What does it take to have a successful business and even more important, what does it take to have a successful life? Some might say a degree, intelligence, connections, beauty, a great idea, money, technical ability, health, experience, or a mentor. And while all or any of those things might be nice to have, studies have shown that they are not in themselves predictive of success. What is predictive of success is a factor called, Grit.
Angela Duckworth, a psychologist from the University of Pennsylvania has identified having Grit as the biggest indicator as to whether a person will attain a high level of achievement, or not.
Grit is the ability to stick to something and to see it through to the end. Seeing something through takes more than self-control. It takes the tenacity to put in the hard work and to stay motivated through the ups and downs, and handle the fallout, from things not going just right. Those who doggedly persevere, and are creative in the way they set themselves up to reach their goals, demonstrate Grit.
To attain mastery, you must stay the course, study, learn, practice, ask for help and adjust and refine your course accordingly. Grit inoculates you from thinking too much about what people will say, and gives you the courage to reach for your goals, and get them.
Grit won’t help you avoid embarrassing moments, failure or even self-doubt, instead, it will see you through the bad times so you can talk yourself down, pick yourself up and keep going.
Achieving your goals is not for the faint of heart. You can develop and practice Grit by doing things you are not used to doing. Go ahead and get out of your comfort zone, ask for what you want, and take big steps that move you in the right direction.
People with Grit don’t sit around waiting for the perfect offer, the perfect moment, or perfect client. Grit is all about production rather than perfection. You must trust yourself and know that you can deliver or that somehow you’ll figure out a way to deliver so that you take the chances you need to succeed. And you must do what you need to do when you need to do it, despite the resistance that will come up.
What steps can you take to develop your Grit?
- Learn to say no. Be careful spending the capital of your energy and focus on activities that aren’t going to move you closer to your goals.
- Say yes to the things that you just know will be good for you even when its something that scares the shit out of you. Go for it and know you will figure it out or get the help you need to get the job done.
- Have strong ideas and stick and stick with them. But, don’t hold your ideas to be so precious that you can’t allow them to morph and possibly grow into something better.
- Spend time developing relationships with people who you can learn from, help and who can help you.
- Develop good work habits and be consistent. You’ll develop mastery along with a reputation of being someone people can count on.