Mental toughness is a personality trait that determines your ability to perform consistently under stress and pressure, and is closely related to qualities such as character, resilience, grit and perseverance. In other words, people who have mental toughness have a better chance to excel in life than those without.
Mental toughness has a lot of advantages. To begin with, mentally tough people are more positively minded and they possess the “can do” spirit. This enables them to contribute towards a positive culture. This positivity also helps them to easily accept responsibility and to volunteer for new challenges and opportunities and in the process they grow personally and develop professionally.
Now that we are aligned on the benefits of mental toughness, let us look at how we can develop and sustain mental toughness. Below are ten of the ways of building mental toughness:
1. Pain tolerance: It is said that if you can tolerate pain for five minutes longer than an average person, then you have the mental toughness. This is why people who do extreme sports or physical exercises tend to have better mental toughness. People who grew in tough rural conditions tend to have better mental toughness as well.
2. Preparation: Mental toughness has to do with mental preparation. Have you prepared yourself for future tough situations or you leave it entirely to chance?
3. Don’t advertise your pain: People who are not mentally tough quickly draw attention of everyone to their suffering. They want attention. But the mentally tough people focus on results of their sweat and action.
4. Constantly being tested: On the journey to success, everyone gets repeatedly tested. You need the resilience to withstand those bottlenecks. Being frustrated and taken aback is part of building your mental toughness. It is a necessary ingredient.
5. Avoid choosing ‘SOFT’: Most times, we meet situations that require us to make choices, between the soft and hard options. Most times, the soft options have little or no benefit. However, the hard options often have big and lost lasting benefits. Train yourself to have the courage and patience of embarking on the harder choices by forgoing the ‘soft’ options.
6. Don’t be a quitter: Most people are quitters. When it gets tough, they quickly give up. If you want to build your mental toughness, do not be quick to quit. Hang in there. You could be just inches away from success!
7. Fight to the end: Life is a long battle. We basically have to fight to even just to survive. You need the mental stamina to fight till the achievement line. Fight to the end. Withstand the pain a little longer than everyone for you to fight to the end.
8. Get things done: Develop the mind to get things done. Move away from being a mere theorist. Be an implementer, a doer. That way, you will build the necessary and most desired disposition of a mentally tough person.
9. Keep your word: It is easy to promise something and yet very difficult to keep the word. The moment it gets tough, it is easy to give up and behave differently from how you promised it. But do be different. When you say something or when you promise something, work hard to keep to it. Keep your word. Keep your promise. That way, you will be considered a very dependable person and you will earn the trust of many.
10. Get out of your comfort zone: This is one of the biggest diseases that deter many from fully unleashing their true potential. Of course, we all love to keep to what we know best. No-one likes change. Most times, we hate change. But, for progress, we need to step out of the comfort zone often. Let us get used to trying new and different things.
There are people who are known to have mental toughness. Others have it even if not apparent to everyone. Either way, such people have a better chance to excel in life. Over time, they have mastered the art of getting it done, getting it right. Now that we know how to do it, let us build and sustain mental toughness. Good luck!