What is Grit? (And How Does it Differ From Resilience?)

Have you ever heard the saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way?”

This idiom is the perfect way to describe grit.

Grit is a quality that can help you achieve your goals. It’s not about being talented or lucky—it’s about having a passion for your goals and persevering through the tough times.

If you have grit, you don’t give up easily. You might fall down or make mistakes, but you get back up and keep trying. You might not be the best at everything, but you keep working hard and never give up.

If you have a lot of grit, it means that you are committed to your goals and will continue to pursue them even when times are tough.

In general, we all have some amount of grit. However, some people have developed more grit than others. Our personal life experiences, and how we handle them, are one factor that contributes to the amount of grit we develop.

How is Grit Different From Resilience?

Grit and resilience are often used interchangeably, but they are different concepts.

Grit is about sustained pursuit of your goals over a long period of time, even when things are tough. It’s about putting effort into your goals day in and day out, for months or years at a time. It’s about having a passion for what you’re doing and not giving up.

Resilience is the ability to recover from setbacks. It’s about being able to recover from difficulties and continue on with your life. It’s about bouncing back after you’ve been knocked down.

Ideally, you want to develop both grit and resilience—then you can pursue your goals passionately and also recover quickly from any setbacks you face.

Grit is an important factor in resilience, and resilience is important to being gritty, but they are not the same thing.

While they are closely linked, there are other factors that contribute to resilience besides grit, such as personality traits, having a support system, having a positive outlook, and having coping mechanisms in place.

Can You Have “Too Much” Grit?

It’s important to find a balance between having grit and being open to new ideas. If you are too rigid in your thinking, you might miss out on opportunities.

In theory, if you are so focused on your goals that you become inflexible and unwilling to adapt, then you might not be as successful as you could be.

However, in reality, possessing “too much” grit is a relatively rare occurrence—and those who have extremely high grit tend to achieve high degrees of success.

Real Life Examples of Grit

Grit is an important quality for anyone who wants to achieve their goals. Here are some examples of grit in action:

  • An athlete who keeps practicing and competing even after they have lost numerous games in a row.
  • A business owner who keeps going and trying new things even after several failures
  • An older, nontraditional student who works extra hard, learns to use new technology, studies every day, and never misses a class in order to earn a diploma or certification.

These people have a passion for their goals and persevere even when things are tough. They don’t give up easily. They might make mistakes—but they learn from them and keep going.

Final Thoughts

In coaching, we often talk about the importance of mindset and attitude. Grit is a perfect example of why those things are so important.

Grit is the quality that allows you to keep going even when things are tough. It’s what allows you to pursue your goals even when you face setbacks.

If you want to achieve your goals, you need grit. You need to be passionate about your goals and committed to seeing them through, even when things are tough.

So ask yourself: Do you have grit? Are you committed to your goals? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to achieve them?

I hope that this article has helped you better understand grit and the part it plays in helping us achieve our biggest goals. I’ll leave you with this quote:

“Being gritty doesn’t mean not showing pain or pretending everything is O.K. In fact, when you look at healthy and successful and giving people, they are extraordinarily meta-cognitive. They’re able to say things like, ‘Dude, I totally lost my temper this morning.’ That ability to reflect on yourself is signature to grit.”

–Angela Duckworth