In a winter of stormy weather, a landscape of serious financial decline, an on-going war, reports of international unrest and plenty of personal challenges, you don’t have to be a cowboy to have true grit.

What is Grit?

The formal definition of Grit is of rough granules, as of sand or stone. The psychological definition of Grit is as a positive non-cognitive trait that involves perseverance of effort to accomplish a long term goal no matter what obstacles or challenges lay within a “gritty” individual’s path.

Research defining grit as perseverance and passion for long-term goals found that as a trait, Grit had better predictability for success than IQ or conscientiousness.

The person with true grit is not likely to be the student with the highest SAT Score, the team member with the greatest talent, the manager with the Ivy League background or the most popular Mom on the block.

Actually the person with true grit shares many of the qualities of Rooster Cogburn, the character of the U.S. Marshall played by Jeff Bridges in the 2010 Coen Brothers’ motion picture, True Grit. The person with true grit, be they a senior learning to use a walker, a soldier in basic training, a father searching for a new job or a woman re-locating after losing her spouse and her home, has:

  • A clear goal
  • Determination despite others’ doubts
  • Self-confidence about figuring it out
  • Humility about knowing it doesn’t come easy
  • Persistence despite fear
  • Patience for the small stuff that obscures the path
  • A code of ethics they live by
  • Flexibility in the face of roadblocks
  • A capacity for human connection and collaboration
  • A recognition that accepting help does not equate to weakness
  • A focus and appreciation of each step in the journey
  • An appreciation of other people’s grit
  • A loyalty that never sacrifices connections along the way
  • An inner strength that brings them to their goal

Consider these are you take “The Grit Survey developed by Angela L. Duckworth, of the Seligman Research Alliance and accessible on the Authentic Happiness website. (Free to register and take the Test)

Do You Have True Grit?


    Last reviewed: 23 Feb 2011

APA Reference
Phillips, S. (2011). Do You Have True Grit?-Take The Grit Survey. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 31, 2015, from


Healing Together
for Couples


Subscribe to this Blog:

Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

via FeedBurner

More on

Healing Together

Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP & Dianne Kane, DSW are the authors of Healing Together: A Couple's Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress. Pick up the book today!

Subscribe to this Blog:

Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

via FeedBurner

Recent Comments
  • Russel Brown: I have been married for 23 years this year, to my beautiful first girlfriend. I was so taken with her...
  • mu: I am married for 20 years. I am married to a pastor who never gave me any problems. We had our normal fights like...
  • Kevin the Bold: Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
  • surviveldr: I agree with most of you here. LDR are different each time, every time. The relationship depends on both...
  • Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP: Thanks – I appreciate your understanding of the complication with a recognition...
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!