It's great to exemplify grit—especially when you work in sales. Grit emphasizes perseverance. While you won't close every deal, you can remain optimistic and not let failures slow you down. When you have grit, you can work harder and longer while keeping a positive attitude.

Karima Mariama-Arthur, an author and a leading authority on leadership development and organizational performance management, says that you can build and improve grit when you need it most. We share her thoughts on how to do this in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Focus on your why. Your desire to do something may fluctuate. You're human, after all. You will get tired. Your immediate priorities may shift. You may even question the necessity of doing something altogether. To get past the subterfuge, Mariama-Arthur says you must home in on your "why"— that earth-shattering reason you made this thing a "must" to begin with. When your why is compelling, the excuses fall away. You can summon the grit to help you overcome the plateau of arrested development.

2. Be your own best barometer. Other people can have their opinions, but this doesn't mean you should make them yours. Embracing the unsolicited feedback of others can make it difficult to submit to your calling, asserts Mariama-Arthur. Remember, this is your goal and there is a reason why you chose to achieve it. Learn to trust the wisdom of your gut. Be clear that you are working toward your own best interests and that you have performed (or will perform) the necessary due diligence to ensure your success. Positioning yourself as your primary counsel can give you the clarity and confidence needed to move forward, especially when you find the genuine support of others to be wanting.

3. Find a quintessential reference point. This probably isn't the first time you've had to move nimbly through the trenches. Think about a time when the odds weren't in your favor—when you didn't feel like things were going to work out—but they did. What was it about that situation that was different? What did you do differently? What wisdom can you glean from it and apply to the current scenario? Chances are you can haul an entire truckload of insights into your current circumstance and achieve a much-needed breakthrough, says Mariama-Arthur. What's more, you'll inevitably increase your points of reference by fighting through the trenches time and time again.

4. Decide to do the work in chunks. Remember that nothing of value is ever created overnight. Think diamonds, medical or technological innovations—even human life. Excellence takes time. The point here is to embrace the imminent heavy lifting. Rather than capitulate, Mariama-Arthur says to roll up your sleeves and get your mind steadied to do the work, no matter how difficult or time-consuming it may be. Instead of trying to force-feed yourself each task, break them into bite-sized pieces called "chunks." Address them individually and delegate where necessary. You'll find each task more approachable when compartmentalized, which is exactly the point.

When the going gets tough, tap into your inner grit. It's a sure way to rise above any challenge.

Source: Karima Mariama-Arthur is a leading authority on leadership development and organizational performance management. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed and 2019 NAACP Image Award-nominated leadership guidebook, Poised For Excellence: Principles Of Effective Leadership in the Boardroom and Beyond.