What does it take to have a successful business? Some might say a degree, intelligence, connections, beauty, a great idea, money, technical ability, health, experience, or a mentor. And while all of those things might be nice to have, studies have shown that they are not in themselves predictive of success.
Angela Duckworth, a psychologist from the University of Pennsylvania has identified the biggest indicator as to whether a person will attain a high level of achievement, or not, it is a trait she named, Grit.
Grit is the ability to stick to something and to see it through to the end. It is more than having self-control. Rather, it is the tenacity to put in the hard work and to stay motivated through the ups and downs, and fallout, from things not going just right. Those who doggedly persevere, and are creative in the way they reach their goals, demonstrate Grit.
To attain mastery, you must stay the course, study, learn, practice, ask for help and adjust and refine your course accordingly. Grit inoculates you from thinking too much about what people will say, and gives you the courage to reach for your goals, and get them.
Grit won’t help you avoid embarrassing moments, failure or even self-doubt, instead, it will see you through the bad times so you can talk yourself down, pick yourself up and keep going.
Achieving your goals is not for the faint of heart. You can practice your Grit muscle by doing things you are not use to doing, getting out of your comfort zone, asking for what you want, and taking big steps that move you in the right direction.
Grit is not sitting around waiting for the perfect offer, the perfect moment, or perfect client. Grit is all about production rather than perfection. You must trust yourself and know that you can deliver or that you will figure out a way to deliver so that you will put yourself out there. And you must do it despite the resistance that comes up.
What is the next step you need to take to flex your Grit muscle?
- Learn to say no. Be careful spending the capital of your energy and focus on things that are not going to move you closer to your goals.
- Say yes to the things that you just know will be good for you even if they scare the shit out of you. Go for it.
- Stick with your ideas but don’t hold them as so precious that they cannot morph and grow better.
- Spend time developing relationships with people who you can learn from and who can help you.
- Be consistent. Develop good work habits so you develop mastery and people can count on you to deliver.