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Sisu is how the Finnish Dig Deep

Sisu is a centuries old concept from Finland. What does it mean when someone describes you as having sisu? Take it as a compliment! Precise definitions are hard to come by. But when you hear the word sisu, think along the lines of grit, determination, stoicism & psychological strength and you’re on the right track.

How to recognise sisu

Have you ever…

  • truly believed, in a haze of exhaustion, that your reserves were spent and failure was imminent? Only to find, from some magical place, the energy and will to continue.
  • embarked on a project of such magnitude that others have warned you that to try is madness? Even so, you achieved your goal.
  • Do you frequently undertake challenges that you know to be beyond your current capabilities but persist because you believe, with a dogged determination, that you have what it takes to develop your skills to the next level and, no matter what setbacks you encounter, achieve success.
  • Have you ever succeeded against all odds in the face of adversity?
  • Are you known for digging deep and carrying on?
  • When you fail, fail and fail again, do you continue?

How Can You Develop this Magical Finnish Quality?

  1. Push yourself to take on new challenges. For example, choose the goal that you feel is just outside of your comfort zone, these are the goals that require sisu.
  2. When success eludes you, look for ways to overcome failures and persevere. This kind of determination will bring success one step closer.
  3. Adopt a growth mindset approach. A growth mindset encompasses so many key characteristics of sisu. It makes sense to strengthen your growth mindset thinking and take the most powerful approach possible to every challenge.
  4. Resilience is a key concept within sisu too. Consequently, you might choose to build resilience. Many people find activities like spending time in nature or mindfulness provide a huge boost to their resilience. Why not combine the two with some mindful rewilding or nature journaling?

Want to discover more about some of the concepts mentioned here? Take a look at the free resources from Planet Positive Change. For example, our free growth mindset course or mindfulness quiz

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