What is Grit?

grit2Angela Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania has done a number of studies on the predictors of high achievement. Her work has identified two important predictors of success: “grit” and “self-control.” Grit is the “tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward long-term goals” (Duckworth et al., 2007). Essentially, grit is passion and perseverance toward long-term goals. Self-control is defined as the “voluntary regulation of behavioral, emotional, and attentional impulses in the presence of momentarily gratifying temptations or diversions” (Duckworth & Seligman, 2005).

Why is Grit Important for Students? (Duckworth et al., 2007)

  • It is an underlying characteristic of successful individuals
  • It may be more important than IQ, test scores and other traditional forms of intelligence
  • Gritty students appear to outperform their less gritty counterparts

How Can Grit Help You?

  • Stay motivated towards achieving your goals
  • Overcome obstacles and setbacks
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Be courageous when failure may be an option
  • Be optimistic
  • Be confident in yourself and your abilities
  • Achieve excellence

Quiz: How Gritty Are You?

  • To test how gritty you are at the moment take the Grit Quiz

While you may find you are low on grit, there are always ways to improve grit- for more information read on!

How Do I Become More Gritty & Self-Controlled?

  • Two major things stand out when it comes to developing a “grittier” approach to school
    • First, goal commitment is a crucial part of the process. Individuals who are strongly and firmly committed to their goals simply make their performances conform to the required standard.grit
    • Secondly, because commitment is a function of perceived benefit, cost, and likeliness of realization, it is absolutely essential that you BELIEVE you can accomplish your long-term goal (with hard work of course).
  • Enhancing self-control corresponds wit how much willpower you have. There is a fair amount of scientific research in this area (and non-scientific as well) – but two of the best evidence based strategies are very simple ones:
    • Manage your nutrition and physical activity patterns. Proper nutrition gives you the “fuel” to dig deep into your study sessions – you may not have thought of your study sessions as “workouts” but they are similar to physical training in that they require large amounts of energy to be expended in order to achieve the desired results.
    • Self-control can also be enhanced with the right dose of physical activity. Physical activity improves the “vibe” surrounding your study sessions through the release of dopamine and serotonin as well as endorphins. This sets the stage for more productive study sessions by allowing you to feel less anxious, more calm, more focused, and generally puts you in a better space to accomplish your goals.

How is Grit Related to Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It is an aspect of grit. Grit is having resilience and commitment to long-term goals. Resilience is very important in not only school but life. Check out the section on resilience to learn more!

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