Persist and Be “Gritty”

Earlier I posted a Ted Talk on “Grit” that goes along with this month’s coaching topic of Perseverance.  So what does it take to succeed?  It takes perseverance or what one major study refers to as “GRIT”.  According to Angela Lee Duckworth, you don’t have to have natural talent or a high IQ to graduate and be successful, you have to have grit to succeed.  Grit has been referred to as a person’s amount of perseverance and passion toward long-term goals.  The good news is the grit can be learned.  If you can master the art of keeping focused and staying the course when things get tough, you will achieve true grit.  In order to become a “grittier” person, I recommend trying the following tips:

  1. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  If you don’t pick up a key concept in class or aren’t understanding a main idea in a course, try different methods to teach yourself the concept until you learn it.
  2. If you don’t do well on a quiz, keep practicing until your scores improve.
  3. Avoid negative self-talk.  Do not beat yourself up over a low score.  Instead, use it as a learning opportunity and tell yourself you will do better next time.  Now the hard part here is to follow through and actually do things to ensure that you do better on the next quiz, exam, etc.
  4. Focus on your goals.  I’ve said this before in the past, constantly remind yourself why you are doing this.  Why are you in this academic program?  The reasons whether intrinsic or extrinsic will usually be enough to remind you how important it is to keep going and do well.
  5. Minimize obstacles.  Obstacles will come up, because that is the nature of life, but what is most important is how one approaches obstacles and ultimately overcomes them.  Take a positive approach rather than dwelling or stressing about whatever the obstacle may be and see how that changes to level of difficulty.
  6. Put things in perspective.  When trying to overcome an obstacle, think about the obstacle in relation to the goal.  Is it a temporary hurdle?  Is it something that is going to be detrimental to your goal?  Or is it really a minor detail?  When you put it in perspective you may find that it is not as big of a deal as it may seem.  It will hopefully seem more doable.  Where there is a will there is always a way J
  7. Whatever you do, do not give up.

Perseverance and Grit

Next month I will be discussing perseverance and “grit” as they relate to being a student in an academic program.  A study conducted by Angela Lee Duckworth reveals that it isn’t having a high IQ or being naturally talented that guarantees student success, but how much “grit” a student has.  Check out this short Ted Talk below to learn more about this phenomenon:


More Motivation

Spring is here, trees and flowers are blossoming, good weather is calling us outside, how is it possible to stay focused on one’s studies and academic program during such a beautiful season?  It is easy to start putting things off and filling the schedule with more leisure activities during this time, which can ultimately take you off track or cause you to lose momentum in your program.  That is why it is so important to stay motivated this quarter, focus on those goals (academic & career), and move forward.

How can one stay motivated?

Try out some of the techniques below if you find yourself struggling to stay focused:

1. Remind yourself about what is important to you (goals). Why did you start the academic program you are in?  What factors are driving you to be in higher education?  Why are you doing this?  These questions should spark some insight as to why it is important to keep going.

2. Make class interesting.  If you find yourself enrolled in a course where the material is not always the most exciting, or it is not your preferred subject to study, or maybe it is too difficult or too easy for that matter, find ways to make it more interesting.  This will be challenging.  Make a game for yourself of trying to memorize dull material (involve others) or try to find something that interests you within the material you are studying, even if it is a stretch.  Anything to keep your interest will keep you moving in the right direction.

3. Avoid time-sucking activities.  Good ol’ social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, the usual suspects, but also avoid activities that can take up too much time…too much socializing or involvement in too many extracurricular activities (over committing), and working too much can also interfere with focusing on studies

4. Study outside. Win-win situation right?  Enjoy the weather and your studies too, just be sure to be productive and not be distracted by sounds or other occurrences around you

5. Find a role model. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.  Who do you admire?  If you do not have a role model, find one and most importantly, find out how it was that they came to be in their position today.  How did they achieve greatness?  I bet they did not get to where they are by spending an abundance of time on Facebook or playing Frisbee golf.

6. Keep everything in perspective.  One quarter is only a few months out of the year, out of the next five years, ten years, your entire life.  You can do this.  Power through and before you know it you will find yourself one quarter further than you were earlier in the year.      

Click on “New-motivation” link below for a PDF from the Bellevue College TRiO program on motivation that includes a goals worksheet.


Get Motivated!

Do you find yourself in the middle of your program and hitting a lull?  Or perhaps you have just started another course, another quarter and are having a hard time getting started and getting back into routine.  All of us encounter a lack in motivation at some point or another.  The important thing is to not drift too far off course and regain motivation in order to stay on track and reach those goals.  This month’s coaching topic is going to be on “Motivation”.

Next week I will be sending out an e-mail with tips on how to stay motivated and on track in your academic program.  Motivation largely involves positive thinking and believing in one’s ability in order to persevere and keep going.  I will be sending out some tips and resources for staying motivated shortly, stay tuned.



As we approach the halfway point of the quarter it is easy to lose steam and lack motivation at this time.  I want to encourage everyone to keep going.  You are further along than you were last month, more educated, and that much more accomplished.  Hang in there, the end of the quarter is just around the corner and you will have completed another milestone.  Below is a short YouTube video on Motivation and ways to look at your academic program and goals in order to keep you going.  Enjoy.