Getting into Grips with Grit

Fundile N. Mcoyi
3 min readApr 28, 2022


Discipline is Personal.

Seven hundred and thirty days of attempting to grow in self-love. Approximately, 780 days ago I made the decision to grow my grit.

On 9th of March 2020, I published my first Medium blog post. This was my starting point to getting into grips with grit. I focused on building the most disciplined version of myself — it made sense, being disciplined would build my grit.

In psychology, grit is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or end state.

It’s April 2022, its been approximately 780 days of my journey, I just got back from the hospital, my head feels sore, I only have a mere 11 published posts on my blog, and another 5 with drafts from 2020. Its been a turbulent 2 years.

And I am most proud of myself then I have ever been.

It’s not that I am junk person really to be proud of the minimum efforts, but despite all that I have not mentioned I am proud that I get to write and uncover some of my learnings I have been thinking about all morning.

Discipline is personal. I just did not know how personal it is until I pushed myself to practice it.

Initially, (or rather I will be honest and say for 2 years I had this impression)I thought that discipline is being on time, having great time management and being productive. I lived with this notion for a great part of my journey yet I think a week into certain exercises I was already failing dismally.

Oh, but the failing part really was no biggie. I mean, so what I was breaking my morning routine? Actually, I might have not had a morning routine but I was getting things done. Work. Family time. Goodness, I even got into a relationship!

  1. Discipline is not productivity, but productivity is disciplined.

My very lob-sided impression of conquering myself was fuelled by me wanting to get the best out of myself for others (I am not ashamed to write this truthfully — I have learned that people are a lot more similar than they assume). We push ourselves to cultivate discipline because in most cases we want to be productive. Whether its work or school, at some stage of our lives we want to push ourselves to being the best we can be in order to be valued as an asset in the various roles we play.

It just did not work. I found myself giving up more easily than in contrast to prior incidences. I became more miserable. This impacted my productivity — because in essence, if you are not happy it is difficult to even give of yourself.

2. Discipline is personal. Productivity might not.

I just could not stick to anything any longer. I got upset that I was never going to have grit. I felt like I was moving backwards. It has been a terrible two years for my personal development. Plainly because I started basing my worth as an individual on being disciplined, and the more I could not stick to my 21-days-habit building challenges, the more I became a mentally-unfit self-critic.

Productivity is the state of getting things done. Discipline is an “orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior”. Productivity is self-intrinsic and based on measurable outcome, you are able to identify when you have been productive but how do you know if you have been disciplined? Its a conduct, or behaviour that you display — it is a personality trait.

3. Of course our personalities are different, but how different is discipline?

The more I criticised myself for not having the type of discipline everyone talks about the more my mental health took a deep dive. I didn't realize it at the time, but discipline is not a tool it is a method. The truth about methods is that they don’t influence income and outcome but methods use incomes to determine outcomes.

Before embarking on your journey to being the best disciplined version of yourself, I would advise you to research yourself best.
Not google yourself. Research. Read. Listen. Journal. Learn yourself.

This has been the most intense but rewarding journies — rewarding because I finally know what discipline looks like to me.

Thank goodness I have gotten a glimpse of what discipline looks like for my personality.