“It’s not enough to be passionate or excited to accomplish something. To be truly gritty, that passion needs to be linked to consistent action.” ~John Williams

Have you ever found yourself wondering why some students and adults seem to be able to overcome incredible challenges in life and still move forward, while others face something that just doesn’t seem all that daunting and yet it brings them to a standstill? If so, you’ve been an eyewitness to the coaching and psychological concept of grit.

Grit is a measure of the ability one has to continue putting in hard work over a long period of time on a project or endeavor, regardless of the immediate feedback or outcome. While there is an element of passion for the goal being pursued, grit is also considered a character trait someone exhibits day in and day out.

So why does grit matter? We all face obstacles, setbacks, and unexpected challenges. If we or the students in our lives are prone to giving up when things are hard, we will never be all we could be or get where we want to go. We won’t experience the fulfillment that could be ours through the effort and learned discipline of sticking to something, even when it’s difficult.

So where do you land? Gritty? Kind of gritty? Not all that gritty? Take a minute to find out here. This is a quick and easy 12 question quiz for adults and students alike.

Whether your score was what you figured, or caught you by surprise, the good news is no matter where you are at right now, you can increase your grit with mindful and purposeful action.

How do you do that? It starts with an honest assessment of your current habits, and then it requires purposeful action – small daily steps forward in areas that need work.

Here are some steps to consider as you think about building a greater grit capacity in your life, or the lives of students you interact with:

Step one: Identify if you tend to think in terms of a fixed or growth mindset. If you find yourself operating out of a fixed mindset, create an action to move toward a growth mindset.

Step two: Ask yourself if you really know what you are passionate about . . . if so, how can you tap into that passion to keep going when things are tough? If you don’t know what you are passionate about, what is a step you can take toward discovering it?

Step three: Maintaining motivation is highly important in the pursuit of grittiness. Think through how you recover or rebound when you have “one of those days?” How can you apply that strategy to other areas of life to increase grit?

Step four: Finally, what systems do you have in place to get things done? How can you use those systems to help you move forward? If you don’t have helpful systems, what step can you take today to remedy that?

Grit is a key indicator of the success adults and students alike will ultimately enjoy in life. The effort and work will pay off!

Content is based off of Academic Life Coaching 2.0 TS20 coach training materials. Brenda is an ICF certified Academic Life Coach and trains youth advocates in the Academic Life Coaching 1.0 coach training program. She is an adoptive mom, youth advocate and a licensed therapeutic foster parent.  For more information about this program or on how to train as a coach, please click here.