Strength of character, perseverance, toughness, or in other words, grit is what creates excellence, peak performance and mastery. It is grit that determines whether you will get up again and again after falling down. It is grit that will get you through the long hours of training and then let’s you train some more.
It is this ability to not settle for mediocre but to strive for excellence that will determine whether you will become the best possible rider you can be. Talent on the other hand, is only a stepping-stone. But when believed to be the all-decisive factor whether you will become a successful rider, talent can actually keep you on the save guarded route to mediocre. Here are 5 reasons why growing grit will get you much further than wishing for talent.
1. You don’t need to prove yourself anymore
Believing that talent is something you must posses in order to become a successful rider, means that every time you fail or make a mistake, you feel like YOU are a failure and you don’t have what it takes. It becomes personal. This leads to you constantly wanting to prove yourself and showing yourself and others that you are good enough. When improvement is your focus, however, you don’t need to prove anything. You just work on becoming a better rider every day and putting in all the hard work to become the best possible rider YOU can be.
2. You become more focused on improvement
Instead of wanting to prove yourself, when putting in the hard work, you become focused on im-prove-ing yourself. This significant difference will actually help you become a better rider. It will help you create the skills you need in the ring. Only through 10.000 hours of practice will you become and embody excellence and effortless ease.
3. You become more clear about your sub goals
Funny enough, riders who are gritty and put in the hard work also stay more committed to their long-term goals. The reason being that when focused on your big dream only, you will fail to set mid-term and short-term goals in order for you to reach your long term dream. Gritty riders on the other hand, are very focused on the process and how to reach their goals, instead of when.
4. You will better cope with failure
When making a mistake, you have two options. You can either feel bad (or in some cases, terrible) about it. Or, you can take it as a sign that you are getting out of your comfort zone. Deliberately getting out of your comfort zone means you are focused on improvement. So learn from your mistakes by taking some time to reflect on what happened, letting go of any frustration and to make a plan how to improve.
5. You will be more motivated
Some of you might wonder, what if I don’t have what it takes? Or, what if I focus my whole career on improvement and I don’t become a Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, Ludger Beerbaum or Marcus Ehning. In other words what if I don’t reach the top level? My answer is, if you can’t be like Einstein, would you stop learning? If you will never run as fast as Usain Bolt, should you stop running? If you will never ride like Laura, Beezie, Ludger or Markus, should you stop riding? Of course not! You are not riding to become someone else. You are riding to become the best version of yourself!