What makes some people more successful than others? While no one is immune to sadness, hard times or loss, there are some individuals who seem to be more robust when it comes to rebounding from challenging events and redoubling their efforts to move forward. As we work to achieve on our own terms, it is important to understand the role of ‘grit’ as talent and intelligence are not enough.
Dr. Angela Duckworth, researcher at the University of Pennsylvania describes grit as perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Her studies show that grit can be just as essential as cognitive ability in driving success.
Being gritty is about sticking with an activity for the long haul to develop mastery over time, especially under difficult circumstances. An individual with grit is fundamentally equipped to have the stamina and determination required to demonstrate excellence, especially with the task is difficult.
Studies show that motivation, self-control, positive mindset and goal orientation are all component behaviors that make up grit. Furthermore, fear not — research finds that grit is a quality that is not necessarily innate, but can be developed. Duckworth asserts that grit can increase and decrease over time in response to experiences. Grit is not, however, always universally and equally applied by individuals in all situations.
You can get ‘grittier’ by:
1. Identifying and pursuing your passions – Perseverance is never easy, but you may stay the course over time when facing adversity if you are enthusiastic about some aspect of the process. Passion doesn’t mean that you love every moment of everything that you do, but rather there are aspects of a task, job or opportunity that resonate with who you are and keep you going.
2. Investing in your growth – Practice is necessary to build skills and ultimately, to create mastery. Improvement requires hard work (read blood, sweat and tears) and you must be willing to commit in order to take your abilities to the next level.
3. Facing your fears – Explore the self-limiting thoughts and beliefs that hold you back. Push yourself (gently) to do some of the things that you don’t think that you can do as a means of building your confidence.
4. Forging ahead – Don’t stop (even when you feel like quitting). Enlist the help of friends, family or other supporters who can help you refocus on your goals and remind you why they matter so much.
Take action now to increase your grit, and likewise, your opportunities for success!
Engineer Your Bliss Challenge: Increase your true grit factor.
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