“Without effort, your talent is nothing more than unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn’t.” 

― Angela Duckworth

More and more, grit is being highlighted as an essential trait for achieving long-term success. But what is it? Grit is a skill, developed over time, that helps us deal with the things we find difficult. Instead of running away or hiding from challenges, it teaches us to consistently face them head-on. That doesn’t mean to say it’s easy but the good news is that developing your grit is something you can get better at.

How to develop your ‘grit’

  • Just like a muscle, grit needs to be exercised. Practice, and persevering in that practice, will help develop it. Part of this boils down to never giving up as well as setting habits and then sticking to them
  • At times, we will all fail, but failure is not a permanent state. When you come up against challenges it’s important to try and think of the bigger picture and understand that your situation can change. In that same vein, it’s ok to feel hurt or frustrated; grit comes into the picture when you push through that pain or discomfort to reach your goal. 
  • Mistakes, and setbacks, are part of the learning journey. In fact, they’re actually necessary. Don’t become overwhelmed with negative feelings when you don’t succeed, try again.
  • Why not start developing grit by pursuing something you enjoy and are passionate about? For example, if you’re good at a sport, the key to developing grit is to do everything you can to get better at that sport and when you come up against challenges, don’t give up. This will help you develop grit for things that aren’t as enjoyable or easy.
  • Our brains are incredible; they are malleable and can grow and change. Some believe that because of this, talent and intelligence can be developed through our efforts. This means that our growth track is not set, we can change it. We need to believe that we have the ability to accomplish difficult things!
  • The people around us can build us up or tear us down. When challenges come, as they inevitably will, an encouraging friend, parent, teacher or mentor can make all the difference.

“Yes, but the main thing is that greatness is doable. Greatness is many, many individual feats, and each of them is doable.”

― Angela Duckworth

Want to learn about grit form the world’s leading expert in the subject? Watch academic and psychologist, Angela Duckworth’s, Ted Talks on her understanding of grit. You won’t regret it.