Grit: The Secret Ingredient to Success

What is Grit? According to Psychologist Angela Duckworth in a Ted Talk video – “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Duckworth has been studying this fascinating trait for more than a decade now and has tons of research that shows grit being the best predictor or success.


Grit then it seems, is more important than talent and intelligence. The consistency of striving for your goal and pushing through no matter what matters the most than being a genius.

In case you’re wondering if you have “True Grit”, here are characteristics to see how you measure up to it:


Overcoming and managing your fear is part of having “grit.” We’ve known of entrepreneurs and celebrities who’ve faced seemingly unsurmountable struggles and humiliating defeats only to come back again stronger, wiser and “grittier.” Facing your fear and managing your vulnerability is then necessary to overcome challenges. Failure and disappointment is part of life. It is not a permanent condition. So exercise courage willingly, it helps fuel grit and vice versa.


Becoming achievement oriented is also a big factor in having grit. A meticulous and tirelessness trait are necessary traits to push through with one’s goal. People with grit goes for the gold, the have this need for achievement and excellence. They just don’t intend to do a good job, they aim to do an excellent one. And that’s what makes them stand out from their mediocre counterparts.


Commitment goes hand and hand with purpose to have true grit. It is extremely needed to pursue a long term goal. An enormous amount of dedication makes up for a less talented and less brilliant individual rather than a genius who fiddles away with his time and eventually his so-called gifted skills.


Bouncing back from adversity and learning from your trials, these traits are highly useful to adapt to challenges and sticky situations. The long term goal may stay the same but getting there is a changing process. Creativity, confidence and most importantly, optimism are traits that will help you persevere and move forward, especially in troubled times.


Perfectionism and excellence seems to have the same meaning but the former is a unhealthy pursuit. It is a depressing stance which makes one inflexible, unadaptable and unforgiving. Excellence on the other hand is more of an attitude and it doesn’t depend entirely on the outcome. It allows you to fall and stumble, to learn lessons as you stand back again, to embrace failure and disappointment. It prioritizes progress over perfection.

Do not worry if you don’t see yourself as having grit. It can be nurtured and exercised. If you already have some of the traits above, then you’re on your way to becoming a grittier person and perhaps, a successful one at that, in life and in business.


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