7 unmistakable signs of an incredibly determined person

Ever noticed how some people just seem to have a magic touch when it comes to achieving their goals? It’s like they’ve got an unstoppable drive.

That’s determination for you.

It’s a powerful thing, really. It’s the difference between dreaming about something and actually making it happen.

And the good news? Determination is something we can all work on and develop.

In this article, we’ll look at the signs of determination and how you can become a more determined person yourself. Hopefully, it will inspire you to chase after your own big dreams.

Let’s dive in! 

1) They sacrifice to stay focused

We live in a world full of distractions.

Yet, some people have this uncanny ability to tune out the noise and remain laser-focused on their goals. They’re the ones who don’t let anything or anyone sway them from their path. 

They’re even willing to sacrifice some opportunities to stick to the path that they chose. That’s what sheer determination looks like. 

I have a friend who refused his scholarship in higher education as well as intriguing job offers in order to dedicate his time and energy on his chosen career.

Time has proved that he picked the right choice: he is now the country brand manager of a global company and likely to get promoted.

Determined people know what they want and will pursue it relentlessly, regardless of any hurdles that come their way. They have a clear vision of their end goal, and they let nothing deter them from achieving it.

How to stay focused?

  • Start by setting clear goals for yourself and make them your priority.
  • Learn to prioritize your tasks. Be aware of distractions and avoid them as much as possible. 

2) They learn from failure and bounce back

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard the story of Thomas Edison and his invention of the light bulb. How he failed a thousand times before he finally succeeded.

That’s the perfect example of determination. Edison didn’t give up — he kept going and going until he found a way to make it work.

How did he do that? By being resilient.

I’ve experienced this kind of resilience in my own life. A few years ago, I set out to run a half marathon. I was nowhere near being a seasoned runner, and the training was tough.

During my first race, I didn’t achieve the time I had aimed for, and it was disheartening. But instead of letting this discourage me, I took it as a learning experience. I analyzed what went wrong, adjusted my training, and focused on my nutrition.

A few months later, I not only completed another half marathon but also smashed my previous time.

This personal experience taught me that determination isn’t just about having a goal; it’s about the journey you take to get there, embracing the failures, and using them to fuel your progress.

Like Edison, it’s about not giving up, no matter how many attempts it takes to get it right.

How to be resilient?

Believe it or not, you already have some resilient traits. Think back of the challenging times that you faced in the past: what did you do to overcome those? What lessons did they teach you?

Understand that setbacks are inevitable but they don’t define you or your ability to achieve your goals. Your determination does. 

3) They perform even on the worst day

If there’s one thing determined people understand, it’s that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

They’re not looking for instant gratification or quick wins. They’re in it for the long haul, committed to putting in consistent effort over time.

Thus they perform, even on a bad day, even on days they don’t feel like doing it.  They don’t let external circumstances hinder their progress.

Consistent effort over time is not just about physical effort but mental strength as well. It’s about staying motivated and focused, even when progress seems slow or non-existent.

How to do this?

In James Clear’s masterclass, “Small habits that make a big impact on your life“, one of the lessons there was: “Master the art of showing up.”

Yes, it’s as simple as that. Have a strategy to show up, even on your worst day.

For example, you’ve set your goal to exercise everyday at 8AM. On a day that you feel sick, you can just take an easy 5-minute walk. 

The goal here is to be a consistent person.

So, think about your dream goal and ask yourself, “What is an action I can take, even on my worst day?” Consistency isn’t very difficult once you’ve got the answer.

4) They welcome change

pic1871 1 7 unmistakable signs of an incredibly determined person

The only constant in life is change. And determined individuals understand this better than anyone else. They don’t resist change; instead, they embrace it.

Whether it’s a change in their personal lives, professional careers, or the world around them, even if they don’t like it so much, they still see it as an opportunity for growth and learning.

They adapt and adjust their plans accordingly, keeping their end goal in sight.

Instead of being set in their ways or sticking to old methods that no longer work, they’re always open to new ideas and approaches. They’re not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and explore unfamiliar territories.

How to embrace change?

  • Practice flexibility and open-mindedness
  • Think of actions you can take to well adapt to this change, or even better, how to take advantage of this change to get where you want

5) They are proactive

Determined people don’t wait for things to happen to them – they make things happen.

They’re not just reactive to situations, but proactive in creating opportunities and solutions.

They don’t let fear of failure or uncertainty hold them back. They believe that no matter what happens, they have the power to shape their own destiny.

Being proactive means taking charge of your life, setting your goals, and working towards them. It’s about recognizing that you’re the driver of your own life and not just a passenger.

How to be proactive:

  • Always have your clear goal in mind
  • Write down your plan of action (with deadlines)
  • Do a mental preparation: Identify some events that can derail your plan and what you would do if those happen. 

6) Passion drives them

At the heart of every determined individual, there’s a burning passion that fuels their drive. Their eyes light up when they talk about their goals, their dreams.

Passion is what gets them up in the morning and keeps them going late into the night. It’s what pushes them to go the extra mile even when things get tough.

Because they’re not just working towards a goal, they’re chasing a dream that means the world to them.

How to be passionate?

Cultivating this trait isn’t about finding grand purposes or noble causes – it’s about discovering what you truly love. It could be as simple as a hobby, a skill, or a cause close to your heart.

So, delve deep within yourself and find your passion. Let it fuel your determination and guide your path. Because when you’re driven by passion, determination comes naturally.

7) They believe in themselves

Self-belief is the backbone of determination. Determined people are well aware of their core values, their dreams, their abilities and their strengths.

They know that they’re capable of achieving their goals, regardless of how ambitious those may be.

This doesn’t mean they’re overconfident or arrogant. It simply means they trust themselves and their abilities. They’re not easily swayed by doubt or criticism because they believe in their journey and their vision.

Self-belief is not something you’re born with; it’s something you develop over time.

How to achieve it:

Take time to recognize your strengths and your abilities. Show gratitude to yourself for owning those.

Acknowledge your achievements, big and small. 

Deal with negative beliefs by finding the reasons why you think those are true, and alter them.

For example, if you think “I’ll never get rich because I come from a family with poor background”, search for a myriad of successful self-made entrepreneur stories to alter your belief. This works wonders!


If I had to describe it in a few words, I’d say determination is a blend of passion, perseverance, and a positive attitude towards failure.

But — it isn’t something you’re born with. It’s a skill you can cultivate. By embracing challenges, staying focused on your goals, and learning from your mistakes, you can grow into a person of unyielding determination.

So, take these signs and strategies to heart. Whether you’re aiming to start a business, run a marathon, or just improve yourself in some small way, the path to success is paved with determination.

You have the power to make your dreams a reality – it all starts with that first determined step.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.