It’s hard to describe the behavior of grit unless you know someone who has it. Sunday I wrote about A Man With True Grit which has become my favorite way to describe my husband, Mark. I used to relate grit to cowboys and believed they had to have it to survive the rugged, wild west, withstanding harsh elements, hunger and loneliness. However, the more I research it and am surrounded by people in a rehab center who are enduring pain and fatigue while living in unfamiliar territory, I’m realizing it’s a trait we all need. So what is grit?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, grit in the context of behavior is defined as “firmness of mind or spirit; unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.” Five personality traits I see in gritty people are:
- Determination is a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult.Behind every success there are moments of doubt when quitting appears to be the best option. A person with grit is firm even though it costs to keep going in the face of failure. They have an unwavering adherence to their purpose. They are unstoppable, firm and strong willed.
- Perseverance is the quality that allows you to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult. Gritty people are not near-sighted. They are willing to wait, knowing today’s effort is an investment in the long run. They accomplish great things because they are willing to work hard for a long period of time. They have a long-term perspective, understanding the theory of an investment today becomes a fortune in the future. Pain today benefits tomorrow.
- Endurance is the quality of remaining for a long time. People with grit don’t quit. They keep charging forward despite setbacks. High-grit people recognize the cost of quitting and are determined to stick with it. They don’t give up on the future for an easier present. They would rather die trying than stop and that’s why they usually reach the finish line.
- Fortitude is the strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage. A person with grit endures disappointments with steadfastness and patience. Because gritty people take on the most difficult challenges, they have an intimate knowledge of failure, but they do not view failure as an obstacle or the finish line. They don’t run from failure, they use it. Each failure becomes a step in the staircase to success.
- Courage is the ability to do something that you know is difficult, frightening or dangerous. Gritty people are brave and not afraid to do what they believe is right. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to face it. Even the grittiest warriors feels fear, but they face it. Every time we face a fear, it loses some of its power. Fear exerts as much control as you allow it. If you nurture fear, it will grow. If you face fear, it dissolves.
Life is tough, bringing each of us different challenges. Exercising these five traits will increase our grit and help us overcome our challenges.
I’m grateful for a man who is willing to tough it out while hanging on to hope and his knowledge of God.
What characteristics do you see in a person with true grit?