If you’re anything like me, you feel motivated and determined some days—but others, you feel lethargic or don’t care about anything.
And that kinda sucks.
Who wouldn’t want to be pumped up with strong willpower all the time?
After all, we all know that being serious is necessary to reach our goals. Without determination, it’s hard to achieve anything.
In this article, we share 10 personality traits that show you’re a determined person. Read on!
1) Determined people avoid gossip
People who are determined know what’s truly important—their life and their goals. It’s also the only thing they can fully control or have a say about.
I mean, gossiping can definitely be fun sometimes (but I don’t encourage it!).
But you’ll rarely–if ever–see determined people spending time and energy judging or gossiping about other people’s actions.
Most of the time, they’re laser-focused on their own life and their journey! It’s much more efficient to dedicate your precious energy to achieving your own goals rather than badmouthing someone else’s.
If anything–you should help others and encourage them to pursue their dreams. Tha’s what determined people do.
2) They don’t fall into a “victim mode”
People with determination focus on things they can control instead of blaming external factors for the outcomes in their life.
Now, of course, this is easier said than done. There are certain events and factors in life that you can hardly control:
- Natural disasters;
- Other people’s failures;
- Technical difficulties;
- Plain bad luck.
All sorts of things can get in the way of our goals, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. And it’s impossible not to feel bad about it.
But instead of spending time and energy complaining…
…determined people will take a deep breath, embrace and analyze the situation, and move on.
In fact, a friend once told me:
“Don’t think of yourself as a victim. Think of yourself as a survivor.”
Determined people understand that they can’t control everything, but they’re always in control of how they react. No matter what they face, they gather their resolve to keep pushing through.
3) Persistent folks don’t fear failure
Speaking of locus of control, I actually have a theory:
Most people fear failure. Or, at the very least, they don’t want to acknowledge that they’ve failed.
(And I’m not excluding myself either!)
That’s why most of us would rather attribute our lack of success to external factors. We don’t want to admit that we’ve failed or underperformed.
The most determined people I’ve met do not hesitate to talk about their mistakes and failures.
In fact, they enjoy sharing their own unfortunate experience because they’ve learned from it, and they know others can learn too.
You’ve probably heard of the extremely famous “Fuckup Nights,” – where highly successful people share their collapses.
Determined people understand that failure is part of the process—it’s necessary to build resilience and learn how to solve problems creatively.
4) They’re always grateful
I’ve learned that one of the main reasons why determined people succeed is because…they never forget to be grateful!
It sounds shockingly simple and even cheesy, but it’s true.
No matter how many times they’ve failed or how many times the universe screws them over, they’re still fully aware of the blessings in their life.
They don’t over-fixate on the problem in front of them—they take the time to look back and appreciate how far they’ve come.
This is how highly determined people keep such a strong spirit amidst their struggles.
5) They’re consistent
It’s not a spring, it’s a marathon.
Look, I also roll my eyes at cliches, but these phrases are stuck with us for a reason.
It’s hard to deny that consistency is required to achieve most of our goals. You can’t just go all out for a short time and expect big changes to happen quickly.
True progress is built brick by brick, step by step.
Determination is not found when times are easy but rather when the process is boring or tough.
Determined people persist and work through any hurdles that life throws at them.
They stay consistent no matter what situation they’re facing, and that’s how they gradually but surely build up to their long-term goals.
6) They stay true to themselves
You can’t stay consistent if you’re not true to yourself.
If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, you will inevitably get unmotivated and burnt out.
Trust me; I’ve been there.
I kept working and working on something that I had been fooling myself into thinking I was passionate about.
What do you think happened?
I abandoned it halfway through, which was a huge failure for my career.
Nevertheless, I learned a valuable lesson–you have to love what you’re doing; otherwise, you’ll soon hate it for real.
Because here’s the thing: it’s easy to be determined about something you love and believe in.
Pursue something that fully aligns with your beliefs, values, and life vision, and determination will come.
7) They just do it
Confidence and self-assuredness are prerequisites to determination.
Because how can you work on something you believe in if you don’t even believe in yourself?
Truly, pursuing your dreams and goals is an act of courage.
You need to be brave enough to face the world, admit and improve upon your weaknesses, and constantly bring your best self to every encounter.
If you’re serious about your goal, do the work to build your self-esteem. Practice self-love and seek help to heal past traumas.
And, if you have to, fake it till you make it!
8) They’re always curious about new things
Determination is the desire to always be moving forward—and nothing moves people more than curiosity.
You need to be curious about new skills, information, and experiences. Only then can you fulfill your true potential and reach your goals.
Determined people are always seeking new ways to improve themselves or get closer to what they set their minds to.
Because if you remain stuck in your own ways, in your own perspectives, and in your own skill level, then you will always be stuck at one level. You will never inch forward to your goals.
Stay curious and never deny learning a new thing–you don’t know where it can bring you!
9) Determined people dream big
Determined folks dream big. That’s why they’re always improving themselves and staying consistent.
Because one of the best things in life is the pursuit of something grand and worthwhile.
And that’s actually another key to their determination. Not only are the most determined of us are genuinely passionate about their dreams, but these dreams are also big and currently unattainable.
It doesn’t have to be a billion-dollar company.
It can be as simple as:
- Buying a house or a car;
- Getting a master’s or Ph.D.;
- Publishing a book;
- Losing weight;
- Running a marathon;
- Opening a small bakery;
Determined people know that someday, they’ll get there. So, find a big dream you can call your own—whatever it may be.
10) They trust their gut
Determined people know what they want and what they believe in. They trust their gut and follow their heart.
Other people’s opinions are damned!
Now, like most things, this is easier said than done. We’re born and raised to be social animals—to some degree we’ll always care about what other people think.
But, also, like most things, determination and integrity can be developed. It will get easier and easier to drown out other people’s words and focus on the sole voice that matters to you: your own.
Remember that, at the end of the day, you don’t need anyone’s approval but your own.
Becoming a more determined person
Self-determination stems from how you see the world. People who have great determination always think that they are ultimately responsible for their own lives.
Because they feel like they are always in control, they are always motivated and ready to act!
When you believe the power is in your hands—not anyone else’s or the world’s—you don’t give yourself any excuses. You just simply do it.
And whether things work out or not, they’ll always take responsibility for it. If they succeed, they celebrate and go on to the next goal. If they fail, they’ll take a deep breath and reassess the situation before trying once again.
How can I improve my lack of determination?
- Have ambitious but realistic goals
Before building your determination, you need something to be determined about in the first place. Write down all the goals that you really want to achieve. You want to make them lofty and ambitious so that you’re inspired but not unrealistic that you’ll set yourself up for disappointment.
- Have patience
Remember: It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Refrain from making impulsive decisions—they will only set you back. Learn to be patient and play the long game. Dreams are not achieved overnight; you slowly build toward them over a long period of time!
- Be strategic
Your mind is just as important as your heart. Determination isn’t just about being passionate—that alone will not bring you to your dreams. You need to play it smart as well. Plan every step and always think of creative but effective and efficient solutions.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses
Determination without self-awareness is just bravado. Yes, you need to believe in yourself—but believing in yourself also includes knowing yourself.
Be aware of your strengths and weakness and plan around them accordingly. Play to your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses—or find a way to circumvent them!
- Strive for things you believe in
You’ll never feel determined for things you don’t truly believe in. I was like that before—working hard not for my own personal desires but to please other people.
Needless to say, I burnt myself out really quickly. If you’re striving for a goal that aligns with your desires and values, it’s easy to stay the course and grind every day.
- Have a support network
As amazing as I know you are, no one can do things alone.
You will inevitably stumble upon roadblocks, screw something up, and fail like we all do…
That’s just life. And after all, we’re all human—we all have our weaknesses.
If your goals are ambitious enough, then there will come a time when you’ll be knocked down to the ground. Sometimes, you can easily bounce back.
At other times, you’ll need supportive loved ones who’ll pull you back up to your feet.
How to help others to be more determined
As I just said, you can’t achieve everything alone. Sometimes, you’ll need support. Sometimes, you’ll need the help of an entire team!
Here’s how you can encourage other people and foster self-determination in them in different contexts.
Encourage positive feedback
In a professional setting, the best way you can encourage your members and coworkers is through constructive feedback.
Always word things professionally but kindly. The goal is to help them achieve success, not tear them down.
Make learning fun
Many students feel constrained by the school system’s rigidity. Build determination in them by encouraging creativity and innovation. Remember: children want to have fun! Their brains are brimming with ideas—you just need to help them materialize these ideas.
Activate competitive mode
In competitive environments like sports, it’s almost impossible for participants not to compare themselves to one another. Because, well… that’s the point of competition!
However, constantly comparing yourself is actually a recipe for disaster. The best way to achieve victory is to focus on becoming the best version of yourself.
If you’re a coach or a mentor, always focus on how they can improve and stop thinking about other people.
Establish strong personal relationships
Sincere support and affection are pillars of any healthy relationship. Determination will naturally stem from strong, positive bonds with loved ones.
Feeling loved and supported will always boost one’s self-confidence and self-esteem, consequently making one more determined as well.
Crucial habits to build determination
No one is born with great willpower and undying determination. Well, okay—maybe some are.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t develop it over time.
I definitely used to be a lazy and uninspired person. I had goals, but I was doing nothing to work toward them. I was just going through the motions of the daily grind.
However, slowly but surely, I was able to become more determined. In my experience, you need to do two key things in order to cultivate resolve and determination.
As I’ve said above, an internal locus of control is a prerequisite to determination. So stop complaining about the things that hinder you from success!
That sounds a bit harsh, I know…
But hear me out.
Problems and setbacks are unavoidable facts of life. We all have our own fair share of them.
Whining about them is simply a waste of time and energy when you could have been working to improve the situation already!
Of course, sometimes you just need to vent—and that’s okay. But never wallow in the frustration.
Choose the words you use and the stories you tell yourself wisely. They have a profound effect on you. The more you verbalize your frustrations, the more you’ll be tempted to just sit around and complain.
Instead, stand up and get to work!
Remember to rest
Did you know that in weightlifting, always pushing yourself to muscle failure is not the optimal way to build strength and muscle?
Let’s say you can only do ten push-ups before your body falls to the floor. Constantly doing ten push-ups, every set isn’t a good idea.
Instead, you want to keep it at 8 or 9 repetitions per set.
This is because pushing yourself to failure all the time makes it hard for you to recover and have enough energy to perform in the next sets!
The same goes for everything else in life.
Look, I may have been implying that determination entails going at 100% all the time.
However, let me clarify now: that is not true at all.
Like I said: play the long game. Work hard and smart.
So take breaks when you need to. Constantly pushing yourself to the point of overexertion will only render you vulnerable to mistakes and frustration, affecting your future performance.
Push yourself—but do it kindly.
Now you know the traits of determined people and how to become one yourself!
Through hard work, positivity, and focus, anyone can build determination.
Though the road to your goals may seem long and daunting, always remember why you want to achieve them in the first place. Start from there, and the rest will follow.
And once you achieve it—and I believe you will!—you’ll be back on your journey and proud of your work and accomplishments.
That, in my opinion, is the greatest feeling in the world.