So, you have been told you’re special, you’re talented and you’re a genius. If you heard those words growing up, you probably thought you would sail through life and everything would just fall into place.

If you were brought up like me, you heard the exact opposite. You’re a loser, you’re dumb, you will never make it, you dream too much.

These were the words I heard constantly when I was growing up. I stood and watched other kids being praised constantly and couldn’t understand why even when

I did win, it was never enough.

Despite the negatives, I achieved what I wanted and now have the life I did dream about.

Looking back, a lot of the kids I saw getting all the praise stopped pushing and at the first sign of adversity they quit.

The simple fact is those kids never developed grit.

University of Pennsylvania Psychologist and MacArthur genius, Angela Duckworth defines this scenario perfectly. She says perseverance and passion for long-term goals is a better indicator of future earnings and happiness than either IQ or talent.

Research on Grit suggests that our ability to work hard, endure struggle, fail and try again is the key to determining long-term success and happiness.

So, what is grit? And why does having it matter?

Grit is a distinct combination of passion, resilience, determination, and focus that allows a person to maintain the discipline and optimism to persevere in their goals, even in the face of discomfort, rejection and a lack of visible progress for years or even decades.

Studies show people who are smart, talented, kind, curious and come from stable, loving homes, generally don’t succeed unless they know how to work hard, remain committed to their goals, and persevere through struggles, failures, and mistakes.

So how do we cultivate Grit?

Finding a passion, putting in hard work, setting goals and delaying gratification are just some ways of becoming gritty.

Working with purpose will also help us become gritty and keep us going when all seems lost.

We can develop grit if we choose to focus on what we love.

Nothing comes easy, talent is great but it can only help us if we work hard and have the will to learn new skills and improve daily.

Life is short and if we aren’t willing to grind it out and get a little gritty, we will never achieve our goals and turn our dreams into a reality.

It doesn’t matter where we start, it’s what we do with what we have that makes the difference.

Put in the hours, be open to learning new things, acquire the skills required to succeed at what you want to do. Because, as they say, 90% of life is showing up.

Show up, shut up, do the work and live up to your full potential. Learn to grind, learn to fail, learn to lose, learn to grind it out and become gritty.

Day by day things will fall into place, the only person who loses is the one who stops grinding and growing.

No one says it’s going to be easy but if it was easy then everyone could do it. You are not everyone, we are all unique, push through and persevere.