In her viral TED Talk, psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth asks:
“…what if doing well in school and in life depends on much more than your ability to learn quickly and easily?”
She goes on to explain her theory of “grit” and why, at times, it can be a better indicator of success than IQ.
What Is Grit?
Grit is an individual’s ability to stick things out. It’s passion, perseverance and strength in the face of adversity. It’s simultaneously the courage to go after your desires, and the mental fortitude to understand when it’s perfectly fine to pivot.
Above all of its definitions, grit is strength of character. It’s sticking to your goals and vision of the future over long periods of time.
Here are some of the characteristics that make an individual more gritty:
Life affords all of us many opportunities to be courageous. However, gritty individuals take bravery to another level.
Courage is not just about physical bravery. It can encompass many brave acts that show strength in the face of fear. As Nelson Mandela said, “courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”
Courage comes in many forms and can include: “taking a chance when others will not, following your vision no matter where it takes you, standing up for what you believe in, especially when your beliefs are unpopular, or simply doing the right thing even though easier options exist — those are all forms of bravery.” – Inc.com
‘Sticktoitiveness’ (a.k.a Persistence)
‘Sticktoitiveness’ (stick-to-it-iveness) is an individual’s ability to stay the course. It’s persistence that comes from within and tells you not to give up.
“On your long haul to greatness you’re going to stumble, and you will need to get back up on the proverbial horse.” – Forbes.com
Individuals with grit have a natural resilience and an ability to get up each time they fall!
Patience & Long-Term Thinking
Patience is one of the most important characteristics of grit. Gritty individuals know that success is a marathon, not a sprint.
“According to the latest research, one of the biggest indicators of grit is an ability to delay gratification while working on a task.” – Go Strengths
Sometimes, the best way to move a project forward is to give it time. Due to their thoughtful nature, gritty people know when they’ve done all they can, and they’re not afraid to commit long-term!
Integrity is indicative of anyone who has grit and strength of character. This is where ‘sticktoitiveness’ really comes into play for gritty individuals.
“You can’t take “grit” out of integrity. They go together and one cannot exist without the other… Your word is your bond. If we shake hands on it, it’s a binding contract. There’s integrity in sticking to your goals.” – David B. Nast
When you have grit, it’s not just your goals you stick to, it’s also your word!
Last but not least, an individual with grit has a passion for what they do. Passion gives gritty people an edge. Paired with their persistence and other qualities, it allows them to find deep satisfaction in their work.
Without passion, an individual, no matter how hard they work or how many qualities of grit they have, will fall short. At the end of the day, everyone is looking for a purpose in what they do. For someone with grit, passion is the quality that allows the other four to shine through!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!