Three Ways to Develop Grit

As October is Mental Health Month I wanted to give you some tools that you can use in both your work and personal lives. This week is all about developing Grit:

Why do some people success while others fail?

Angela Duckworth, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, discovered through her research at Harvard and Oxford that successful people had one thing others didn’t have, Grit.

Grit is a combination of both passion and perseverance towards a long-term meaningful goal and is the hallmark of high achievers in every domain. It’s an ability to keep on going when faced with obstacles no matter how long it takes and according to her research, is the biggest predictor of success.

Grit is also one of the essential components of resilience and is something that we can all develop. Here are three things you can do to develop your grit right now:

Find Your Purpose – This is all about finding meaning in what you do. Sure, I can come to work each day and go through the motions, but when I do what I do because it’s my calling, I am more likely to be committed throughout the tough times. Finding you purpose and how that aligns with the organisation is essential in developing you grit.

At the height of NASA’s quest to land a man on the moon scientist and technicians were working around the clock to achieve their goal. After most people would head home late at night or early morning, an elderly cleaner would come in and clean up their desks and offices. One day a scientist asked him why he was always there making sure everything was clean. The cleaner stood up proudly and said “because I am going to put a man on the moon”. This cleaner aligned his work to a greater purpose which meant that he had a reason for being.

Growth v Fixed Mindset – With a fixed mindset, people believe their qualities are fixed traits and therefore cannot change. These people document their intelligence and talents rather than working to develop and improve them. They also believe that talent alone leads to success, and effort is not required. Alternatively, with a growth mindset, people have an underlying belief that their learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience. When people believe they can get smarter, they realise that their effort has an effect on their success, so they put in extra time, leading to higher achievement.

Thomas Edison, one of the world’s greatest inventors, also had a Growth Mindset. When he was asked if he was discouraged about his failures he simple but powerful replied: ‘Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work’. That is a Growth Mindset right there

Reflection – When you take time to reflect on what you have achieved you bring your conscious awareness to the positive aspects in your life. Whether your reflection takes the form of a meditation, a journaling session, a gratitude exercise or a walk outside while you think back on your day. When you give yourself time to think back on your day in a non-judgmental way, you can see what you have accomplished and what actions you need to take tomorrow to keep moving forward.

Humans have a negativity Bias, which essentially means that we are constantly look for all the things that could go wrong. 60,000 years ago this was great for us in the wild plains of the Savannah, but not today. Because of this it’s often difficult to identify the good in life. What reflection does is resets your brain to start noticing things that are positive and within a few short week, your entire outlook on life changes.

Remember that Resilience is a skill that we can continue to develop and as my mum used to say ‘Whatever doesn’t kill us, will only makes u stronger”. If you want to explore this further contact me today on (07) 4772 3800 and I would be more than happy to discuss with you way that we can all become more resilient.

Scott Timmins GradCertPSM, CAHRI, AFIML


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