Characteristics of Grit

Sunny Samanta

31st Jan'22
Characteristics of Grit | OpenGrowth

"Grit is a stubborn refusal to stop being a nice person, despite all the judgements, the betrayals, and the heartbreaks."

Many stories have been written and told on the silver screen over grit. However, the one that stands out for me is a quote you just read above. Grit is the symbolic representation of what is missing in most people today. It separates the few from the herd who are more concerned about leading a secure and safe life full of compromises than being a risk-taker, someone who isn't afraid of following their vision, their heart. The stories of grit are the most inspiring, but it's also the most difficult ones to undertake in life. Afterall, it requires immense courage, strength, and will.

Now to ensure that we are all on the same page regarding grit, let's take a look at the most basic definition of grit. In psychology, grit is defined as the passion and perseverance to withstand the obstacles to achieving short-term and long-term goals. Passion and perseverance aren't related to emotion rather direction and commitment. It is the ultimate testament of one's character, which eventually becomes one most identifiable trait. Also, grit is key to becoming an emotionally competent leader.


Five Characteristics of Grit

Over time, you must have heard from, at least, some people talk about grit. They might be your friend, any family member, or boss at your workplace. Different people will have other ways to describe grit, but a few things that remain true in all of the speeches about grit are courage and resilience. But there is another thing about grit. You can subdivide grit into five fundamental aspects to define your definition of grit. They are known as the characteristics of grit. What are they? Let's take a look at them one by one.



While it is challenging to measure courage, it is directly related to the power of grit. It means the more courageous you are, the more grit you have. In other words, we can define courage as the ability to stay strong in the face of pain, fear, loss, and grief. Courage is what provides the impetus for growth. From children facing their first day at school to entrepreneurs enduring the risks to make investments to build a new product or service, courage is required in everything. Also, it is courage that helps us to deal with the fear of failure. Furthermore, courage ensures people don't give up despite repeated failures. We can even define courage as the ability to have an openness towards having a different perspective on any subject and take upon lesser-known things and make them work for you.

So, can you call yourself courageous?




If courage is directly proportional to the power of grit, conscientiousness is the integral factor that assures the results are delivered. In other words, conscientiousness is defined as one's ability to keep themselves self-disciplined throughout the ups and downs of life. Conscientiousness affirms the regularity to stay on course. Courage with conscientiousness to a far extent ensures that goals are achieved quickly.

For example, after attending some of his classes, a child misses out on the remaining classes until the yearly examination. Now, that particular child is bound to have difficulty scoring good grades compared to several other children in the class. It happens mainly because the child has missed out on most lessons and, therefore, fails or performs below average despite being courageous enough to sit for the exam.

The above example highlights how courage without conscientiousness is least likely to deliver the result we seek. So, are you conscientious enough?


Perseverance and Endurance

Perseverance and endurance together make for the third essential characteristic of grit. The more of two you can practice, the more likely success will be your companion eventually. Perseverance measures one's ability to withstand pain and suffering in terms of failures and loss. Endurance refers to one's ability to find themselves in such dire situations and not run for the hills while one can. To further explain the significance of perseverance and endurance, here is a quote that you must have heard about - "Life is not about how hard of a hit you can give, it's about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward."

Iconic silver screen persona Rocky Balboa delivered the above quote in the much-acclaimed Rocky series. Another quote from the Rocky Balboa itself puts a nail in explaining the importance of perseverance and endurance. He said, "The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it." So, do you have perseverance and endurance?


Optimism is the fourth characteristic of grit. The word optimism comes from hope. Hope helps a person get up from their fall even when courage, conscientiousness, perseverance and endurance cannot. Hope is what keeps us from quitting when everything else fails. And while hope in itself may not result in anything, it is there that allows the time for the other characteristics of grit to reinforce themselves, help us to make a move and tackle failure. Therefore, it is imperative to practice optimism, especially in the worst of times. You will never know when you may need it and how much of a difference it can make when the time comes. Even in case of entrepreneurship, optimism is key for successful entrepreneur.

So, do you practice optimism?




What is grit, if not passion, defined by courage, conscientiousness, perseverance and endurance, and optimism? It is the fifth and final characteristic of grit and the one that binds the other four into defining grit pitch-perfect. We are often asked about our hobbies and passion, and many of us have the same answer for the two. But here is what separates the two – determination.

While hobbies are what we like to do from time to time, passion is a hobby turned into a decision and shaped into a goal we seek to achieve. And it's no secret that it takes a lot to follow up on your passion in life and turn it into something meaningful. Furthermore, it is only passion with vision, alignment, and execution will change the way you lead. So, do you have any passion? Are you passionate enough about it?


We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the best content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. So, do share them in the comment section below.

A lone wolf by definition, a writer by heart, and a lost star with ambitions to light up the dark both inside and around me, sometimes by immersing myself into books or video games or traveling with a backpack to an uncertain destination believing that life is all about the choices we make and we don't.


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