Grit, Growth and Perseverance

Grit, a growth mindset, and perseverance are mental ‘muscles’ that develop a repeated practice of failing, learning, and improving. Goal directed perseverance is the ongoing effort of moving towards a desired goal, falling and getting back up, failing and learning, struggling and growing, while still progressing. Goal directed perseverance starts with setting clear intentions and then aligning them with a plan of action to achieve that desired outcome.  Through the EEC Coaching Process, clients begin with developing a clear vision of who they want to be. They then construct a roadmap aligned with their strengths, interests, responsibilities, and priorities. Perseverance and grit are developed when it starts to get hard, and the excuses and inattentiveness want to change directions and do something newer and easier, and more enjoyable.  Goal directed perseverance starts when the ADHD tendencies take over and want to change directions, or when things start to feel too boring and mundane or too hard.

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck studies human motivation –  why some people succeed and others don’t – and the factors within our control to foster success. Her research regarding a fixed versus a growth mindset, and their difference in outcomes is incredibly powerful. She found that a fixed mindset can keep us from learning and growing. Someone with a fixed mindset views their traits as inherently stable and unchangeable over time. Parents and teachers reward bright children by showering praise and acknowledging their smartness, which leads to a fixed mindset. In contrast, someone with a growth mindset views intelligence, abilities and talents as learnable and capable of improvement through effort. When you develop a growth mindset, you believe you can increase the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed, which makes every challenge a learning opportunity.

The comparison between fixed and growth mindset for individuals with ADHD

A fixed mindset statement like “I can’t learn math” can be changed into a growth mindset statement like “I can learn to get better at math.” Given the numerous obstacles presented in school and life, a growth mindset can be a powerful tool as students with executive function deficits strive to become the best version of themselves.

Assess your Growth Mindset

Developing a growth mindset about school and life starts by understanding that school and life are inherently difficult and complex. The goal is to make school and life easier by bringing purpose and meaning to life and school.  This helps shift perspective and mentality to be more prepared to face the obstacles in their life. Unfortunately, too many students and young adults see adversity as problematic and strive to avoid adversity.  In striving for the easy path, clients unintentionally discover that their course of least resistance does not match their inherent strengths, goals, and desires. Fear and doubt can arise when life gets too hard, and failure is not perceived as an opportunity for learning and feedback.

Dr. Murphy’s Pro-parenting tip: Embracing Failure and Taking Risks

At EEC, the application of Effective Effort is built on a few core principles

  • Life is hard! But we can learn to make it easier and more enjoyable
  • We will also help you develop grit and a growth mindset
  • Harness your strengths – Developing life-based strengths and interests can lead to greater success and happiness
  • Failure is feedback – It is an important learning tool
  • Using a calendar promotes effective decision-making and anchors goals and intentions within time and space
  • ADHD is a gift!
  • A disability is NOT a limitation
  • Writing things down is a powerful first step in getting things done
  • Goal-directed perseverance is a muscle that grows with time and attention

Eat the Frog! – train yourself against procrastinating

The definition of Effective Effort is the process of forming clear intentions, developing a personalized roadmap and action plan, and cultivating goal-directed perseverance toward becoming the best version of yourself.

Three step process of Effective Effort toward becoming the best version of yourself.

Overcoming (Dis)abilities - Growth Mindset & Goal-Directed Perseverance

It can be overwhelmingly difficult for so many students and adults to live with complex mental, medical or emotional conditions such as ADHD, NVLD, autism, depression, Executive Function Disorder, or a twice exceptional (2e) profile. Every day can feel chaotic. There are constant unmet expectations, both in school and in the greater management of life. With the right mindset and consistent attention to the desired outcomes, students and adults rise above their disabilities and become the best version of themselves. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. 

Meet Nick Vujicic to witness an excellent example of what happens when we utilize a growth mindset and goal-directed perseverance to follow our innate strengths.

Hard Choices, Easy Life. Easy Choices, Hard Life.

Doing what feels good or easy at the moment is not always aligned with desired outcomes. A student who is unmotivated to study may find out the hard way they should have studied anyway. The college student who procrastinates on long-term projects then becomes overwhelmed when all the work piles up. Through the dynamic EEC Coaching Process, students and adults learn to apply strategies of GRIT and PERSEVERANCE to make better decisions and move towards desired goals. This mental fortitude  is not easy to develop – it may feel impossible to break old habits like procrastination or to develop new habits like active study skills or completing homework. But for most teenagers and young adults, the outcome of this effort is worth it. Through the consistent application of goal-directed perseverance, clients learn to consistently follow their roadmap. They learn to apply deliberate attention to their priorities and anchor their planning and decision-making within the framework of their personal goals and intentions. This process is not easy and takes time and practice. As clients engage in the EEC Coaching Process, they realize how much more manageable life is – better grades, less stress, and greater confidence. Our coaches hear clients attest that they are “working smarter, not harder” for the first time in their lives.

The own client roadmap of EEC for ADHD Coaching which talks about Growth Mindset, Problem Solving Process, Consistent Use of Executive Functions, and Innate Strengths.

Goal-Directed Perseverance: Focus on Strategies to “Work Smarter, not Harder” in School and in Life

Clients come to us feeling overwhelmed and stressed about school and life. They are working hard to catch up, trying their best to meet expectations but chronically falling short due to constant procrastination, poor planning, time management, and emotional dysregulation. Through the Academic Coaching Process, students learn strategies to manage learning and other challenges in life. Through the ADHD Coaching Process, students and young adults with ADHD develop their executive function skills to treat their ADHD and bring balance to life.

The Academic Coaching Process

  • Consistent homework habits build study skills. It’s hard to develop active study habits without a constant process of managing the daily homework.
  • Zero Zeros: A mindset to help keep up with homework every day. No Excuses.
  • Active engagement in the learning process is a smart way to increase attention and grades.
  • Self-advocacy: School is difficult, but you can learn to make it easier by asking for help.
  • Library time is a scheduled commitment to keeping up with the learning in college.

The ADHD Coaching Process

  • Define your priorities in life – personal, family, and professional
  • Develop a consistent roadmap
  • Manage the medical needs of ADHD
  • Use consistent tools and strategies to improve my attention, mood, and productivity.
  • Exercise and sleep promote attention, mood, and decision making
  • Cultivate your strengths and interests

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Get in touch or look at the FAQ section.

Explore how Goal-Directed Perseverance can foster success, detailed in our FAQ section.

Have more question in mind? Get In Touch with me.

  • What is the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset?

    A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and skills can be developed over time. It focuses on personal growth and progress instead of focusing on current performance or success. This type of mindset is important when trying to learn new things, as it allows for growth and improvement regardless of any challenges encountered along the way. On the other hand, a fixed mindset stems from the belief that our abilities are already set in stone and unchanging. This often results in individuals staying away from challenging tasks, as they view them as unchangeable and unable to be improved upon. Ultimately, growth mindsets are essential to personal growth, while fixed mindsets limit growth due to a lack of believing in the potential for development and advancement.

  • How will goal-directed perseverance help me overcome my learning struggles?

    Taking the time to set goals in the face of learning struggles can be a daunting task, but perseverance will undoubtedly pay off. By persevering and actively approaching learning objectives, we are better equipped to overcome our difficulties than if we had given up. Goal-directed perseverance helps us to stay focused, despite challenges and gain insight into the needed steps for success. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead, perseverance motivates us to keep pushing until our goals are achieved. Positive outcomes for setting goals and persevering include a greater understanding of difficult concepts, increased confidence and self-efficacy, and improved overall mastery of the material.

  • What is Effective Effort?

    Effective Effort is the power behind achieving success. It is more than simply putting in hard work, although that is a component – Effective Effort is connecting actions to purpose and goals and working smarter, not harder. It puts intention towards redefining limits and breaking barriers for better results. Even if you don’t end up meeting your goal, Effective Effort offers a better chance of succeeding because it requires focused attention and learning from each attempt. You can think of Effective Effort as doing what we can with what we have – you are tapping into both your inner energy, as well as an external recognition of all resources available which leads to taking effective steps towards one’s desired outcomes.

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“The challenges in our lives are there to STRENGTHEN our CONVICTIONS. They are NOT there to run us over.”

~ Nick Vujicic