Josh Irby

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21 Inspiring Quotes on Grit

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What starts as an interview with a rough cowboy named True Grit becomes a life-threatening and life-changing adventure. Instead of defining or explaining the importance of Grit in life, spend an afternoon with True Grit himself. This short story will clarify the Five Key Ways people with Grit approach life and the world.

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What is Grit?

Angela Duckworth, University of Pennsylvania researcher, defines Grit as “passion and perseverance for long-term goals.” Author Paul Tough describes it as “perseverance in pursuit of a passion.” However you define it, Grit seems to be something we all need to succeed in life.

I asked some of my writing friends to define grit in their own words. Here is what 21 of them had to say:

Photo Credit The 621st Contingency Response Wing (Creative Commons)

Photo Credit The 621st Contingency Response Wing (Creative Commons)

“Grit is doing what you don’t want to do, to be what you want to be.”

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Dea Irby |

“Grit is a tenacious strength to hold tight, dig in and push back when it matters the most.”  

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Nancy Bouwens |

“Grit is having the courage to do the right thing, regardless of the popularity or consequences.”

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Joan Hall |

“Grit is a measurement of sandpaper, and determination. In both cases it defines an ability to change surroundings, and not be changed.”

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Mike Loomis |

“Grit is that dirt between your teeth from biting off more than you can chew and chewing it anyway. That insatiable need to do more than you have ever done before.”

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Anastacia Maness |

“Grit is staring down the barrel of the difficult and the unknown, rejecting the voices that say I’m not enough, and pushing through anyway.”

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Josh Collins |

“Grit is cleaning all 7 litter boxes every day.” 

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Pamela Fernuik Hodges |

“Grit is having the courage to push through, no matter what the obstacles are, because it’s worth it.”

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Chris Morris |

“Grit is just showing up.”

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Lucie Winborne |

“Grit is the ability to hang on when circumstances say ‘let go.'”

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Troy McLaughlin

“Grit is facing your Goliath, and not leaving till the job is done.”

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Anne Gollias Peterson |

“Grit is saying YES… even when your fears say ‘what the crap?!'”

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Dede Obasun Nesbitt |

“Grit is picking yourself up and moving forward even when you think you can’t take one more step.”
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Christy Mossburg Blog |

“Grit is choosing to lean in & work on your Art when the world thinks it’s already good enough.”

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Rob Beaudreault |

“Grit is pushing beyond the platitudes, and finding authentic connections that will encourage you to embrace discomfort and embark on a journey that always seeks to push you outside the box.”

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Chrissanne Long |

“Grit is holding on when the world is slipping away. Holding on to the last sliver of hope when all seems lost.”

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James Prescott |

“Grit is a steely-eyed endurance. It’s Grace Revealed In Testing.”

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Joy Lenton |

“Grit is perseverance in the pains of life by courageously pushing forward with the strength of Christ.”

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Brenda McGraw |

“Grit is setting your face like flint—hard as quartz and making sparks.” 

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Andria Bicknell |

“Grit is walking when you can’t run, taking another step forward in the midst of questions because understanding and growth will only come with action.”

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Laura Robb |

“Grit is knowing who you are and where you are headed, moving determinedly forward with eyes fixed on the mark, rather than the obstacles that lie in wait.”

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Christine Bisch

What is Grit to you? Let me know in the comments below.


About Josh

  • This is a great post, Josh. Thanks!

    • Joshua Irby

      Thanks for contributing!

  • Thank you Josh for including my quote. A great collection.

    • Joshua Irby

      I just glad to have someone involved with enough grit to clean up after so many cats!

  • Really good thougths first thing in the morning….especially the one about facing your Goliaths and not leaving until the job is done!!

    • Joshua Irby

      Great job on your post by the way. Glad you found a belt!

  • Thanks, Josh. It was fun participating, and to load up our minds with more ammunition when the resistance marches in.

  • Chris Zweifel

    There ought to be a picture of Jesus next to the word “grit” in the dictionary.

    • Christine


    • Josh

      I think most people (including a lot I Christians) don’t think of Jesus as gritty. For example, look at how he’s often portrayed. What picture would you use?

  • Andria R Bicknell

    Thanks, Josh, for including me. This is a great resource for finding our inner-GRIT. Grrrrrr!

  • Laura Robb

    Josh, thanks so much for gathering these quotes and letting us participate! Reading them makes me want to go and do something!

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