The Power of Grit

Why is GRIT important?

Angela Duckworth, a psychologist and researcher who studies grit, defines it as passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals.  Grit is your stick-to-itness.  It is your ability to persist when things get tough because that thing matters to you.  It’s about finding something you are passionate about and staying with it no matter what.  

According to the Webster dictionary, grit is defined as:

  1.  Sand, gravel
  2. Any of several sandstones
  3. The structure of a stone that adapts it to grinding
  4. Firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger
  5. Capitalized:  a Liberal in Canadian politics

In Duckworth’s 2007 study Grit:  Passion and Perseverance for Long Term Goals, she finds it to be a better determinant of success than natural abilities and intelligence “in world-class pianists, neurologists, swimmers, chess players, mathematicians and sculptors.”  She found that individuals with lesser talents and abilities who worked on their passions daily for 10+ years were able to outperform individuals who had greater talents and abilities but didn’t put in daily effort.  They lacked grit. explains some benefits:

  • Increased ability to persevere
  • Expanded responses and ability to adapt to challenges
  • Persistence to face our fears
  • Growth in self-esteem and confidence
  • Increased hopefulness
  • Development of a growth mindset
  • Increased likelihood of achieving positive change
  • Long-term success and satisfaction  

All good things, right?  So how do your build your grit?

How to become grittier…

Jonah Leher lists five ways you can grow your grit

  • Pursue your interests: grit is about passion, so you need to find something you are passionate about.  That doesn’t mean sitting at home thinking about what you are passionate about.  It does mean getting out and trying new things to find your passions.  Keep trying new and different experiences until you find your passion.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice:  Try to do something everyday to get better at your passion.  The goal is to be better than you were yesterday.  
  • Connect with a higher purpose:  you are more likely to stick with your passion if you can find meaning behind it.  How does what you are doing contribute to the well-being of others?  How are you making the world a better place?  
  • Cultivate hope: Go after your goals with the belief that you can achieve them, because research shows us that you can.  
  • Surround yourself with gritty people: We are easily influenced by those around us.  Build yourself a community of gritty people.  Find people who are not only going to cheer you on but also hold you accountable.  

Also…..know setbacks are part of the process and are learning experiences.  If you would like help growing your grit, contact Champaign Counseling at (217) 203-2008 or visit our website  We look forward to hearing from you.  

Want to read more blogs by Erin Graham? Check out her page:

Additional information can found at:,about%20intense%20emotions%20or%20infatuation.