Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, developed a “Grit Scale” measurement for habits that improve mental strength. Assuming a combination of passion, tenacity, and stamina that enable us to stick with our goals until those goals become our reality, Duckworth intended to identify which habits were the most effective in helping us achieve our goals…our improved realities.

Duckworth’s bottom line for improving Grit Scale habits…consistently doing the things that no one else is willing to do.

Here are the Grit Scale habits that mentally strong people rely upon, according to Duckworth’s research:

  1. Mentally strong people fight for their goals even when they already feel defeated. The choice is to quit or to push through the challenge. When we push through, strength begins to grow inside us all.
  2. Mentally strong people delay gratification. They know that patience is more than a virtue…it is a requirement for success.
  3. Mentally strong people MUST make mistakes, look and feel like idiots sometimes and then, pull up our socks and try again without baulking. A study at the College of William and Mary studied 800 entrepreneurs…the most successful of that 800 did not, could not imagine failure despite making mistake after mistake after mistake.
  4. Mentally strong people have learned to keep their emotions in check. When emotions rule your resolve, it becomes too easy to let emotions overtake ability and too difficult to think clearly.
  5. Mentally strong people make tough calls they dread making. They know that every moment spent dreading to do something actually diminishes the time and energy needed to get the task done.
  6. Mentally strong people trust their gut. They look at a choice from every possible angle and then trust their ability to make the right decision based upon what feels and looks right.
  7. Mentally strong people believe in themselves, their resolve and their values to lead even when others are reluctant to follow.
  8. Mentally strong people focus on details and numbers. The more they are challenged, the more they dig it.
  9. Mentally strong people know to be kind to those who may be rude or negative towards them. They simply do not allow other people’s negativity to harness them.
  10. Mentally strong people make themselves accountable for their actions, inactions, words, etc. Their accountability demonstrates their commitment to results, not their ego or self-image.