This is one of the hardest things to do on a consistent basis. Mental toughness is a predictor of your stamina to achieve and sustain success. You are mentally tough when you employ personal courage to stay strong; stand up to someone who is beating you down; push through rejection; and have the discipline to stick to your goals. Sure, there are many other ways that mental toughness may be part of your life, but it won’t come to you naturally unless you practice it and practice it and practice it until it becomes a habit.
Start your practice of mental toughness by pushing the pause button on reacting to hurts, setbacks and disappointments. Instead, take a moment to thoughtfully and unemotionally analyze the facts and how you can learn from the experience.
Here are three common occurrences that when employing the practice of mental toughness can truly bring you positive results.
Rejection. Facing rejection head on and learning to let go of any self-criticizing emotions that accompany it may not be easy, but unless you break the habit of letting feelings run you over, you will probably avoid trying again in the future. For example, if you are feeling less than adequate because you applied for a position and received a rejection you may begin to doubt your capabilities, question your efforts or settle into the idea that if you try again, you will fail.
Yes, you may fail thirty more times before you have success, but letting emotions rule will stop you even trying again in the first place. So pause and examine the truths here. First, you may not have been selected simply due to reasons that have nothing to do with you. Second, to quote the great coach Lombardi, “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” If you want something badly enough, or are at least willing to learn and grow and get stronger from the experience, you just can’t quit.
Frustration. Imagine trying to lose weight and not seeing progress as quickly as you’d like. That’s a perfect example of how frustration can lead to abandoning goals. Well if you’ve ever started toward a fitness goal then you know that the scale is not a true testament to your progress. In fact, the numbers may go up temporarily as you build muscle and simultaneously lose the fat.
Frustration is the ugly emotion that steers you away from progress and onto goal abandonment. This is where mental toughness can help you pull through and reach your goals whatever they may be. If you face frustration, ask yourself if you are giving enough time and effort to the process and what you need to do in order to stay motivated. Yes, coaching is a huge help in building your practice of mental toughness and overcoming the negative repercussions of frustration.
Confrontation. It happens to the nicest of us. No matter what we do or say or how thoughtful and kind we try to be, someone will get up in our grill. Now you know this behavior often stems from fear, but nonetheless it is highly uncomfortable in the moment and perhaps long after. The best thing you can do is to push your emotions aside and try to not take this personally. I once heard someone say that they willed themselves to reduce their “hurt” time from two weeks to two minutes. This took time and practice and a whole lot of mental toughness. But you can learn how to stand up to others in a gentle way that leaves you feeling strong.
Former Navy Seal, Mark Devine, recommends the following four steps for beginning a practice of mental toughness:
- Greater self-awareness will help us avoid making the same mistakes over and over and allow us to get aligned for serious forward momentum.
- Figure out your purpose and determine if you are on the right or wrong path.
- Developing skills like discipline, dedication and acquiring a capacity for high-performance first requires tuning in to your true self.
- Support your new purpose with a healthy lifestyle and the support of others.
Neuroscientists have discovered through fMRI brain mapping and imaging that when a person is in fear, doubt or even worry (which is just baby fear), half of the brain shuts down. So when you react in the moment you are letting emotions control you and more often than not, this will hurt others along with your professional reputation. Instead, start today employing a mental toughness practice and you will see a vast reduction in stress and a huge increase in personal and professional success.
How to Be Career Happy? Practice Mental Toughness