How To Develop Mental Toughness
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Mental toughness is hard to define. I like to think of it as having the “it” factor. Professional athletes have it, Gold medal winners have it, and millionaire businessmen have it. But can regular people like you have it? You bet you can and you can start to develop it today.
So what does Rhonda Rousey have that I don’t? What makes her the epitome of “strong” both mentally as well as physically? The key to mental toughness is applying consistently the traits of self motivation, positive attitude, emotional self-control, calmness under fire, and being energetic and ready for action. Consistency is important. Through applying these traits day in and day out, you will be able to reach new heights in whatever positive things you want to accomplish.
Like professional athletes you have to be highly motivated, but where do you find motivation? You find it inside of YOU! You have to really want to reach your goal whether it is to lose 30 lbs., eliminate sugar from your diet or even quit smoking.
You can work on strengthening your self motivation in many ways. One is to use a failure as your motivation. Think back to a time you failed at achieving your weight loss goal or how many times you tried to eat healthier, but quit. Choose to win this time and use the past failures as your motivation to keep going. If failure doesn’t motivate you then use something positive. Think of a time that you accomplished a goal in the past. Remember how it felt. Use that feeling as a motivator to keep going.
We are human. Naturally we can’t do everything and we are more talented at some things than others. Focus on your strengths and use that to build your confidence in yourself. For instance, a shorter pro basketball player wouldn’t go head to head rebounding with a 7 foot tall player. Instead he uses his speed and agility to overcome his taller opponent. What are you good at? Focus on your strengths and develop a positive attitude towards them.
Emotional Self Control
People who are not in control of their emotions get upset easily. This tends to alienate people from you and cause unneccessary drama in your life. Sometimes our lives do go as planned. That’s what makes life interesting doesn’t it? People who have mental toughness don’t let their emotions get the best of them and this keeps them on track when others would fall apart. This is the hardest to follow and the most important part of mental toughness. Daily work on controlling emotions during normal everyday stressful situations is the key to becoming more mentally strong.
Like anything that is wanted you are bound to be dealt some stress or pressure. The difference here is that people who have mental toughness perform better under such pressure. This is also a skill that can be strengthened. The key here is to seek pressure situations working up from low pressure to medium pressure to high pressure situations. Perform in front of larger and larger groups or in fitness, up your weight or perform more advanced moves. What seemed like high pressure before will become the new normal for you.
It might be the middle of the night, you might have played two other performances the same day or you might be under the weather. The pride you get from doing your best in less than ideal circumstances makes it that much easier to succeed in all circumstances. Persevere on your bad days so when you do have a bad day you can push through and over come those obstacles.
What are some other traits that show mental toughness? Comment below and let’s get the conversation started.