Lebron James, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z, what do they all have in common? If your guess was money, then you are right. But they did not all wake up to riches, the underlining connection between all of these personalities? It is their consistency in the work they do, translation? MENTAL TOUGHNESS.
Research is starting to reveal that your mental toughness plays a more important role than anything else for achieving your goals in education, sports, health, family, business, and life in general. In every area of life it is the amount of resilience, mental toughness, and perseverance that will determine your level of success, it is the difference between poor, average, good and great. While Mental Toughness may be a skill of perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity and pressure, a study according to Gucciardi, Gordon, & Dimmock define mental toughness as
“A collection of values, attitudes, behaviors, and emotions that enable you to persevere and overcome any obstacle, adversity, or pressure experienced, but also to maintain concentration and motivation when things are going well to consistently achieve your goals.”
In other words, we not only need mental toughness in adversity and difficult situations, but also in periods of success to keep us grounded and focused.
Your perception of resiliency then (or lack thereof) becomes your reality. If you want to be tougher, start believing that you are. Act ‘’As if’’, do things mentally tough people would do, train your mind to start believing that you are tough. Train everyday. Like you train your body, so also you must train your mind. This is important and it begs the question:
“How can you become Mentally Tough?”
To preface, Mentality, physicality and spirituality are interrelated and so often complement each other. However mental toughness can so often vary from niche to niche and as such from individual to individual, and regardless of where you find yourself developing grit is important in seeing your long-term goal through. And there is good news, you can develop this skill, while this is not an exhaustive tactic, they present useful strategies to grow your mental strength.
Before we talk about how to become mentally tough this article is an excerpt from NATURAL FORMULA FOR ULTIMATE ENERGY and you can get it FREE, it covers important topics on how to produces the right energy for your daily activity that will help you achieve your goals with relative ease.
5 SIMPLE STEPS TO BUILDING MENTAL TOUGHNESS
1. IDENTIFY THAT WHICH IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU.
If you value a goal as more valuable, meaningful, or relevant to your self-concept you are then willing to expend more effort on it when necessary. The truth is many of us do not really know what we value most, this lack of clarity already puts us in a state of chaos, which means our energy and mental focus is expended all over the place. To be mentally focused and resilient then you must identify your core beliefs and values. These are the things that you wish to improve on and be better at. This could be
⦁ Improving your health and fitness
⦁ Improving your work ethic and climbing up in your career
⦁ Stronger spirituality
⦁ Starting a business
⦁ Writing a book
Whatever it is, identifying what is valuable to you requires purposeful intention and can change the entire course of your life, be clear about what you’re going after.
2. WIN SMALL PHYSICAL BATTLES.
You can’t become committed or consistent with a weak mind. How many workouts have you missed because your mind, not your body, told you you were tired? How many reps have you missed out on because your mind said, “Nine reps is enough. Don’t worry about the tenth.” Probably thousands for most people, including myself. And 99% are due to weakness of the mind, not the body.
Having identified what is valuable you must turn thoughts into tasks and actions. The advice is to start on a small-scale. As stated it is a marathon. Do not let the perceived length of your goals discourage you from starting. The time goes anyways, so start. Do not swim in the deep at the beginning else you drown and never return. Start small, start easy. Let it be so simple that it’s harder NOT to do it or to ignore. David Allen gives an example of this in his bestselling book GETTING THINGS DONE. Ideally if an action takes less than 2 minutes then do it right away. Two Minutes is little but remember progress is a continuum and in the initial phase you want to only worry about doing the task. Inertia is what everyone is trying to overcome, and this is a simple way to get started.
Want to make reading a habit? Just read the first page of a new book and before you know it, the first three chapters have flown by.
Want to learn to sprint? Sprint for 2 minutes at intervals within weeks you will extend this by much more
Want to learn a new language? Learn a new word each day. It’s just one word. How hard could it be?
Mental toughness is built through small wins.
3. FOCUS ON WHAT IS WITHIN YOUR CONTROL.
Wasting your energy on things out of your hands weakens your mental energy. What happened yesterday has happened. You cannot change that, focus on the present and how you can influence the future. Like petrol in a car, your brain runs on mental energy and if you waste it on needless endeavor you only end up achieving nothing. Make a conscious effort to shift your mental energy to more helpful topics.
4. USE YOUR ENERGY WISELY.
Adrenaline and Dopamine are important hormones in the body, as you know, your entire bodily function is dependent on the production of these hormones. The presence of adrenaline represents high energy and dopamine represents high excitement/pleasure. So what is the problem? Well these hormones are only ever present in sporadic doses which means you have to take advantage of them when they come. Every individual is different, and only you can know when your adrenaline and dopamine are at their highest. When they run low it may become more strenuous to do work. Mind, this is not to say you should base work being done strictly on these, you would however be wiser to understand that you cannot always have the same amount of energy all day and all week and indeed all the time. This becomes crucial in keeping yourself consistent and having that edge. A morning person choosing to exercise late in the day is batting against himself and the amount of work he can get done and vice versa.
5. ASK: WHAT GOT DONE?
At the end of each day/each week, ask with respect to your goals, WHAT GOT DONE? And be excited for whatever task that was carried out no matter how little. Little progress is way better than no progress. Whatever it is you do, ensure you are moving. Crawling, walking, running, flying it does not matter.
DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO DO!
In conclusion life is reliant on the energy we allow, and our mental toughness is at the peak, it can either transform us for the better or for the worse, the good news is you are entirely in control of this very aspect, so what kind of energy do you want to create/receive? You decide.
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