Throughout their years in school, there will be many times a child might want to give up. They’ll feel defeated. They’ll feel like they just can’t grasp the curricula they’re learning. And these feelings are definitely normal. Most of these children will have the advantage of grit to make it through. They’ll possess the determination and passion to keep pushing. Though they may feel defeated, deep down, they know they can persevere.
Developing grit while going through school is what will lead our growing children to be successful.
What Is Grit?
So what is grit? Grit is simply putting in the effort, determination, and passion it takes to accomplish your goals. People with grit don’t let obstacles and hardships stop them from achieving their future goals. You can see why it’s important for students to have grit when making their way through school.
In a study by psychologist Angela Duckworth, she found the major characteristic that emerged as a predictor of success was grit.
Here are some characteristics of those who have grit:
- Courage. In everything you do, there’s always a chance of failure. You may not be able to grasp everything completely on the first try. Those with grit have the courage to keep fighting even when they’re struggling or feel like they’re failing.
- Conscientiousness. There are two categories of conscientiousness. The achievement-oriented person will work as hard as they can to accomplish their goals. On the other hand, the dependable person will have grit, but they’re more conventional with their work. In the end, the achievement-oriented person may have better results.
- Long-term goals. While some of the most successful people in the world were in the right place at the right time, most people need practical goals to accomplish their dreams. Those who create long-term objectives for themselves have a challenge to win, and they’ll take the necessary steps to accomplish them.
- Resilience. Having grit means you possess the resilience needed to jump back up and keep going, even when faced with obstacles and failures.
- Excellence. Instead of striving for perfection, those with grit understand perfection isn’t possible, so they aim to be excellent.
Why Is Grit so Important?
Grit is the foundation for success. When learning requires determination and motivation to succeed, the traits individuals gain throughout their life can aid the learning process and help it come more naturally. Grit can give students the energy they need to keep working toward their learning goals. According to Angela Duckworth, talent may just be unmet potential without grit.
All the talent and knowledge in the world won’t be helpful if you don’t have the grit to use it. You have to be willing to fail, do whatever you can to succeed, and create goals for yourself. Being able to look failure in the face and keep going is vital. Strive to be excellent at everything you put your mind to achieving.
Who Is Angela Duckworth?
The name Angela Duckworth has popped up a few times, and you may be wondering who she is. Duckworth is most known for her studies of grit and the grit scale, though she also founded the Character Lab, a nonprofit that advances scientific insights.
Angela Duckworth’s TED talk regarding grit is one of the most viewed TED talks of all time, and her book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” is a #1 New York Times best seller.
What Is the Grit Scale?
The grit scale consists of 10 questions, which are about yourself, your goals, and your work ethic. Once you’ve answered the questions, the test will give you a grit score on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. The scale will also give you the option to learn more about grit by directing you to a FAQ covering grit and any questions you may have about the concept.
How Can You Build Grit?
There are many ways to help your child learn about and build grit, including the following.
Foster a Growth Mindset
A fixed mindset suggests people are born with natural talents and abilities that cannot change or grow. On the other hand, people with grit have a growth mindset and believe there’s always room to develop their skills. People with growth mindsets compare the brain to a muscle, imagining that it becomes larger and stronger the more they use it. Every learning opportunity allows them to strengthen their knowledge.
While the brain cannot physically expand as it learns, this concept translates to an individual’s work ethic, showing that effort and determination can yield the desired results. Instead of praising your child for their talent or giftedness, celebrate their effort and persistence, even after they make mistakes.
Find a Sense of Purpose
A core purpose motivates your child to take action and succeed. Encourage your child to create goals and dreams for themselves, and discuss how to achieve them. Consider helping your child craft a dream board, which gives them a visualization of all they want to accomplish. Let them get creative and stick images or text that reflect their goals, passions, and hopes on a sheet of poster board. This activity helps your child celebrate what they enjoy and link their dreams to specific actions.
You can use things like nature and literature to teach grit. Have your child study scenes in nature or poems and short stories. Analyze the grit in these areas so that your child can see grit exists everywhere. You may also want to come up with different situations where your child may face challenges. Discuss the potential setbacks and brainstorm ideas together to overcome them.
Look for Role Models
Children often need a model to follow to help them develop new skills and work toward their goals. Have your child interview family and friends on how they set and achieve their goals. Your child can also study famous people and learn of their failures and successes. Finally, lead by example to be a model for your child. Devote time to your hobbies and passions to encourage your child to do the same.
Break Down Difficulties Into More Manageable Steps
When your child faces challenges, ask them what the hard part is and help them overcome it. Having them identify the difficult aspects of a situation can help them break down their setbacks into more manageable solutions. It’s also encouraging to help them realize that the worst-case scenario is rarely a disaster because there are always other ways to achieve the same goals, which can foster a psychology of success.
When Is Grit an Important Personality Trait?
Even though grit is an important personality trait, it’s only one part of your overall character. Three dimensions define a person’s strength — intellectual, intrapersonal, and interpersonal. Grit falls under the intrapersonal dimension, which focuses on the will to set and accomplish your personal and professional goals. You also need gratitude and social intelligence to be generous and work well with others, along with curiosity to be more creative and passionate.
How Can You Determine If You Have Grit?
You have grit if you can say the following is true about you:
- You’re passionate about something for a long time. Since most people develop lifelong passions during adolescence, think back to what you enjoyed doing in your teenage years and figure out if you’re still interested in those hobbies.
- You don’t give up when challenges arise. Difficulties are part of everyday life. Instead of giving up, you decide to face these challenges and figure out how to overcome them practically.
- You look for ways to make work more meaningful. Instead of getting stuck at work, you think of new ways to give your tasks more purpose to feel more satisfied at work and perform better.
- You have a growth mindset. A growth mindset means you believe humans can grow and change. When you face a setback, you use it as an opportunity to grow instead of permission to stop trying.
Learn How Students at CCA Build Grit
At CCA, our goal is to help our learners gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to become successful. We want our graduates to be the leaders of tomorrow. With these goals, our learners graduate with the grit they need to accomplish their objectives and be successful.
Commonwealth Charter Academy offers open enrollment for students, so we welcome you to enroll at any point. If you have questions or concerns, you can contact us online, email us at [email protected], or check out the enrollment information on our website. Enroll your child today!