By Roger Crawford. This was originally published on Roger's blog.
Can you remember a time when you felt like giving up but chose to gut it out instead?
Psychologist Angela Duckworth calls this grit and says grit is the inner strength needed to achieve your long-term goals. In fact, her research found that grit is more important than talent or intelligence in predicting success.
All of us need grit to realize our potential. But how do we maximize it?
The good news is that you can increase your grit. You can begin to do that the same way you improve as an athlete: through sheer determination and a never-quit mindset. Think of your grit as a muscle that needs exercise to grow and develop. When we consistently push ourselves to reach higher, our capacity to persevere increases. Dr. Duckworth calls this deliberate practice. That means sticking with it when you feel like it, and sticking with it when you don’t.
It is easier to uncover and maintain your grit when you are pursuing something that you are passionate about. An emotional attachment is more important than an intellectual one. Setting goals for something to which you are only intellectually committed can be difficult to follow through on.
Researchers have found, however, that when you identify your purpose in life, your commitment will be emotional rather than intellectual. It follows that when you are excited about doing something, your motivation is stronger, and you achieve better results.
So, the next time you successfully navigate a challenging situation through your own grit, look at it from this perspective: You didn’t just bounce back from this experience; it gave you an opportunity to bounce forward.
You are a grittier and different person now. You have gained mental toughness and hard-won wisdom. It’s time to recognize the awesome strength of your own grit. You didn’t give up because you have the grit it takes to succeed. You didn’t bounce back to where you were in the past. Instead, you bounced forward, closer to where you want to be in the future.
You’re grittier today than you were yesterday, and that is the foundation for success tomorrow.
When you run into your next roadblock, don’t quit!
Remember, you have grit!
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