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.

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