Grit – the success secret sauce

Have you got the grit to not give up when life gets hard? Can you consistently keep your focus on your goals when you hit a hurdle? Life is full of challenges that make your goals seem difficult. Have you got the perseverance to push on? Dr Angela Duckworth defines this as grit – “perseverance and passion for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future” 

Grit is made up of a collection of character strengths

1. Courage

Courage is the ability to manage fear of failure. Grit requires learning how to fail and embracing it as an inevitable part of life.

2. Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness is the personality trait of being thorough, careful, or vigilant. Conscientiousness implies a desire to do a task well.

3. Endurance

Endurance is the act of working very hard without stopping, even in the face of difficult situations or pain, however, practice must have purpose. Long-term goals provide the context and framework in which to find the meaning and value of long-term efforts, which helps cultivate drive, sustainability, passion, courage and stamina.

4. Resilience

Resilience is the capacity to adapt successfully to stress and adversity. It is the ability to believe, “everything will be alright in the end, and if it is not alright, it is not the end.”

5. Excellence

Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. Striving for excellence in achieving goals that are realistic and achievable. Excellence is different to perfection. Perfectionists, typically, fixate on unattainable goals and, as a result, forget to embrace success and focus on the positive.

 “Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” Michael Jordan

How to develop grit

Grit is a determined, courageous attitude, a mindset that can be developed. If you recognise you don’t have much now, you can work on it. You just need to hope off the road you are on and carve out a new path.

Set a goal

Make plans to accomplish what is most important. Without this you will have no path on which to travel.

Develop a growth mindset

Believe that setbacks are temporary and that problems can be overcome with effort and creative thought. Try harder, be flexible or try another approach. Focus on what you can do not what you can’t. Try new challenges, take good risks and use effort as a path to master something to build a growth mindset.

Follow your passion

Your passion can inspire you and drive you to success. Passion stimulates your to persevere and carry on.

Build self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is the ability to feel you can produce results in your life. One way to build self-efficacy is by mastering tasks and experiencing success. Big successes are great, but self-efficacy is also built through experiencing frequent small successes.

Build in practice time

To accomplish certain things, you need be prepared to practice. Sometimes practice is enjoyable but sometimes it can be challenging and tedious. Productive practice should focus on weaknesses, feel difficult, be repetitive, and include immediate and informative feedback.

Stick to it

In order to achieve goals in life you need persistence and perseverance to stick to your objectives. When facing any adversities, dig a little deeper in order to realise goals and stay inspired so as to maintain the necessary energy to keep going.

Find support

When you have a difficult or challenging task or goal, try not to get discouraged. Have a trusted friend or mentor whom you can talk to and who can give you support to help you to rethink and analyse professional and personal thoughts.

Take action now

Identify an area of your life where you tend to quit in the face of difficulty and prepare an action plan to deal with it. Research shows that if we are prepared to take action and practice something, especially if we have good strategies to direct our efforts, our performance will improve.

In an interview last year, Duckworth said, “Grit predicts success. Grit is not the only determinant of success; opportunity and talent matter too. But on average, grittier people turn out to be more successful than others, particularly in very challenging situations.”

So can you go the distance and live to inspire other to try a little harder? Can you ask yourself “Why not”?” when faced with challenges and avoid statements such as “ That is too hard” or “Why me?” Building grit is about just one thing– learning that the answer to “Can I handle what comes next?” is “Yes, I can.

Caroline Siassios

About Caroline Siassios

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