Success is what we all want for our lives, whether it be success in our relationships or success in our careers. The challenge comes as we try to figure out what determines our success. How do we achieve the things we desire most in life? What factors determine or predict how successful we can be? Though characteristics like cognitive ability and social skills can certainly be contributing factors to success, research has found that one of the major predictors of success is grit. Grit means not giving up on a task or goal that you are working towards even as obstacles and challenges arise.
So, how do we maintain a gritty attitude and work ethic when success can feel so distant and out of reach? Here are three quick tips on better ensuring success for your goals in life.
Be passionate about your goal - A big reason why it becomes easy to give up on our goals is that we aren’t passionate about them. When setting a goal, make sure it’s the right one for you. Be mindful of how committed you feel and that it’s something you really want. If not, the temptation to give up when things get hard becomes stronger.
Seek support - We have a funny tendency to try and take on the world by ourselves. We often do the same thing with our goals. Don’t. Perhaps there’s someone out there trying to achieve the same goal. Lean on each other. Maybe a spouse, friend, or parent wants to support you in your journey. Let them. Trying to achieve a goal alone is difficult. Allowing others to support and encourage you will help contribute to your success.
Remember your past achievements - When the storm comes and everything around you is telling you to give up, remember what you’ve already accomplished in life. You’ve achieved difficult things before. You have proven you can be successful when the odds are against you. Now, do it again.
Achieving success is never easy. Maintaining your grit despite the obstacles and challenges that come when pursuing success will bring you closer to achieving your goals. Be passionate about the goals you set, seek support when you need it, and when challenges arise, reflecting on all the difficult things you’ve achieved in the past can help encourage you to keep moving forward.
By Dr. Austin Shugart, LPC
Reference- Duckworth, Angela L., et al. “Cognitive and Noncognitive Predictors of Success.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - PNAS, vol. 116, no. 47, 2019, pp. 23499–504, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1910510116.