How To Build GRIT
Being gritty means:
- Finishing what you begin
- Staying committed to your goals
- Working hard even after experiencing failure or when you feel like quitting
- Sticking with a project or activity for more than a few weeks
How do I grow it?
It’s important to know that there are still a lot of open questions about grit, including the degree to which it is a teachable skill and, to the extent it can be learned, how best to teach it. Though the research about grit is still emerging, there are some ideas about how you might develop grit.
Cultivate a growth mindset and optimism.
The idea of grit is related to both optimism and a growth mindset. When you believe that setbacks are temporary and that problems are surmountable with effort and ingenuity, you’ll likely try harder, or try another tactic, when you encounter obstacles.
Challenge yourself in your practice.
Research on world-class experts in music, sports, chess, and other domains suggest that thousands of hours of deliberate practice are necessary to achieve the highest skill level. Often, when we look at those who are successful in their field, we don’t see the hidden hours of gritty and grueling practice it took to get there. We believe that productive practice should focus on weaknesses, feel difficult, be repetitive, and include immediate and informative feedback.
Stay passionate about your purpose.
Grit isn’t just hard work and persistence—it’s also passion for a personally meaningful goal. Determine the topic or activity that captures your attention the most, and work on developing grit in that area. Enhance your practice and interest by working with role models, coaches, and peers to develop that interest and skill over time.
Some additional reading:
Angela Duckworth, Christopher Peterson, Michael Matthews, Dennis Kelly, "Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals"
Carol Dweck and Greg Walton, "Academic Tenacity: Mindsets and Skills that Promote Long-Term Learning."