Can you guess what is the key to success in work and life? It’s not IQ. And it’s not conscientiousness. The personality trait ‘grit’ is the single most accurate predictor of real world performance. Grit is defined as ‘the perseverance and passion for long-term goals.’
A study by Angela Duckworth, professor of psychology, concluded that grit is a better predictor of success than intelligence. The research concluded that high intelligence combined with the greatest degree of persistence will achieve more success than the highest degree of intelligence with somewhat less persistence. You can read more about this in Angela Duckworth’s best-selling book ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’.
The good news is that you can increase your own grittiness. Do you want to know how? Read on!
Find Something You Really, REALLY Like
The most important reason for giving up is because we simply do not CARE enough about something. When you are not invested in a job, a project or a task, how will you find a reason for pushing through when the going gets tough?
The first step towards improving your perseverance, is pursuing something you really love and are deeply interested in. How do you find out what you love? Well, not by sitting in a room and soul-searching, according to Angela Duckworth. Get out there and try stuff that you might like. You will only know for sure if you try it out.
Find Your Purpose
Some people have a job, some have a career and others have a ‘calling’ in life. Who do you think is the grittiest? Yes, the one with a calling in life.
But how can you find a purpose when you don’t see the real meaning in what you do? Meaningful work can be defined as ‘work of expert quality that benefits the broader society’. Finding meaning in what you do has a lot to do with meaning something to OTHERS. Study shows that just thinking about how your work is benefitting the people around you already changes how you perceive your role. By becoming aware of even the smallest ways in which you contribute to society already increases the purpose you experience in your work.
Adopt A Growth Mindset
The concept of a growth mindset was first coined in 2007 by psychologist Carol Dweck. A growth mindset is the believe that you can learn anything and that your abilities aren’t fixed. By working hard you can get better at whatever you want. This also means that failures do not define you; they are just a sign that you need to learn more or change your strategy.
Practice Optimistic Self-Talk
Another effective way of coping with setbacks is being able to talk yourself through it. Finding ways to motivate yourself and seeing positive sides to the situation you are in leads to perseverance. If you want to learn how to train your brain for positive thinking, read How To Rewire Your Brain For Happiness And Success.
Hang Out With Gritty People
In How Complaining Rewires The Brain: What You Think, You Become we discussed that behavior is contagious. Surrounding yourself with hard working, positive and gritty people will positively influence your own behavior.
Finding a mentor is another great way of getting inspired to persevere. Being in contact with someone who is where you want to be can help you to push through. And being able to pick their brain for some much needed advice is
Mindfulness And Grit
Research has shown that mindfulness practice is an effective method for regulating emotions. Being able to control your emotions plays a big part in being resilient, which in turn is a key component of grit.
Mindfulness also increases grit by improving concentration, reducing doubt and anxiety and by laying the focus on the process rather than the result.
Will you put these tips into practice?