Why Grit Is More Important Than IQ or Talent

Devin C. Hughes
2 min readMar 11, 2018

Fear of failure. Mental blocks. Paralysis.


It affects millions of people every single day. Letting it stop you means letting it kill your dreams. It means putting off what you feel deep down inside you could do but sometimes it means giving up.

Down deep, when you are alone, you think your talent isn’t enough. You think you’re not as smart as the other guy or gal in the office. If only you had studied harder in high school and gotten into the right university… These thoughts are a huge part of your fear of failure. They both hurt you and keep you safe.

But that safety isn’t going to make you successful. It isn’t what makes people stand out. It’s their courage, grit, and fight that pushes them to step over the line, even if just one step at a time.

It’s grit that pushes them towards success because it’s never how smart you are or how quickly you learn that determines whether or not you’ll “make it” in this world. It’s your ability to weather the storms (stick out the tough times), to stand when others sit, to take action when no one else does.

When customers aren’t rolling in like they should, the talented person’s strengths aren’t going to change that one bit. It is easy to quit and make excuses.

Grit keeps us pushing when the applause stops. It shows us new ways of doing things. It is the will to make success happen, in another way, if this one isn’t working.

And while talent certainly doesn’t hurt, it’s grit that fuels you to action.

Grit is the enemy of surrender!

Angela Duckworth, a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, led research that has undeniably shown that no matter what you know, how good you are, or how well-connected you are, its grit that separates the successful from the non-successful.

It’s time

It’s time to make that promise to yourself: That you won’t let yourself down, no matter what. Not letting you down means setting your eyes squarely on the things you want, the things that will make your life better, and working for them.

You want a wildly successful business that people lust after? Then build it.

You want to rank highest in your region for sales? Then make them need what you sell.

You want to head the swankiest restaurant in the city? Make it so.

And don’t be swayed by the scary steps. Embrace them. Take them…with the knowledge that you’re growing and changing, getting better each day.

No one can give you the key to success. No one can take it away either.. It’s always a choice.



Devin C. Hughes

Keynote Speaker | Mindfulness Maven | Happiness Muse | Author | Diversity & Inclusion Advocate | www.devinchughes.com