Celebrity Chef and businessman Curtis Stone talks with Alex Malley this week about the importance of putting yourself out there and how imperative it is to take initiative if you want to rise to the top of your game.
It got me thinking, have we stopped pushing ourselves, and perhaps more importantly our kids, to take risks? As a parent you want to protect your children and prevent them from making the same mistakes that you have made yourself. But, is there merit in taking risks and letting ourselves fail more?
Curtis says: just because you ask doesn’t mean you will get, you’ve got to be prepared for that door to be shut in your face, and it’s been shut in mine plenty of times… you’ve got to be prepared to have a crack.
Curtis clearly has what is known, in the world of positive psychology, as Grit. For the past 11 years Angela Duckworth has been conducting ground-breaking research at the University of Pennsylvania, defining Grit as a measure of resilience in the face of failure, consistency of interest in your goals and persistence of effort to achieving those goals.
This concept of Grit makes me think of the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness – starring Will Smith. Smith’s character, Chris Garder, is an on-and-off-homeless salesman who has an unbelievable drive and determination to reach his goal of becoming a successful stockbroker, and he gets there in the face of extreme adversity.
So, are you born with Grit or can you work at developing it over time? Duckworth believes it is learned, which means we all have an opportunity (our kids included) to build resilience to achieve our goals. Here’s my top 3 tips for building resilience to achieve your goals:
1. Define your goals and your level of commitment to those goals. This will help guide your willingness to overcome adversity in order to achieve success – if the payoff is worth it the challenge or risk of failure will seem within reason.
2. See fear as opportunity. I have often said that remaining in a state of comfort stifles growth. This is the same for anyone at any age. Pushing your own boundaries, as Curtis did when he knocked on Marco Pierre White’s kitchen door and offered his services for free, can often teach you as much about your strengths as your weaknesses.
3. Pick good role models – the kind that will tell you about the great times and the times they have failed to succeed in the way that was planned. Candour and opportunity to learn how to ‘fail better’ via relationship building can give you the confidence to put yourself out there and maintain perspective when judging your own attempts to succeed.
To find out more about the concept of Grit, you can watch Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk here.
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