Resilience and grit are often two lauded qualities for those who want to get ahead in whatever chosen field they want to get ahead in. From business to sports to entertainment – if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to fight through the pain of practice, you need to sacrifice important family moments in order to meet commitments, you need to work harder than others, you need to sleep less and train more. That is true grit right? If it’s getting too tough, you just need to grin and bear it and move on, right? Hmmm maybe.
Aside from random social media posts celebrating someone’s 4:30am alarm clock and how much more productive they are than the rest of us – hopefully there is room for a little more nuance in our understanding of resilience and grit and the fact that maybe some downtime or some bala
nce aren’t bad things. It is one thing to fight through something to get what you want in life, it is another thing to delude and punish yourself in a way that doesn’t really contribute to your goals.
Oh, and speaking of your goals, maybe keep in mind that there is more to life than a list of achievements. Few people know
more about this dynamic than our most successful Paralympian, Sophie Pascoe. Sophie has built a life around resilience and her achievements have been profound. After Covid shifted the goalposts for the Tokyo Paralympics and disrupted her training ability, Sophie was able to sit back and see a bigger picture to her life beyond the pool. For someone who had been seriously training since she was eight, this is a big deal. But as she says, in a funny kind of way, allowing other things into her life, like a new relationship, a new business and some time for herself outside of being an athlete, have actually made her a better athlete. You don’t need to be training for the Olympics to take something from that.