Blog > The One Thing You Need to Succeed: Grit

The One Thing You Need to Succeed: Grit

Here's how to start leading with a “whatever it takes” attitude
Young business people in office, smiling and showing signs of success to show grit.

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There are a lot of factors that go into a person’s success. Emotional intelligence is critical in today’s professional landscape. Intelligence and industry know-how are certainly a plus. And a little strategic networking and financial backing never hurt.

However, one piece of the puzzle can take you further than any other factor or personality trait: grit.

While intelligence, money, and networking can help you get closer to your goals, grit can take you all the way to success. So how do you develop a grit-focused mindset that empowers you to consistently operate at your best? Here’s what you need to know.

The Grit Mindset, Explained

Leaders who operate from a grit mindset have the perseverance to withstand whatever obstacles come their way. If you have a grit mindset, you don’t quit when life gets tough. You find a way around or over your challenges.

Some say that grit is a mixture of growth, resilience, instinct, and tenacity. Many leaders agree that employees who demonstrate grit are often their most persistent team members. They are also the most likely employees to work toward continual improvement, and the most likely to surround themselves with similarly gritty people who find their way past obstacles.

What Does Real-Life Grit Look Like?

One great example of grit in action is the life and career of Thomas Edison. After his successful invention of the lightbulb, reporters at a press conference asked Edison if he’d felt like a failure during his thousands of previous attempts at invention.

Edison, however, told reporters that he hadn’t considered this long road of trial and error to be a failure at all. Instead, he had successfully discovered thousands of ways not to invent a lightbulb, knowing that, through the process of elimination, he would eventually succeed — and he did.

Angela Lee Duckworth, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist, also says it well: “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.”

But you’re likely not trying to invent a lightbulb. So, how can you train yourself to recognize examples of real-life grit all around you or in your own behavior?

In practice, grit might involve:

  • Always finishing what you start
  • Staying committed to your goals — no matter how difficult they are (or things get)
  • Working hard, even after facing failure or when given logical reasons to quit
  • Sticking with long-term goals and projects that require more than a few weeks of commitment

But are you born with grit, or can you cultivate it?

Many people develop a natural grit mindset through an abundant passion for their long-term goals (as well as a little bit of stubborn perseverance). However, you can also develop a grit mindset if you’re willing to put in the work.

5 Ways to Develop Grit and Resilience

Here are five ways to start cultivating grit and resilience, today.

1. Pay Attention to Your Words.

How do you speak to yourself and others? Are your thoughts regarding your long-term goals positive and optimistic toward your impending success? Or do you often think that there’s no chance you’ll succeed?

Your words, even the unspoken ones, carry weight. Be mindful of how you speak to yourself about yourself.

2. Surround Yourself with “Gritty” People.

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying that everyone is the sum of the five people they spend the most time with. Whether or not that’s a scientifically-sound hypothesis, it’s no secret those who are most often around influence your mindset and the decisions you make

By surrounding yourself with people who are “gritty,” you may find you develop a mindset that’s more goal-oriented, focused, and optimistic about your success. You may also find more opportunities for success come your way, as gritty individuals spread success around them.

3. Adopt a Growth Mindset.

A growth mindset and a grit mindset are very similar. However, the key difference between them is that individuals with a grit mindset are consistently focused on perseverance, while individuals with a growth mindset are always focused on growth. Both mindsets are useful and have an important place in the path toward success.

For a growth mindset, be always looking for opportunities to grow, even during negative circumstances or a crisitunity. Find those opportunities to persevere where other, less-gritty individuals might not.

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 4. Set Some (Small) Goals.

If you struggle with developing a grit mindset because you find it challenging to stick with long-term goals, try breaking them down into short-term goals that are more manageable. You may find that running the marathon to your success becomes far easier if you’re focused on the individual steps you need to take to cross the finish line, not how long and far you still have to go.

5. Make It a Habit to Reflect.

Rather than working through your day from an auto-pilot mindset, really take time to reflect on the progress you’ve made toward your goals — no matter how hard you need to work to reach them. Positive reflection can help you recognize how far your grit has taken you and help you to visualize the path to success.

The Bottom Line

Developing a grit mindset — or leaning into the grit you already have — can help you increase your chances of success in any endeavor. Start leading with a “whatever it takes” attitude, and you’ll find that obstacles are no longer insurmountable.

Are you looking to take your growth to the next level or are you unsure of where to begin? Our Arootah coaches can help you work on developing the skills you need to become “grittier” in life. Book your free results-focused coaching call today to get started.

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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