What is your opinion on the below?
Is a success in business or anything else based on a bit of luck and IQ of the person? Or does it come from hard work and consistent effort?
The most recent research has shown that we overestimate the effect of more luck-based characteristics such as IQ and underestimate the importance of dedication and perseverance. Grit is the better indicator of a person’s overall success than their IQ, social environment they come from, their education or connections they have.
So what exactly is grit, you’ll ask?
Angela Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who conducted the research, defines
grit as passion and perseverance to achieve long-term and meaningful goals.
In other words, it is the ability to persist in something you feel passionate about and not give up when you face obstacles or experience utter failure. This kind of passion about having direction and staying committed to tasks that may be difficult or boring.
If you’d like to read more details on the research itself, I highly recommend Angela Duckworth’s book “Grit. The Power of Passion and Perseverance”
However, here to illustrate how grit can propel you in life, I’m going to tell you a story that is not in there. It’s the story I discovered through reading “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls” to my 7-year-old daughter.
Story of Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland discovered her passion for ballet at the age of 13, which is quite late for anyone to become a professional athlete. Her family was homeless at the time living in a motel. Her newly discovered passion for this dance and perseverance in grueling ballet practice brought her to win multiple awards, scholarships and perform significant ballet roles.
Then, at the age of 29, she suffered a severe tibia injury that nearly brought her career to an end. The most inspiring and fascinating part about it is how it became so severe.
Misty suffered the injury right before her first-ever performance as a soloist in the Metropolitan Opera House. She was to perform the female main character in the “Firebird” ballet. It was a historical night, not only was the performance first for Misty but also she was the first African American ballerina ever to do that.
Despite the injury, she decided to perform and hide it. She didn’t want to let down her community who came out that night to support her.
Her performance was magnificent and acclaimed by the critics, but her injury became so severe that shortly after it she needed to undergo serious surgery on her tibia.
What’s most inspiring is that she didn’t give up dance afterward. On the contrary, she treated her recovery time as the opportunity to become even a better dancer. And she proved that in the end when in 2015 she became the first African American prima ballerina ever for the American Ballet Theatre.
Why is grit important?
I’m sure the story I shared above answers this question quite well. However, to summarize, grit is vital because it’s a driver of achievement and success. Being naturally smart and talented are great, but to truly thrive, we need the ability to persevere. No-one’s path to success is strewn with rose petals. We all encounter some setbacks or failures. It’s the way we handle them that determines how successful we are in any given area of our lives. That’s why without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential.
So now you’re probably thinking, can grit be learned?
Or if I already have some, can I boost it?
Even though the research on this subject is young and there is still much to be discovered, the answer is yes!
Here are the 3 things you can do to boost your grit.
1. Develop a Growth Mindset
The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.C. JoyBell C.
Developing a love of learning and continuous improvement will challenge you to always look for new ways of doing things. As humans, we are wired to grow, and our brains have limitless potential. Nurturing that potential and using it for self-development will also lead to us influencing our outside world to grow with us.
2. Treat Setbacks as Opportunities to Improve
You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.Michelle Obama
Just like Misty Copeland treated her injury to become a better dancer, we can also learn to treat setbacks, not as failures but opportunities to get better. And I get it, it’s tough. That’s why we sometimes need support from others: our friends, family, community, or professionals. And there’s no shame in this. No can do it all alone. The important part is to recognize the need and ask for it.
The need for support is the reason why I have started an on-line community Businesswomen with Passion 4 Life. My vision for it is to create a community for women where we can share our passions, collaborate, and grow together. Where we can support each other when we experience setbacks and have fun together at the same time!
I’d love for you to be part of this community :). Join now by clicking here!
3. Create Habits that Will Help You Stick with Your Long-Term Goals
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.Jim Rohn
Since the definition of grit above talks about long term goals and achieving them, building other habits that will help you do that makes the perseverance part easier. Here, I’m talking about anything that will allow you to be healthier, more creative, knowledgeable or disciplined, etc.
And if you need help with defining long-term goals for your business or career; or identifying and building new habits to help you achieve them, I’m always happy to help. Are you open-minded for a leadership accelerator session? Yes? Then click here to schedule it.
As shown above, having grit is a potent indicator of achieving success in life, in whatever way you define it. Grit is not only passion, but also perseverance to pursue and achieve your long-term goals. We also know that grit can be thought to children and definitely boosted in adults. And the best thing is that like with any habit, the more we practice grit, the more ingrained it becomes. I challenge you then to start today by identifying the ways you can do it in your life or business.
Before we conclude, if you are a Businesswoman With Passion 4 Life as a whole and would enjoy the support of other amazing ladies in doing it, join my online community today, by clicking here!