Developing Grit & Resilience

Let’s take a moment and discuss soft skills. For those who have never been introduced to this phrase, soft skills are the core competencies you must possess to succeed on a team, as an entrepreneur, or within your workplace. To give you an idea of how most people approach them, think about the last time you looked at the skills section of a job posting. On it, you likely saw a list of desirable traits the company or organization wanted from an ideal applicant. 


  • The ability to handle and manage problems 
  • Effective and efficient communication
  • Proper time management skills


If you are like most people, you rush through them and look at the qualifications section. That’s where they list the type of background, experience, and skill sets they want an applicant to possess before applying. If they’re looking for at least five years of experience in a particular field, and you only have one, you will likely move to the next posting. (Or you may submit it hoping for a miracle.) How often do you think people fail to apply to a job because “good communication” was identified as a critical attribute? Rarely ever. Why? Because people either aren’t genuinely evaluating themselves or realize that an employer cannot honestly assess their communication skills in an interview. 


Becoming Uncommon

Common skills are underappreciated. People double down on hard skills and acquire job-related skills and professional knowledge but skip the soft ones. The irony is that hard skills may get you into the door, but poor communication, time management, and problem-solving skills will hinder anyone’s true potential. In Angela Duckworth’s aptly titled book Grit, she discusses how, at the time of her writing, one in five cadets dropped out of West Point before graduation despite meeting the requirements of being accepted into this prestigious school. Most of them left during their first summer during the rigorous 7-week training program known as Beast Barracks—usually referred to as The Beast. 


Though you may have guessed it from the book’s title, she argues that those who quit lacked grit and the ability to overcome failure. Remember, these cadets likely had polished academic records and leadership positions on varsity sports teams. Another way of looking at it is that they came in with the hard skills but needed more soft ones. That’s why Ted Williams, the last baseball player to have a season batting average above .400, said, “Hitting is fifty percent above the shoulders.” Skills aren’t enough on their own. 


Resilience as a Muscle 

People make themselves physically stronger by lifting increasingly heavier weights, or they train movements until they’re too sore to continue. We understand this. However, too many people choose to remove themselves from the situation regarding adversity and challenges. They may go out of their way to avoid it entirely. They assume that coming into contact with stress is harmful. Granted, too much of anything is harmful, even water, but what successful person hasn’t faced adversity? 


The same applies to becoming mentally resilient. Duckworth explains that “…grit is about having what some researchers call an ‘ultimate concern’–a goal you care about so much that it organizes and gives meaning to almost everything you do. And grit is holding steadfast to that goal. Even when you fall down.” Your ability to manage high-pressure situations—and the tools you use to navigate them—will primarily be created through practice and repetition. This is essential because problems never stop surfacing. Your goals become problems themselves. Consider the person who dreams of making it to the NFL. If they make it that far, there will always be younger, newer players fighting to take their spot on the team. Face adversity now to make tomorrow better. 


Jayaraman Law Fights for You

Though this is a legal blog, it is essential to understand our mindset and approach to the law. Your attorney is your port in the storm, the person you depend on when facing the types of issues you cannot handle yourself. We have a healthy amount of respect for soft skills and determination because our clients demand it. For professional assistance with estate planning, probate litigation, and real estate, contact Jayaraman Law for a free consultation

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Jayaraman Law

Jayaraman Law focuses on Estate Planning, Business Planning, and Real Estate. Each is executed with a passion for advocacy and serving clients. When your future depends on it, you need an experienced attorney. Our background is rooted in both the private and public sectors. Let our know-how be your greatest asset.