over comfort.

Sometimes these fears that you’re encountering every day can be very pedestrian, but knowing and having the confidence that you can push past it builds your tenacity and the grit necessary to push past bigger fears.

It literally builds this muscle to be uncomfortable and trusting that eventually, you will become comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Technique 3: Stay The Course When The Shit Shift Hits

Technique number 3 is to stay the course when the shit shift hits.

Now the shit shift is what I call the moment when you’re doing something on your journey to reaching a goal and that thing turns from easy-breezy to difficult and shitty. You literally feel that shift from when you began to where you are now and it’s no longer fun and you really want to stop or quit or give up.

When things start to get really shitty like this and you feel that shift, it’s crucial that you observe the voice that is telling you to stop, give up, etc. and detach from it and realize that this voice is just fear.

Detach from your inner critic and tune in to your inner advocate

Then change the channel to the voice you need to hear. Change the channel from your inner critic voice to your inner advocate voice.

I oftentimes call this channel that gets really loud during that shit shift K-Crap Radio because it starts to play crap in your head like, “You’ll never make it! This is impossible why even bother trying! There are so many people that are better than you, etc… etc…”

When you hear K-Crap Radio in your head, it is your job to change the channel. Change it to a channel that is encouraging you to keep going past that shit shift.

As many of you know, I began my career as a performer, and I am constantly making bridges for my clients between what performers do and what public speakers do—performers and athletes for that matter too—basically spend most of their time in discomfort.

So what they learn to love is the process and then knowing that the discomfort they feel during this process is less than the discomfort of playing it safe and not even trying or not staying the course.

They stay in that discomfort, they stay in that uncomfortable place until the shit shift happens; knowing that it’s the only way to improve, the only way to progress and transform— it’s literally a sign that things are moving in the right direction.

Sit in the shit with grit until the shit quits

Therefore, Stay in the shitty when you feel that shift and trust in the process, you will get to the other side, and eventually, if you show up every day and do the work that was once shitty, it will become easy. There you go! These are my top 3 techniques to cultivate grit in your life.

Be brave enough to bomb, choose courage over comfort and stay the course when the shit shift hits. I can ensure that if you do these things whatever your big audacious hairy goal is, whether it’s a Ted Talk, or to run a marathon, or to start your own business, getting gritty will get you there.

Thank you so much for reading. If you enjoyed this blog, please make sure to share it with a friend.

If you want more information about what we do here at Moxie Institute and how we can help you transform your career and life, then check out our Live Online Classes and Online Courses page or book a call.

Until next time, live brilliantly, lead boldly, and always Speak with Moxie.

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