Updated: Oct 6
What Is Grit And Why Does It Matter?
It is a widely-held belief that success is based on factors such as intelligence or talent; that those who have the highest brain power or giftedness in an area are the most likely to succeed. It would seem that the spoils go to the smartest, the most trained, and the most connected. This simply isn’t so! Psychologists have discovered that there is an element that almost always works in tandem with wit and ability when measuring success- grit.
Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth has studied the idea of grit and has come to believe that despite any outward advantages someone may have when pursuing their goals, often times the deciding factor is grit over mental or natural ability. Her work indicates that there are greater forces at play in people who rise and achieve at greater levels.
What is grit? Grit is the passion and perseverance for long term goals. Grit is the use of stamina and sticking to the job until the outcome is realized. Grit is seeing the issues at hand and utilizing resources to stay the fight over extended periods of time, much like running a marathon.
Why does grit matter? As the world becomes faster, more competitive, and sometimes more hostile, you must stay focused and able to adapt quickly. Developing grit as a character trait elevates your coping skills, increases your self-awareness, and gives you the edge that you need to achieve in all areas of life including family, health, and career.
The best example of modern-day grit is the reality show Survivor. This show pits capable men and women against one another in hostile and depriving environments. Contestants are vying to outwit, outplay, and outlast each other for a cash prize. Their physical and mental abilities are an asset but the spoils go to the contestants who have grit and the ability to withstand the physical and mental abuses the longest.
Grit isn’t something most people talk about when it comes to success because it feels intangible and as though there is no formula to follow to get grittier; however, there are simple actions that you can take to increase your management of greater levels of stress, increase stamina, and outlast any issue that develops in your life.
Keep in mind, developing grit isn’t easy, but it also isn’t impossible. Adding an extra skill set to your tool chest is a great way to increase your personal growth and personal satisfaction in all areas of your life. After you develop a grittier perspective you will move through life with an ease that others envy.
How Grit Will Matter In Your Personal Life
Grit is the ability to stick with things when the going gets tough. It is the glue that keeps you together when you want to take the easy way out or give up. Grit insists that you can and you will make it through. Grit sees a way when all hope seems lost.
Whether you are suffering from a breakup, a bankruptcy, a tough spot in parenting, or a health issue, you can get through it. Even when the unthinkable happens. Developing grit will enable you to weather the storm and persevere.
You may be wondering how grit can improve your personal life. The fact is whatever you give attention to grows. Developing a skill in one area of life automatically transfers to every other area; becoming grittier will automatically enhance your personal life.
Let’s look at the ways grit matters in your personal life:
● Increased communication skills - Digging deeper in a relationship requires you to learn to listen and share your thoughts and feelings in healthier ways. Grittier people develop excellent communication skills, share openly and honestly about their needs, and foster meaningful relationships as a result.
● Extending kindness and grace - One of the by-products of having grit is the willingness to extended grace and forgive. People with high levels of grit see the world from a wide viewpoint and learn to extend patience, gratitude, and kindness, even when it is not deserved. Grit gives us the ability to withstand tougher people and tougher situations thereby creating a wider tolerance. Ultimately this enhances relationships because there is time to foster growth and change, even with the most difficult people.
● Becoming unaffected by the little things - Have a conversation with someone who has grit and you will notice something interesting; they usually don’t sweat the small things. People who have mastered letting things go tend to be un-phased by the first world problems that offend others. Grit-filled people are able to live and let live; they rarely attach judgments to other people’s motives.
● Increased loyalty - In a day and age when 50% of marriages end in divorce and 75% of second and subsequent marriages fail, people with grit develop loyalty that overcomes the odds. People with grit don’t run away when the honeymoon is clearly over; they roll up their sleeves and find a way to stoke the fires to get past the issues at hand.
Going through a difficult time at work or in the community may be the catalyst for developing grit, but the benefits will wash over onto every area of life. Embrace the benefits of becoming a better communicator who is easy to get along with and a pleasure to be around!!
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