We aren't just speaking on your athletic endeavors or your success in business, your wedding ring, nor your social media following. Well, some of those things are pieces of the puzzle regarding getting gritty to get to where you want to be. But the external is far from what is authentically living a holistic lifestyle. Appearances are one thing. Only you know what is truly going on within your world.
Did a potential business partner question why you negated what they brought to table per your request? Were you respectful and authentic in your response? Did you respond at all? One example. These types of life happenings are always worth revisiting. The only way to go beyond is to first acknowledge what is.
The willingness to get a little gritty - and even a little scrappy - to get to where we want to be begins by committing to cultivating awareness. Meditation is certainly one way to begin.
Cultivating Awareness of the Necessary External Grit + Cultivating Awareness of the Necessary Internal Grit = Change is a Comin’
If you haven’t already become aware of the external grittiness necessary, welp, that would be step one. The things you want do not formulate out of thin air. But if you are here, you already know this.
Whether you want to step up a level within your physical health or within all of your relationships, by cultivating awareness of external grit, I’m referring to the physicality and the tenacity. The next step of taking daily action will not happen without cultivating awareness. Yes, this may seem obvious. But there are also key elements to working smart versus working hard. Ask me.
The action includes the commitment to rise each day and not just move through the day, but move through best practices. We move through rituals and movement, through the things we want to do least, moving from duty to duty, meeting others halfway, with willingness to let go of things (that cocktail or toke, for example) and people (self-serving, needy, codependent, et al) who pull us off track. We stay the course and constantly course correct until we close our eyes each night.
The internal grit is not always so obvious. However, it is far more important and exactly what lends to our ability to gracefully move through the external grit – and then some. Anyone can elbow his or her way through a race, or into a meeting, or even into a relationship. So circle back to… how you do anything is how you do everything. Most importantly, this internal tenacity is what lends to our ability to navigate what lurks in the shadows, inevitably popping up when we least expect it.
This internal grit - the willingness to look at oneself every single day - and how to navigate what comes up, is no small task. Why? Because it means not only discovering what is your part in what you don’t like in your life, but actually owning your part in what you don’t like in your life. Life is not fair. Many are handed far too many experiences beyond their control. However, with tools and techniques at our fingertips – because we have practiced them so much - we can cultivate an environment of welcoming these challenges with an open mind seeing them as gifts versus anything with negative connotation. No small feat.
If you just balled your eyes out to someone you hardly know. No sweat. It happens. We come back to our “beginner’s mind”, we notice, breathe, inquire, see and meet what comes up both big and small with curiosity, gain understanding, learn the lessons, integrate them, and eventually transition through them to where we prefer to stand tall. Much like the yoga pose example, we cannot ever ignore the difficult dark parts of the psyche because they will eventually take us down much like falling out of that yoga pose due to lack of a strong base and quiet mind.
This newfound awareness often requires a neutral eye so that we can uncover what we cannot see in ourselves.
Everyone has these blind spots. An example would even be repetitive phrases we no longer hear ourselves saying because we have been repeating them for so long. Sometimes a friend repeating this back to us can not only be revealing, but a little shocking. As Gloria Steinem said,
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
So while it will still piss us off, it is usually much better received and integrated with the correct info, tools, and techniques from a more neutral perspective.
Revealing what we cannot see on our own may require stepping out of one’s comfort zone by hiring said neutral eye. Within holistic health coaching, we too, hire coaches. My most recent hire is someone who excelled to the point of being able to fully retire for the rest of his life at under the age of 35. Instead of wooping it up on an around the world vacation, he decided to step further into his purpose, dove deep into self transformation work, and now coaches and consults within business and life to share what he learned and support the growth and progression of others. Hiring accountability comes with this whole trendy cliché, but truth, of “one step beyond our comfort zone is where the magic happens”.
This often means stepping way far beyond where our egos wanna go. Egos get a bad rap. We need the ego to make shit happen. But like anything else out of balance they too will hold us back. Doesn’t matter if our ego is blown up or shot down, either way, there is lack of balance.
Perhaps our ego being out of balance does not hold us back in our work given this is a lot of surface/external/material stuff. But if not in our work, perhaps it has held us back in our intimate relationships, or even in an area no one but ourselves are aware of, but that we must resolve within ourselves in order to find peace.
It’s much easier to step into “I’m going to be the best at XYZ so I’m going to travel halfway across the world to do XYZ with world renowned XYZ and publicize it for the world to see. This may assist in finding material success, but then there it is for all to see... the very apparent, even in high performers, continual seeking of validation from outside sources versus within oneself. Therefore, it is super to work with a coach who has also done the deep personal work, not to perfection, but to vast understanding, in supporting our own deep dives towards transformation.
Circling back - notice I said zones - plural. Yup – within all realms we must look within, find the gritty darker sections and move through them versus around them. Much like that yoga pose, you can go through all sorts of contortions to get to what looks like the pose to the untrained eye. But upon closer inspection there are all sorts of body parts out of alignment. This means we might get to the pose – for a second or two – but we will not be able to maintain the pose without doing the practice it takes to achieve strength, flexibility, and correct, safe alignment, essentially the truths. And even those able to hold the pose – that too is external. Transitioning that work off of the yoga mat is essential. Finding, building, maintaining these truths eventually leads to day-in and day-out practices including comfortably, effortlessly holding that yoga pose sans the physical and mental gymnastics – while calmly, smoothly, and surely breathing.
The natural inclination is to avoid the yoga poses we do not like. These are the poses that we usually need to lean into and practice. Regarding embodied cognition – if our heart has been broken, moving through “heart openers” can literally be physically as well as emotionally extremely confronting. But eventually, opening these areas of the body physically, can lend to opening them back up emotionally. This is embodied cognition at its finest. Same in other realms of life - we run away from the parts we don’t like, that may not feel good, that scare us, that we just don’t want to deal with, while they are exactly what we need to face, head on, stepping out of our comfort zones, right through the door into our full capacities and everything we really want.
So how do we be sure to incorporate getting gritty?
With daily rituals, structure, meditation, movement you can quickly be on your way each day. Ready to après? Session it. But truly getting gritty internally, what some therapists and coaches term “shadow work”, is where we can really level up, which washes out into the world in beautiful positive waves. And then there is always another level, right? I would be happy to suggest a few ways I have personally employed plus some exciting upcoming offerings. Super excited to guide you and your teams through these processes. #SessionIt