The Other Side of Grit




This week, Sales Throwdown is talking about grit. Mostly grit in sales, but a little bit in life too. 

And I genuinely loved everything they had to say about it. But…

(There’s always a but.)

There’s another side of grit that they may not be as familiar with. And that’s okay. They’re just four awesome but regular people who can’t possibly speak for everybody. 

When most people hear the term “grit,” they probably think about John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. Or Clint Bigelow honestly. Those stop-at-nothing tough guys that will do what they need to do when they need to do it.

Honestly, that’s what I think about too. I think about mental toughness, not letting things get in your way, and pushing through whatever struggles you might have.

But as I was listening to the episode, hearing them talking about “just getting out of the car” and things like that, it made me think about my brother. 

This is about to get really personal, so if that’s not your jam, I won’t blame you for ducking out now.

So, I struggle with some depression and anxiety. It’s not usually debilitating, and I typically handle it pretty well, but I’ve let it hold me back in my life way more than I’d like to admit to. My whole family has because we all deal with it on different levels.

However, my struggles are nothing compared to what my wonderful, amazing brother has dealt with.

See, his depression started early in his childhood. I’m not sure when, because honestly I was pretty wrapped up in my own stuff, so I didn’t notice. Like a jerk. I thought he was just an adolescent kid dealing with the rigors of puberty and bullies. 

He was still in high school when I moved out, so I started really missing what was going on after that. 

Then our dad died very unexpectedly, and it sent all of us into a tailspin. None of us had any bandwidth left to support each other. We were all just struggling to hold our heads above water. 

After the funeral, I hardly saw him at all. I was busy working and drinking away my depression, and I couldn’t stand walking into the house we once all shared together. And since he couldn’t stand to leave it, we might as well have been in different countries. 

The next time I saw him, he had shed a frightening amount of weight. 

This went on for a few years. He barely left the house. He had no will to learn to drive and was petrified at the thought of getting a job. 

Until therapy. 

My sister, also amazing and wonderful, knew he needed help. And she had the means to help him.

He finally got out of that house and went to live with her for a year. While he was there, he went to therapy regularly. He learned to drive. And eventually, he got his first job.

Yeah, he may have been older than most people are when they do these things, but he did them. And even more important than driving and working, he survived.

And that took SO MUCH grit for him! More than most of us will ever know. 



That’s the other side that people don’t think about when they talk about grit. 

Sometimes grit is reaching your hand out and asking for help. It’s making the decision to get healthy. And it’s choosing to change. 

I’m not even just talking about mental health challenges here either. 

When each of the four Throwdown hosts made a decision to take that first DISC assessment, that took grit.

It’s not easy facing your inner self.  And it’s really not easy to decide to make some changes after you’ve faced it. 

But for everybody that has picked up a self-improvement book, made a call to a coach or therapist, or signed up for a class or seminar, that’s also grit. Or just acknowledging your challenges and working through them as you recognize them. Grit.

It’s talking back to your inner demons, setting aside your head trash, and convincing yourself that you absolutely CAN do something that you’ve always thought you couldn’t. Or trying to do it anyway even though you’re not convinced you can.

It’s waking up every morning to homeschool your kids, look for a job, or work from home when you’re not certain what the future holds for them or yourself. 

It’s facing every day with your head held high even when people think you have no right to for whatever stupid, prejudiced reason they have.

All grit. And we all have it in ourselves. But for some of us, we have to dig a little deeper to find it. 

Everybody has vulnerabilities. Even people like Clint or Nannette who seem to be able to face the world head-on. They may not look like yours, and they may not seem as difficult to overcome, but that’s kinda the point here. 

We all struggle with different things. And overcoming them, whether it’s getting out of the car or making the decision that sales just isn’t for you, takes grit.

John talks about an idea, and I’m not sure where he got it from, but it makes a lot of sense to me when thinking about grit.

“Courage is about doing the things that are hard for you.” 

That makes courage, and by extension grit, something that is going to have a lot of unique personality to it.

So if you’re watching this show or these episodes and thinking, “yeah, that’s so not me,” it is. Or at least it can be. It’s just that your grit might look a little different from other people’s. But that doesn’t make you any weaker or smaller. 

Our differences are what make us wonderful. Embrace yours, and recognize and appreciate your grit every chance you get.

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