Persevere Better: Understanding Grit and Resilience

Sanam EdwardsBlog, Lead Better, Teach Happier


  • What are the differences between grit and resilience?
  • Grit is an intrinsic quality within a person that drives them to keep going.
  • Resilience allows you to bounce back from hardships.
  • If you already have grit within you, resilience will allow that fire to stay alive.

Grit and Resilience

I recently engaged with my learning network members about the difference between grit and resilience. The term resilience has gained ground during the pandemic, becoming a core component of SEL practices worldwide. However, grit, a word commonly confused with resilience, is not used as often or with as much zeal.

Grit is an intrinsic quality; it gives you the drive to keep going. It’s what makes the fighter in you get up for another round. Grit ensures that you keep going till you achieve your goals.

Grit is a continual effort to believe in something despite nothing happening. Click To Tweet

On the other hand, resilience is the ability to bounce back from hardships. I find the difference between them to be longevity. Grit is innate and remains within you as a part of your personality. Additionally, resilience is the ability to keep the spirit of grit within you alive and kicking. These two qualities are the key to persevering better in an ever-changing world.

While resilience is taught at schools globally, what happens when we finally reach a sense of normalcy? If we reach an equilibrium when trials don’t seem impossible, or hurdles don’t seem significant, resilience won’t get us through. We need to remember the cousin of resilience, good old grit. That’s what will keep the fire burning in young people. Students who have grown up in the pandemic have become attuned to disappointment and strife. What we’re teaching them about resilience is sound. However, we’re not considering a future where students will need to ignite a passion within themselves to want and achieve more.

As of now, they have learned to attune to what others put before them, whether it be online school, vaccines, boosters, or schedules according to lockdown. Everything is a setback, and resilience will ensure that the children get through their days in one piece. One fine day, when children find the world begins to revolve around them again, will they have the drive to succeed? Will they be able to make positive spaces around them? Will they be able to create and problem-solve rather than take what they are handed? For this very purpose, grit needs to be taught side by side so that our youth still have the passion for achieving their dreams and not settle.

The Importance of Grit

Have you ever wondered why some startups or endeavors fizzle out? Why do some projects fail? When people take on tasks that require all their attention, I’m sure they understand that they will have to be resilient when problems arise. However, what happens when there’s…nothing?

When you feel the triumph after victory, you feel assured that success is just on the other side. Sometimes the bleakest times are when we are static. No ups or downs mean safety, but the feeling of victory always seems out of reach. This feeling of simply ‘coasting’ makes people give up. 

In this scenario, grit becomes of paramount importance. Grit is a continual effort to believe in something despite nothing happening. No development, no growth, and no concrete signs of failure either. The ability to consistently strive towards a goal is built upon grit, and eventual success depends on tweaking your game plan to reach the objective. Your heart needs to be in it for the long haul. Your mind needs to see past the immediate stasis towards what needs to happen to succeed. 

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A Growth Mindset 

Grit goes hand in hand with a growth mindset. Do millionaires stop strategizing or coming up with new business plans just because they have arrived? Not at all! Every successful person always has a growth mindset that looks towards fixing what’s not right and building upon what is. Grit is what gives us the intuition to see what’s just outside of the frame, the power to take decisions that may be hard today but can save tomorrow. 

In today’s day and age, it’s crucial to build up grit in students to chase down dreams that are backed by problem-solving skills. Enabling them to persevere better is the need of the hour, as our young ones emerge into a world they have not lived in for a long while.

About Sanam Edwards

Sanam Edwards is a teacher in Gurgaon (India). She enjoys building the student’s voice and choice within the classroom environment while infusing her quirky sense of humour into daily activities. She’s an advocate for technology in the classroom and is constantly on the lookout for new ways to engage the students mentally and emotionally. She regularly blogs about her forays in the education sector at