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The Creator Mindset Map — Grit

The Creator Mindset Map identifies, affirms, and validates the complex feelings and emotions creators juggle when bringing each project and every idea to fruition. Each of the core mindsets (Hope, Fear, Grit, and Glory) is natural and offers an opportunity for positive growth and personal or professional development. While some feelings are easier to manage than others, there isn’t a true hierarchy here. There’s no right or wrong, no beginning or end, just stages everyone experiences repeatedly, throughout their creative career. It’s okay for you to be wherever you are; we are in this, with you.

Curious about the other core mindsets? Explore Hope, Fear, and Glory.


The Grit Mindset

The fear has passed for now, and you’re ready to attempt another project. You always knew your idea had merit, but you were just too burnt out to make it happen. It’s time to put yourself out there again.

  • Grit backs hope up, and makes good on all those hopeful promises.
  • Grit recognizes fear for what it is, but is too busy for it. Grit pushes fear aside so it can keep going.
  • Grit is going to get us to glory by sheer force of will and strength.

If you look up the definition of “grit” you’ll find many synonyms such as courage or pluck or resolve. Grit is about tenacity, and doing the work even though you know it’s going to be hard. When you’re in a grit mindset, you push through, knowing that your idea or project is worth the proverbial (or literal) blood, sweat, and tears. But before you can even get to the work, you have to commit to the idea, which also takes courage. It’s one thing to be inspired, it’s another to act on inspiration. Dedicating yourself to a new project, and prioritizing that work, is a courageous act. You gotta grab that idea and consider where it could take you, and allow it to takeover your imagination, before you can get down to brass tacks. Grit is both internal processing about what you’re willing to do, and physical manifestation of the work in progress. It can be exhausting and exhilarating, but it gets you closer to your glorious goals.

Picture this

If grit were a place, it would be a mountain surrounding meadows. An idea would lead you to this mountain, and you and your idea would find a quiet place to sit together, and debate a partnership. Resting under a large green tree, you hear all the possibilities your idea could bring to fruition, whispered as the wind rustles the leaves. Maybe you’d bring friends along on this particular walk, maybe you’d go solo, strolling around the base of the mountain, wondering if this is the right idea for you. Then, you’d stumble upon a cave and inside, after doing more wondering and thinking about this new idea, you’d agree to do it. As you come out of the cave, you know what to do; there’s nowhere to go but up. And so you start to climb. The only way to share your idea with the world is if you can get to the top of the mountain, so you climb, day after day, up and up and up. You get tired. It is hard. But you keep going until you’ve reached the top.

You have permission to experience grit

🠆 You have permission to get into gritty details of your creative career, project, or idea.

🠆 You have permission to love working hard, to think that what you do is fun.

🠆 You have permission to be passionate about the work you do.

🠆 You have permission to prioritize your projects and work in a way that works for you.

🠆 You have permission to be persistent in the pursuit of a happy and successful life.

🠆 You have permission to work long hours and get lost in your passion for your project.

🠆 You have permission to dream about your future as influenced by your creative efforts.

🠆 You have permission to find joy from your own dreams, desires, and actions.

The stages of grit

The grit mindset is two sides of the same coin: on one side, you need to do some introspective work, and ask yourself if you want to bring this new idea or project to fruition. This involves planning and mapping out the possibilities, thinking through what it will take, and wondering if it’s worth it. You might find yourself thinking, will this idea or project be The Thing? The Thing that launches or expands or amplifies your career? On the other side of the coin is the actual doing part. Here’s where those long hours and days come into play. You are going all in on your efforts, and are committed to completing all of your tasks so you can share your creativity with the world. As you read through the stages below, ask yourself if you’ve been there before, and if the stages sound familiar to you.

Contemplating

  • Your idea is taking root, and you’re curious enough to sit with it and consider just how far you could go with it
  • You’re starting to survey the road ahead and planning for all the work that’ll be necessary

Dreaming

  • You’ve become consumed by your idea; you’re excitedly mulling over all the possibilities
  • You daydream about what life could look thanks to acting on this idea; maybe this idea could be a life-changing project?
  • You’re inspired by the potential success this project offers, and how it could boost your career or business
  • You are curious about the potential positive growth and development this new idea or project could bring you

Committing

  • You mind is set; no one can talk you out of this idea
  • Your project is no longer just an abstract dream, and you’re ready to get to work
  • You surprise yourself by your new found passion for this new idea, project, and work
  • You find yourself motivated to stay focused on your idea, even if you contemplated quitting

Persisting

  • You are doing the thing; you are working hard no matter what comes your way
  • You are committed to doing what it takes to bring that new idea to a place where you’re proud enough to share it with others
  • You keep going even though the hours are long, and each day feels longer than the last

Prepare for grit

Okay, you might not be in that ‘hunker down’ space right now, but you’ll be back here someday. Grit is part of the creative process and it bubbles up multiple times throughout one’s career. The best way to embrace grit is to plan for it and maximize your tenacious energy. Answer these questions to best prepare yourself for the next time you find yourself in the grit mindset.

  1. How do I feel about being here?

  2. Will it make me feel better or worse to stay here for a bit longer?

  3. Do I need to be here or can I give myself permission to move on?

  4. How can I best use my time here? What should I do while here?

  5. What can I learn by being here?

  6. Who should I spend time with when I’m experiencing grit? Who can I count on to be supportive?

  7. What habits do I have when I’m in this space, what behaviors do I seem to correlate to grit?

  8. If I like being in grit, what are some things I can do to stay here longer?

  9. If I want to move out of grit, what is one small step I can take today to get going?

  10. What’s a good anchor for me when I find myself in grit? Is it a song, a piece of art, an affirmation, a person? What or who can I count on to remind me that this is a temporary stage and that it’s okay to be here?

Grit is universal

Remember, grit is a universal experience, though it comes in many forms. Why you’re feeling a certain way is unique to your experience, but what you’re feeling is likely a common emotion among other creative people. The odds are another creator is going through something similar to you right now, reading these words, acknowledging the same hopes and fears, and leaning into the grit in pursuit of glory. You’re not alone, and you’re allowed to feel the way you do. We’re in this, with you.

Stay tuned for more advice on what to do when you find yourself in a grit mindset.