Grit and Resilience: The Key to Overcoming Challenges

In this Ted talk below, Angela Lee Duckworth shares her experience working as a teacher, and what she noticed about the differences in performance of her students. She realised that intelligence was not the greatest predictor of performance; her smartest students were not always the ones with the best test scores. What she noted as the main difference, and what she went on to devote most of her academic work to, was called grit.

Grit is “passion and perseverance for very long term goals”, according to Duckworth. This stamina to persist even in the face of adversity is also known as resilience, mental toughness, or hardiness. It is about believing that one’s ability to learn is not fixed, and that failure is not permanent. We all know of successful people in our lives who were not necessarily the best in school or had the best start in life, but demonstrate that drive and determination are more valuable for achieving important goals.

The Hardiness Resilience Gauge™ (HRG) is a new learning and development tool that will be released later this year.   This tool provides greater insight into hardiness and resilience, and a person’s ability to cope with stress, change, and unforeseen situations. Grounded in over 30 years of research, it is a robust, scientifically valid and reliable assessment which can be completed online in just 10 minutes.

It focuses on three aspects: Challenge, Commitment, and Control. A person high in hardiness is said to possess these qualities.

When faced with challenges, psychologically hardy people see them more as opportunities than threats. This helps them embrace change and challenges, rather than try to simply avoid them.

In her Ted Talk, Angela Lee Duckworth talks about the importance of having stamina and perseverance, which relates to the second C of hardiness, Commitment. Having commitment helps a person to keep going to overcome obstacles, setbacks, and occasional losses of motivation.

Hardy individuals believe they have Control over events they experience, and feel their actions will make a difference. They are less likely to become overwhelmed or feel helpless. It involves holding a positive outlook and feeling determined that they can make choices to improve their circumstances.

If you are interested in learning more about the HRG psychometric assessment, such as how to become certified in administering it or arranging for clients or colleagues to take it, contact us at or call 01 2788 727.