I came across a quote by the famous inventor Thomas Edison, that sparked my curiosity. I decided to take a closer look at a skill I hadn’t given much thought to before.
The quote I am speaking of is:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”
Thomas Edison is quintessentially the icon of Grit.
Whether you call it persistence, perseverance, determination, or grit; it all means the same thing -
"Refusing to give up or let go; persevering obstinately; firm or obstinate continuance in the course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition."
So is it any wonder, having this skill in yourself and your employees is the difference between a successful business and a failed one?
After doing the research, I now believe grit should be one of the most valued skills you seek when recruiting. A person with this skill will be confident, an inspiring leader, and won’t give up. Plus, most importantly, they will have a growth mindset. Meaning they have boundless energy and desire to learn new things.
How is your level of grit? Like any skill, it can be nurtured, but only under the right circumstances. If you want to develop your level of grittiness here are 6 quick tips.
Warning! Before I share these tips on developing your level of grit, I would like to add – there is a difference between persistence and stubbornness. If you are pouring your resources into a losing battle with no direction then Grit won’t help.
6 Ways To boost Your Grit
1. Have passion
If you pursue something that interests you, you are much more likely to stick to it over the long term. Passion is the driver to seeking out knowledge and continuing to learn. So your first step to mastering grit is pursuing or linking what you do to your interests.
2. Purpose in what you do
Different to passion, purpose is the meaning behind what you do and connecting it to your core values. A study conducted by Angela Duckworth, in a book called ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’ found that in 16,000 people the ones with higher levels of grit are “dramatically more motivated than others to seek a meaningful, other-centered life." Therefore is it so important you can connect your work with both personal interest and the well-being of others.
How can you determine your works purpose? By following step 3…
Your reflection should include time to consider how your work, leadership, or knowledge is making a positive contribution to a person, team, or even a whole society. Acknowledging this will lead you to put in more time and effort.
Your reflection should also include:
- Time to deeply reflect on failures, so you can focus your awareness on the path you took and how changes can be made.
- Acknowledgement of your weaknesses and a strategy to work on them.
- Setting your long and short-term goals, so you know you are on the right path and what actions you need to take to keep moving forward.
- Celebrating short-term goal success will also help you maintain your focus on the long term goal.
Check my guide to self-reflection to learn more about this underrated, yet oh-so vital practice
Failure is likely inevitable; there will be set backs, delays, and letdowns. But if you can see this as an opportunity to learn and then get back up again, you will be more likely to succeed in future attempts. The power of positivity will help you put situations into perspective and believe tomorrow will be better. Grit relies on you having hope.
Learn more about the business benefits of positivity here
5. Objective point of view
Like positivity, when setbacks occur you need to look at them objectively and not personally. This will help you to be less rigid in your thoughts and see problems as opportunities.
6. Surround yourself with grit
Over the long term it can be hard to maintain a high level of dedication, so surround yourself with people who have passion, purpose, and positivity. They will inspire new ideas and strengthen these attributes in yourself. Also, ask them for advice and share your failures (as well as your successes) to spur on your endeavors.
I will leave you with another quote by our mascot for grit to inspire you more:
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas Edison