What is Grit or Resilience?

 Angela Lee Duckworth describes Grit as; “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.  Grit is having stamina.  Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality.  Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

To clarify this we, at Yellow Brick Road, determine it as;

“One’s ability to solve problems and achieve results from within, and learn and grow.”

To most people, its best known as resilience.

How do we calculate Grit?

Yellow Brick Road has simplified the explanation of grit into the following equation;

Grit = Courage X Purpose X Perseverance


Courage is the quality of a confident character not to be afraid or intimidated easily but without being incautious or inconsiderate.

Purpose is an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions.

Perseverance is continuing in a course of action without regard to discouragement opposition or previous failure

Therefore, if any one of the above aspects of the Grit equation is Zero, then the amount of Grit is Zero too, meaning that all three parts of it must be evident for Grit to be the outcome.


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Why is Grit important?

Being more gritty will bring immediate benefits to our wellbeing, and will help us deal with the complex issues and challenges we face in life personally and as a society.

Also, as Steve Jobs of Apple said in the following quote, Grit and resilience is an extremely positive quality to have in helping you to progress and have a positive impact upon others and the world around us;

“Here’s to the crazy ones.  The misfits.  The rebels.  The troublemakers. 

The round pegs in the square holes.  The ones who see things differently.  They’re not fond of rules.  And they have no respect for the status quo. 

 You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.  About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.  Because they change things.  They push the human race forward. 

 And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.  Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

How do we test Grit?

In order to test your level of Grit you can use the Grit Scale which Duckworth devised by clicking here. I strongly recommend you do so.

How do we improve our Grit?

Once you have tested your Grit, you can then work on improving your score using the following steps, which are basded on the work of Carol Dweck and her excellent work on Cultivating Growth Mindsets;

  1. Develop your Skills – How can I get better at what I do
  2. Overcome Challenges – What can I do differently to overcome a challenge, or what have I done before that could work with this challenge?
  3. Apply Effort – those with a growth mindset, know hard work and effort will give the best chance of success. Fixed mindset people tend to believe their skill will see them through without too much effort
  4. Listen to Feedback – always look for feedback in everything you do. What can you learn from and improve.
  5. Use Setbacks – learn from your setbacks. The phrase “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, is mostly true. Each time we have a setback we tend to develop greater resilience for the future.

Now you have tested your GRIT, you can gain more guidance on how to improve your resilience from our LEAD WELL programme.


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