4 ways to get grit, the ability to push through when all you want to do is give up

  • An attitude of perseverance is important in study, sports, relationships – all aspects of life, really!
  • Learning from failure, criticism and setbacks helps build resilience

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Developing grit can give you the boost you need

Grit is the ability to carry on doing something when all you want to do is stop. It is important in many parts of life, from studying to sports. Best of all, it’s something that can be learned, and grown, just like you can grow your muscles.

Here are a few simple ways to get grit.

Find your crew

There’s a very good saying that “birds of a feather flock together”. In other words, people who are alike tend to be friends. But, what if your friends are not doing you any good? If you surround yourself with negative people, it won’t take long before you too, begin to view things negatively. Soon this poor outlook will affect all areas of your life.

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Make an effort to find positive people and hang out with them. Then it’s likely you will learn from them and become a more positive person, too.

Change your mind

Have you ever heard of a growth mindset? It’s all about believing that you can learn and change.

Some people believe that they are a certain way and there is nothing they can do to change that. For example, they may have a bad temper and think that’s just how they are.

Others believe there is a way to be better and they work on themselves, and they do improve. You can too, by doing things differently and continuously putting yourself under pressure.

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Just admitting that you can, and need to change, will make you tougher. This is because it forces you to take note of criticism, failure, success, praise and to work on more change.

These growing pains help you learn grit, as your mind accepts the lows and highs and keeps pushing you forward in the face of both. If you have a fixed mindset and think you can’t change, you are more likely to give up easily.

After all, if you can’t change, why bother trying?

Reframe failure

We either win or we learn, we never fail, or so another inspirational saying goes. It is OK to feel sad and disappointed with failure. In fact, trying to deny and hide our emotions is unhealthy.

Do not add guilt to your feelings because you think “gritty people” do not get upset. Everyone does.

You should try to actively learn from failure. Examine what went wrong and remember the feeling of regret.

However, do not become obsessed with the issue. Remember that failure is an event, and not a cloud that follows you forever.

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If you let it failure stick with you, it will eat away at your grit until there is nothing left.


Having grit is easier said than done. It can be hard to follow through with when you’re tired, or when you don’t want to do any more work.

It takes practice. Focus on reminding yourself that your mind can grow, and that you’re learning more as you improve.

Remember past successes and picture the feeling you have when you accomplish something. When you need to call on these tools in a race, an exam or anything other situation when you feel you want to give up, they will be there for you, ready to work.

Hoping to wake up with grit because you know the psychology behind it is like hoping you will be able to dead lift twice your body weight just because you studied biology. You need to train.

The original story appeared on South China Morning Post

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