Grit. Determination. Willpower. Fortitude. Do you have what it takes to persist in the face of challenges? To pick yourself up and carry on even when it seems like you have hit a brick wall? Mental toughness is a term used in psychology to refer to the resilience and strength that people possess to soldier through struggles and succeed.
What happens to us plays far less a role in our happiness and success than our responses.
To develop and maintain the kind of mental toughness that success requires, it’s crucial that you keep your thoughts and self-talk positive and avoid the habits that lead to negativity and unhealthy behaviours.
The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we never see them fight. They demonstrate the four critical components of mental toughness:
- Challenge: Viewing challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles.
- Control: Believing that you are in control of your life and destiny.
- Commitment: Having the ability to stick to tasks and see them through to completion.
- Confidence: Possessing strong self-belief in your ability to succeed.
Help keep yourself prepared for whatever comes your way tomorrow by practicing good habits of mind and attitude:
1. Emotional stability. Leadership often requires that you make good decisions under pressure. It’s important that you maintain your capacity to stay objective and deliver the same level of performance regardless of what you’re feeling.
2. Perspective. Mental strength lets you carry on when the world seems to have turned against you. Learn to keep your troubles in proper perspective without losing sight of what you need to accomplish.
3. Readiness for change. If change is truly the only constant, then flexibility and adaptability are among the most important traits you can develop.
4. Detachment. You can get through setbacks and come out even stronger if you can remember that’s it’s not about you. Don’t take things personally or waste time wondering Why me? Instead focus on what you can control.
5. Strength under stress. Maintain resilience in the face of negative pressures by developing your capacity to deal with stressful situations.
6. Preparation for challenges. Life and business are filled with everyday demands, the occasional crisis, and unexpected twists. Make sure you have the resources to withstand the professional and personal crises that you’ll sooner or later be facing.
7. Focus. Keep your attention on the long-term outcomes to stay steady in the face of real or potential obstacles.
8. The right attitude toward setbacks. Complications, unintended side effects, and complete failures are all part of landscape. Mitigate the damage, learn the lessons that will help you in the future, and move on.
9. Self-validation. Don’t worry about pleasing others: That’s a hit-or-miss proposition for anyone but the worst sort of waffler. Instead, make a concentrated effort to do what is right and to know what you stand for.
10. Patience. Don’t expect results immediately or rush things to fruition before their time. Anything worthwhile takes hard work and endurance; view everything as a work in progress.
11. Control. Avoid giving away your power to others. You are in control of your actions and emotions; your strength is in your ability to manage the way you respond to what is happening to them.
12. Acceptance. Don’t complain about the things you have no control over. Recognize that the one thing you can always control is your own response and attitude, and use those attributes effectively.
13. Endurance in the face of failure.View failure as an opportunity to grow and improve, not a reason to give up. Be willing to keep trying until you get it right.
14. Unwavering positivity. Stay positive even — especially — when you encounter negative people. Elevate them; never bring yourself down. Don’t allow naysayers to ruin the spirit of what you’re accomplishing.
15. Contentment. Don’t waste time being envious of anyone else’s car, house, spouse, job, or family. Instead be grateful for what you have. Focus on what you’ve achieved and what you’re going to achieve instead of looking over your shoulder and being envious of what someone else has.
16. Tenacity. It comes down to just three words: Never give up.
17. A strong inner compass. When your sense of direction is deeply internalized, you never have to worry about becoming lost. Stay true to your course.
18. Uncompromising standards. Tough times or business difficulties aren’t good reasons to lower the bar. Keep your standards high.
Becoming a mentally strong person takes practice and mindfulness. It requires tuning in to your bad habits and making a point of learning new habits to replace them. And sometimes it simply means learning to get out of your own way and let things happen.