No Grit – No Pearl
We have all heard the term No Grit-No Pearl, but how often are we applying that statement to our own lives? When obstacles and attacks come against us there is a choice to be made: Allow them to take us off course or draw on them to create something profound.
I will be honest, for most of my life I did not let the parasites or grit work in my favour. The pearl was waiting to be formed, but I did not believe in my power to channel the grit properly. There was a lot of misplaced energy and no amazing gem at the end. I felt it was unfair to be under so many attacks.
I ended up believing I was just a failure, sitting in mess that could never produce anything amazing. I could not see the grit was there to shape me nor provide a way to find my purpose.
I knew I had talents and found careers that fit with those giftings, but I still had not produced my pearl. I did not know what my purpose was, and it left me feeling lack and insecure. I was a radio DJ for several years and eventually moved into public relations. I loved having the opportunity to showcase my bubbly personality and make people laugh but I also felt it still was not my ultimate path.
During this time, I developed a rare auto immune disease called Churg Strauss. The condition was debilitating to say the least, but I somehow found strength to push on and live life. This was some serious grit entering my life and I lacked the insight to know how to transform it into something beautiful.
To gain insight you need to obtain knowledge. Let us begin with the term grit. There are actually two meanings to the word and both meanings apply to the pearl making process. Let’s examine:
According to Merriam Webster, Grit can mean a hard, sharp granule (as of sand); also: material (as many abrasives) composed of such granules. Or It can also be the firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.
We Need the Abrasive Grit to Activate the Grit Behaviour
Do you ever wonder how sometimes the smartest or richest person is not the most successful? Or how the athlete with the most natural talent on a team is not the star player? That’s because of grit!
Studies show that intelligence or natural ability by itself is not as powerful as grit. Without practice and effort, natural talent is limited. But with grit, you can develop your ability– you can get stronger and better at something when you work long and hard at it and overcome obstacles.
University of Pennsylvania researcher named Angela Duckworth introduced the idea of “grit” after her study showed people with high levels of grit were more likely to be successful in life. She defined “grit” as “passion and perseverance toward very long-term goals”.
I always knew I had heart and grit but again it wasn’t always channeled in the right direction to get the best results. I recently did some soul searching on what six words described my life. It is a question often posed in motivational speaking events and it challenged me to be to reflective. I came up with; No Height: All Heart – She’s Heroine. The six words experiment can be traced back to Ernest Hemingway. He was once challenged to write a story in only six words. He wrote “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Legend has it that Hemingway called it his best work. Those six words say a lot.
What six words describe your life? I think by recognizing what the mission statement for your life is you will take the first step in utilizing both kinds of grit in your life.
My six words tell the story of how I was always told I had not enough height to play sports. I’m 5’2 but rarely anyone could look beyond my height and see my heart or see the grit stirring inside. I wasn’t the most talented or smartest and I definitely did not have the most education from the best schools. To the outside world I looked average or not good enough. For a good part of my life I succumbed to the grit. Over time with all the abrasive attacks and dealing with a health condition I began to just be average and think I couldn’t do anything amazing or create a pearl so to speak. I believed a lie.
But the grit and heart still were embedded in my DNA. Sometimes when you are overtaken by the grains of irritants, you need a catalyst to wake the heck up. My catalyst was my daughter being born. One day I was pondering how I was going to shape her and help her conquer the world. Then it hit me. How can I expect her to be a world shaker and a pearl maker if her mom, her role model, doesn’t practice what she preaches? From that moment on I began creating pearls in my life.
Pearls.com gives a great explanation on how pearls are formed.
They form when an irritant – usually a parasite and not a proverbial grain of sand – works its way into an oyster, mussel or clam. As a defense mechanism, a fluid is used to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating, called ‘nacre’, is deposited until a lustrous pearl is formed.
It is like the saying goes – Life isn’t happening to you but for you.
Use Grit to Create a Pearl
I have been dealing with a severe health condition for 12 years. In that time, I have experienced numerous bouts of pneumonia, a collapsed lung, near death experiences, and three miscarriages. I was being invaded by all sorts of abrasive grit and setbacks. But step by step I began to realize I needed to draw on the grit to not only save my life but thrive in my life.
While I was trying to find a way to heal from my emotional and physical trauma of these events, I began to write. What started out as an outlet for my pain turned out to be my pearl. I recently published my first book, Heroine: Embrace Your Flaws & Own Your Awesome. My pain became my gift. Not only am I healing from my past but now I am establishing an exquisite future. If I never had experienced the hurdles, I wouldn’t have anything to write about.
My grit to overcome the difficulties and use the abrasive grit coming at me helped me create the most stunning pearl that will forever be my legacy. Not only did I help myself, but my words and actions are helping others. I found my path in business and in my personal life. I welcome the grit because it fuels my perseverance grit.
No matter what you are facing today, whether it be in a business venture or a personal one, the point is never give up. The harsh sands will creep up and infiltrate your life, but it is what you do with them that determines the outcome. Do you let them take over you or do you activate the grit inside to live out your purpose?
The attacks won’t stop either. Just because you make one pearl doesn’t mean that’s it. The raids will continue but the beauty in that is you continue designing treasure after treasure and soon you will have created a string of glorious pearls in your life. Draw on the grit and craft your pearls.