Updated: Sep 1, 2019
There’s a term that is most commonly associated with athletes that can be applied in businesses.
The term is: mental toughness.
Mental toughness is commonly used by sport psychologists to define a developed psychological advantage that athletes use to handle the demands, pressures and distractions of their sport.
The idea is that it takes an enormous amount of belief, fight, and dedication to achieve their goal. Achievers and high performers from all walks of life face ups and downs along the path to success—they face failure, burnout, discouragement, fatigue, self-limiting beliefs, stress, and so much more.
The same is true in business.
Regardless of the genes you were born with, mental toughness can become a defining trait.
It starts by knowing what “toughness” means for you.
Going through extreme situations undoubtedly test our courage, perseverance, and mental toughness, but what about everyday situations?
If you’re going to increase your mental toughness, the first thing you have to do is focus on building a strong, positive mindset.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 95% of those thoughts repeat each day and, on average, 80% of repeated ideas are negative.
Another form of negative thinking that could be preventing you from building mental toughness is all-or-nothing thinking. All-or-nothing thinking is the concept of thinking in extremes. You are either a success or a failure. Your performance was totally good or totally awful. If you’re not perfect, then you’re a failure.
Think about it like this, If you’re trying to lose 30 pounds and only lost 28, isn’t that still better than not losing any weight at all? I’d say so!
No matter which negative thoughts tend to run around your mind, working to replace them with positive thoughts can take time.
Learning to spot self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, or dwelling is one thing, but learning to quiet those thoughts is another thing entirely.
If at first you don’t succeed, don’t fret. Instead, take a deep breath and try again.
One of the most critical elements to building mental toughness and keeping a strong and focused mind is having a strong ‘why’ for everything you want to do.
If you set out to achieve a huge goal that you don’t have a ‘why’ for, you’re going to find yourself distracted, discouraged, or disengaged as soon as you experience your first setback.
Think about the last time you were working on a goal or resolution and things weren’t going well, maybe you even wanted to quit. Perhaps you thought you didn’t have enough willpower. Maybe you told yourself that you didn’t have enough discipline.
Here’s the truth: you just didn’t have a strong enough why. As Simon Sinek states; “Your ‘why’ is the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you.”
Often, we set goals because we like the idea of the goal, not the reality of the goal. Without connecting to our why, we can’t intrinsically motivate ourselves to achieve our most challenging goals.
To be able to see your success through challenging times, mental toughness allows you to segment your business building stages by priority and reality. Here’s a brief outline of how to connect and engage with each stage of business builders; no matter what stage or business you or they are in; simply because being mentally tough allows you to see big picture.
• Connect with your “Why”
• Gain support from your cheerleaders/team
• Build a sphere of teammates around you. •.Recruit your soldiers!
• Form an accountability group
• Learn how to bounce back after rejection/don’t fall to failure
• Regain Motivation and belief in your “why” and purpose
• Tying it all together
The more you seek to step out of your own comfort zone, no matter how uncomfortable it may be at the time, the stronger and better you will feel. When I plan my day the night before, one of the first things I do is ask myself how can I step out of my comfort zone for that particular day.
You can't build mental toughness and become resilient by always playing it safe and operating only out of the confines of your comfort zone.
Similar to going to the gym to get stronger physically and strive to make your muscles grow, stepping out of your comfort zone daily is what helps you expand your capacity for mental toughness. Hack your body~Hack your growth.
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