People love a good success story. But what they often don’t see is just how much hard work and dedication goes into it.
There’s a famous quote that says, “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.” For some, it takes less time, for others, more, but the fact is there’s nothing like good old guts and perseverance.
To see whether you have grit and determination, here are some surefire signs that will tell you.
1) You’re a hard worker
I have to put being a hard worker in the top spot here. However, keep in mind that (too) many hard workers don’t succeed at anything in life except back injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome.
But if you have a diligent approach to your work and are willing to go the extra mile, you at least have the grit and determination needed to succeed in life (if that’s your goal).
You understand that success isn’t achieved overnight and are willing to put in the sustained work required to make progress.
I wasn’t a particularly hard worker for most of my life. But then, one day, everything clicked in my mind, and I finally started being a man of true grit.
However, it all started with a spark.
2) You have an incredible drive and passion
If you don’t have a passion for something, you generally won’t have what it takes to do it adequately.
I always think of Ikigai. It’s a Japanese concept often translated as “reason for being.”
It represents the meeting point between what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.
If you can find your Ikigai, you can have an incredibly fulfilling life.
3) You take the initiative
People with true grit and determination don’t wait for opportunities to come to them. On the contrary, they take the initiative and are always ready to take action towards achieving their goals.
Does this sound like you?
This goes far beyond work or career. Being proactive means taking the first step without being asked or prompted.
It could mean organizing a social event or even caring for your health by scheduling regular check-ups.
You take responsibility for your actions and your life. You understand that the choices you make shape your reality, and take ownership of your mistakes as well as your successes.
4) Nothing can hold you down
People with true grit and resolve know that setbacks are a normal and important part of life. In fact, they might fail often but will always come on top.
Think about that for a moment.
If you display the ability to persevere and overcome no matter what obstacles, challenges, or setbacks you encounter, you have resilience and inner strength.
I can’t help but mention an incredible person named Nick Vujicic here. He was born without arms and legs and has become a motivational speaker and advocate for people with disabilities.
He has faced numerous physical and emotional challenges, yet he spreads a message of hope and positivity, reminding others that nothing can hold them back from achieving their dreams.
And although I don’t agree with everything he says or does, he’s still an example of what’s possible when you have grit and determination.
Nick is the perfect segway into my next point.
5) You inspire and motivate others
When you inspire and motivate others, you can ignite a spark in them, encouraging them to pursue their dreams, overcome challenges, and unleash their full potential.
Now, you don’t have to do Ted Talks to inspire other people. Most of the time, people will get inspired by what you do or represent.
A man with grit and determination will do this by:
- Leading by example
- Sharing your story
- Celebrating the achievements of others
- Sharing your knowledge, skills, and experiences
- Promoting a growth mindset
- Being an authentic role model
6) You take ownership of your actions
Do you take ownership of your actions and accept responsibility for the outcomes? If you do, I salute you. It seems like a dying trait.
But if you don’t make excuses or blame others but instead learn from mistakes, make necessary adjustments, and move forward, you really have the grit and what it takes to be a good and strong man.
A good example is that of Ray Anderson, the founder and chairman of Interface Inc., a major carpet manufacturer.
After reading The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken, Anderson took responsibility for his company’s environmental footprint.
He had an epiphany about the environmental impact of his company and decided to move toward sustainability.
This led to a radical transformation toward more eco-friendly processes, taking full responsibility for his prior actions.
7) You have a clear vision
People that are determined often have long-term goals they’re trying to accomplish. If you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and set specific, measurable goals to work toward, that’s a sign of true grit.
But one thing is setting goals, and the other is sticking to them, especially when the going gets tough.
Love him or hate him, Jeff Bezos is a person that set clear goals for himself and his groundbreaking company.
Would someone else create a similar e-commerce store? Definitely, but that doesn’t diminish his success in what he set out to accomplish.
8) You’re willing to step out of your comfort zone
If you’re a man of true grit, chances are you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone and take calculated risks to pursue your goals.
You understand that true growth often requires embracing uncertainty and being open to new experiences. Besides, stepping into the unknown is exhilarating.
It also takes all of the things above to not fall back into the old ways.
9) You love adventure
Going for an adventure is one way of stepping out of your comfort zone. If you have a genuine curiosity and enthusiasm for the unknown and find joy in stepping into new environments, you must have true grit, too.
Traveling to different countries, engaging in outdoor activities, or trying unexplored experiences takes guts too.
In my travels, I was in hard-pressed situations that required persistence and even negotiating skills with the authorities.
10) You push through physical challenges
Besides travel, I also love tough physical challenges. They make me feel alive because they are one of the rare tests of our physical abilities in today’s world.
I’m talking less about CrossFit here and more about rock climbing, freediving, trail running, or hard physical work, for example.
If you, too, love some physical and mental pain from time to time, that also means you have true grit.
11) You view challenges as opportunities
Looking at life’s challenges and obstacles as opportunities is what sets determined people apart.
When you don’t see challenges as roadblocks or sources of frustration, you recognize them as valuable opportunities for growth, learning, and personal development.
This was a difficult mindset for me to develop. I always got very anxious in my previous career, where every day was basically a way to make expensive mistakes.
As a team leader, it wasn’t just my errors I had to worry about. I also had to worry about the errors that 20+ people could make at any moment.
Of course, you have to trust your team, but it wasn’t until I developed this mindset that I started being more relaxed at work, but also at home.
12) You recognize and celebrate progress
People with grit that achieved some success love to celebrate the fact. It’s because they know how much blood, sweat, and tears went into it.
Do you recognize the importance of recognizing progress and recharging yourself for the journey ahead? If so, that’s a great sign.
Celebrating milestones fuels your motivation and inspires you to strive for future goals. It serves as a reminder of your capabilities and the progress you’ve made. It helps you to tackle new challenges with renewed vigor and determination.
Things to do to become a grittier man
I really hope you recognized yourself in many of these signs. If you didn’t, there’s still hope for you. Here’s what you can do.
Embrace voluntary discomfort
To become a grittier man than you are right now, I recommend doing activities that deliberately put you outside your comfort zone.
This could include fasting, cold showers, or partaking in physically demanding events. By voluntarily subjecting yourself to discomfort, you’ll develop mental toughness and build resilience.
Start participating in physical endurance activities like long-distance running, hiking, or obstacle course races that require mental and physical resilience.
This will push you to your limits and develop determination and true grit. (Consult with your doctor first.)
Embrace failure challenges
Another thing you can try is purposefully seeking activities where failure is very likely. This could include learning a difficult new skill or language, taking on a challenging project, public speaking, and similar.