Everyone has his or her own personal definition of success and what it means to be successful. Even with different variables, there are certain behaviors that are common in successful people no matter what arena success is being defined. So what is the one behavior that drives success in any given environment?
Success is not easy, and the people who are the most adapt at achieving know this. For 35 years, Paul G. Stoltz has been researching success and has come to the conclusion that the difference between success and failure is grit, or determination. In one of his studies he asked executives, “If you were hiring someone and had to choose between a person with perfect skills but weak grit and a person with exceptional grit but missing some skills, which would you pick?” The majority picked the second option and even went so far as to say that they would trade more than eight employees for just one person who posed grit.
What is Grit?
According to Stoltz grit involves growth, resilience, instinct, and tenacity. Grit is more of an innate behavior, and while you can develop the qualities that define grit, it’s something that’s harder to teach.
A second study on grit and its affects on success looked at spelling bee competitors. This study, “Deliberate Practice Spells Success: Why Grittier Competitors Triumph at the National Spelling Bee” was led by a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, Angela Duckworth, who I’ve been following for a number of years. The focus was on what set of traits and behavioral aspects allowed the kids to practice deliberately. Deliberate practice was defined as studying and memorizing words while they were alone, and this form was found to be the most effective. This method was also ranked as the least enjoyable way to study; however, as the spellers became more experienced they also increased the time they spent studying deliberately. After Duckworth analyzed the data, she came to the conclusion that possessing the characteristic of grit was the important factor.
Grit’s about following through on your commitments.
People with grit, unsurprisingly, tend to be more single-minded when it comes to their goals. So they’re more likely to stick with the task even when it gets difficult, and to see it through until its finished, which naturally leads to a higher rate of success.
So what does grit have to do with your presence?
Well, what have you committed to? How do you want to show up in the world? What do you want to look like? How do you want to behave? Do you invest your time into creating a commanding presence? When life gets difficult, do you allow events to sway your reaction and behaviors? Or do you remember your commitments and priorities, and make life react to you? It’s a switch in mindset that I believe is a valuable component towards honing your gritty skill set, and helping you achieve the success you’ve dreamed.
Here’s Angela’s TED talk if you haven’t yet watched. It’s definitely worth your 5 minutes.
I’d love to know what ONE way you’re showcasing your grit in the comments below!