"I can do this" or "I can't do this". Which do you say the most?

During this particularly harsh Montana winter, I decided to re-read Two Old Women by Velma Wallis. This Alaskan legend tells of a starving tribe forced to abandon two old women in order to increase the tribe’s probability of surviving. No one expected to see them again and they said their tearful and final good byes.

Left to freeze, starve, or be eaten by bears, the women who had become totally dependent on others, were faced with two choices: figure out how to survive and perhaps die trying or give up. They chose to fight. They not only survived but learned to thrive. They learned to depend on themselves and each other and discovered that they were capable, resourceful, and competent. Together they were formidable!

Each of us has a choice to make when faced with difficult circumstances in life: We can choose to keep going or give up. Many call this grit.

Whatever you call it, it takes a lot of courage to get back up when you’ve been knocked down. This determination to succeed is essential to resilience and it’s frequently what comes to mind when describing resilient people.

How would you rate your determination to keep going?

I’ll admit it’s not been easy this winter to face the bitter cold and deep snow day after day though thankfully I was never threatened by grizzly bears. But we get to practice our grit every day in small ways and over time it gets a little stronger and easier to do. The two women in the legend didn’t know at the onset if they would survive, and they had many failures along the way. But by taking one step at a time they made it through. So can we.