Successful people dont limit their worldview. They arent
imprisoned in their mind by circumstances. They see a universe
of possibilities. They dont want to simply get
by, but rather they use mental toughness to ask for
more, no matter the barriers.
| Mental Toughness for
Few of us wake up in the morning with the intention of being a
hero. Instead, we hope to get by without any major stumbling blocks
and aim to do what is expected of us.
Its only when confronted with obstacles that threaten to derail
our routines and plans that we don the armor and go into battle. As
they say, When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Heres something to think about: What if were missing opportunities
to get what we want ? and help others get what they want ? by not
seeing the obstacles early enough?
Successful people dont limit their worldview. They arent
imprisoned in their mind by circumstances. They see a universe of
possibilities. They dont want to simply get by,
but rather they use mental toughness to ask for more, no matter the
| What Is Mental Toughness?
Some people think that mental toughness is the ability to plow through
circumstances without being affected by emotions or feelings. When
it comes to success, however, high performers know that the key is
to identify, control, and manage emotions, both their own and others.
|"Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult
to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also,
most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined
will that refuses to give in. Its a state of mind
you could call it character in action." - Vince
Mental toughness means perceiving, understanding, using, and managing
feelings. When you are aware and curious about emotions, you are
sensitive to others needs. This puts you in a stronger position
to sort out negative from positive feelings and make better decisions.
mental toughness as a collection of attributes that allow a
person to persevere through difficult circumstances and emerge without
Only within the past ten years has scientific research attempted
a formal definition of mental toughness as a psychological construct.
Dr. Jim Loehr of the
Human Performance Institute, in his book The New Toughness Training
for Sports, defined mental toughness as "the ability to consistently
perform towards the upper range of your talent and skill regardless
of competitive circumstances."
Self-awareness is the ability to accurately perceive your own emotions.
To be successful, you must stay alert to emotions in order to manage
behavior in various contexts.
Its not enough to be aware; mental toughness means you are both
willing and able to tolerate the discomfort of negative feelings.
He who knows others is wise.
He who knows himself is enlightened. ~ Lao Tzu
You dont need to spend time discovering the deep dark secrets
of your inner world but rather developing an honest understanding
of what makes you tick.
Mental toughness strengthens your ability to distinguish positive
emotions from negative ones. Then you can choose to express feelings
appropriately in a way that connects with other people, their needs,
and desired outcomes.
When you become more sensitive to feelings, you can do three things:
1. Identify what creates stress
2. Pinpoint what motivates positive behavior
3. Listen and talk in ways that resolve conflicts rather than escalate
| Also Required: Self-Discipline
Self-discipline is not an attitude of harshness; instead it requires
inner strength to choose what you will make a priority. To become
competent in your field, youll have to study, practice, make
mistakes, and find new ways to solve problems. This means you have
to persist until you find a path that works successfully.
In terms of instilling the values of mental toughness and work
ethic, discipline is the gift that keeps on giving. ~
As a result, you create authentic skills you can rely upon when
confronted by obstacles. This is how you build mental toughness
and strength to do things better, more confidently.
| Tips to Build Mental Toughness
A good book on the subject is
Mental Toughness for Women Leaders:
52 Tips To Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths by LaRae Quy.
Mental toughness must be built on a solid foundation of emotional intelligence,
self-awareness, discipline, and positive social relationships.
- Identify your emotional hot buttons. Knowing who or what
pushes our buttons and when it happens is critical to developing
the ability to control a situation. This awareness allows you
to carefully choose your actions and words, thus avoiding unproductive
behaviors that sabotage success.
a. Notice your emotions as they arise, both positive and negative,
without judging. Simply observe them with curiosity.
b. Slow yourself down with deep breathing so the fast, emotional
brain doesnt overtake the slower, rational brain.
c. Pinpoint the circumstances that produce emotional reactions.
This awareness will enable you to calibrate your reactions
in future situations.
- Observe others as well as yourself. Notice emotions in other
people. Becoming a keen observer of behavior is critical to
understanding others. Ask questions to find out more about how
others think, react, and choose priorities. But remember:
a. Everyones different. Simply observe and inquire.
b. There are no right or wrong reactions; allow people their
c. Observe, inquire, and learn without an agenda. Do not judge.
d. Cultivate and express a curiosity about life and other
- Dont settle into complacency. Success seduces us into
becoming set in our ways. We love routine and we readily accept
assumptions. Dont let your comfort zone turn into a limiting
barrier. Stretch and challenge your habits. Always ask questions,
such as What if
? Try new things.
- Express gratitude as a power emotion. Nothing resolves conflicts
and energizes people more than appreciation, yet most of us
dont express it enough. We have a negativity bias and
are too quick to point out flaws in both others and ourselves.
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