Now's Not The Time For Grit but Rather For Grace
If you’re part of the Wisdom For Working Mums’ community I know you’re determined.
Continuing to build your career whilst raising a family is by no means easy – so I know you’re familiar with digging deep to make it all happen.
It might not be a quality you’d recognise in yourself, but after coaching hundreds of professional working mums over the past 16 years I know each and every one of them has grit….. And I guess you do too.
Grit is about passion, perseverance, determination and conscientiousness.
As working mums I know we’ve got boatloads of grit.
And it certainly is a quality that can help in life.
But like any quality, if it’s overdone it can become unhelpful. It can become overused and actually become dysfunctional rather than functional.
If this year (which has been full of personal challenges for me) has taught me anything it’s that now is not the time for grit. And that’s hard for me to come to terms with.
I’m a grit not quit kind of girl – even as a 4 year old my parents could see I was determined and headstrong. But life this year has been telling me that now isn’t the time for grit.
After each setback this year I picked myself up and brushed myself off – showing the resilience and grit I’ve come to pride myself on. But life has pushed me back down and shown me now isn’t the time for grit but rather for grace.
And believe me I’ve tried to resist it but, as The Borg famously said in Star Trek, resistance is (and has been ) futile!
This experience has taught me that grace is about:
- loosening my grip – that sometimes holding on too tightly can squeeze the life and joy out of things (I’m not saying I can be a control freak but……)
- letting go of knowing, planning and controlling – because sometimes life has other ideas and it demands that you ‘be in it’ rather than thinking about it. I can be someone that so busy thinking about what’s coming up tomorrow, next week or next month I can miss the moment I’m in
- staying grounded – to expect nothing but be prepared for anything. I can get caught up in the expectation of how things (and also how I) should be that I miss the gift of embracing and accepting what is
- stopping trying to be strong and instead to be flexible – my strength can make me rigid rather than agile and sometimes the strongest thing I can do is to let go rather than grip on
- being kind and compassionate to myself even when (or rather *especially* when) life isn’t going how I expected – letting go of the self-judgement and showing myself the compassion I would to others
So for now, it’s not the time for grit but grace. Letting go of my overdone strength of grit hasn’t been easy……and still isn’t easy….but I’m learning to embrace grace.
Sometimes life is thrilling and deeply satisfying.
Sometimes it’s downright disappointing and difficult.
Sometimes life will demand grit of you but sometimes the best thing you can do is give it grace. And in a world that often values grit more than grace that can be difficult.
I’m over here riding the grace train for a little while and I’m quite enjoying this unfamiliar journey.
How about you? Are you more of a grit or grace kind of person?
What season of life are you in at the moment? Which would be more helpful for you – I’d love to hear.
We’re genuine, like-minded women, just like you!
We’re a community, reinventing how we combine work and motherhood without sacrificing our sanity and wellbeing.