We often think that that some people we know are born strong. They have the ability to be work hard, face challenges and are also mentally tough. The term mental toughness is used in psychology to refer to the qualities and power people possess to fight through difficult challenges and come out successful.
In the competitive world of today, it is essential to develop a sense of mental toughness if you want to be successful.
In all walks of our life be it education, sports, our career or even our personal life it is mental toughness which gives us the ability to withstand pressures and opposition, be ready to go the extra mile and come out a winner. So being resilient, working hard and responding to adversity, are some of the qualities that enable us to reach our long term goals.
We can focus on becoming mentally stronger and with it more successful by :
- Believing in our self : Remember that the major contributor to any success we achieve in all walks of life is believing in oneself. It is self belief that top performers named as a major factor which contributes to their successes. Those people who are mentally tough don’t just think that they may be successful they know and nourish a strong belief that they will succeed. This principle can be applied in all areas of our life, be it our resolution to stop a bad habit, loose weight, start a health program or sport, or excelling in our profession, believing in yourself is essential to success. Focus your thoughts and energy on staying positive, doing constructive self talk and also self encouragement to become successful.
- No Complaints : Keep in mind that our words and thoughts have power over us. If we are complaining about a situation it will only make the problem worse and not better. Instead use your energy to focus on making the situation better. Don’t waste your time or complain, instead develop the habit of positively reviewing the situation and identify what you can do to make things better. Mentally tough people rebound from any setbacks and start to rectify the situation with a sense of determination. Do not be discouraged; focus on developing a resolve to accept the challenge and work towards achieving your goals.
- Being committed : Developing and focusing on the ability to concentrate and sticking to your goals is key to seeing them to completion. It is commitment that influences us and pushes us towards completing what we are doing. It is only those who are mentally strong who possess the dedication to staying with it, even when the going gets tough and they think that they might fail. The message we get from top performers is that facing competition and the successes or failures you may gain are some of the critical factors that contribute to their mental toughness.
- Maintaining control : Being in control is a key component of mental toughness and those people who display and feel this are able to maintain control over their own future. Instead of blaming others or circumstances for their failures or successes these people posses an internal locus of control. They are not inactive players in their lives rather they believe that they possess a functional role and can actively contribute to their future and the outcomes associated with it. They act as though success or failure is totally within their control and success or failure is an outcome of their actions.
- Learn from the past : Life is full of challenges and in fact we learn valuable lessons from our past mistakes. WE can also learn a lot from observing the mistakes made by others – but take the lesson and move on. The mentally tough in fact, learn from adversity and have faith in their abilities to adapt, learn to overcome and survive for a better future. Not only that, successful people testify that it is adversity and the sense of competition that helps develop mental toughness in them.
- Find support : In order to be successful and reach the top, it is not always possible to do so by yourself. In most cases we required guidance and support and need to spend time with and learn from peers, friends, family, colleagues etc. Look up to people whom you admire and who have made it, who exude mental toughness and seek guidance and mentoring from them to build up and develop the skills you require in your own self. It is these mentors who will help contribute and help to develop your success as well as encourage you to achieve your goals.
Some people are born mentally tough so this trait does have a strong genetic component. But research shows us that it is also a skill that can be learnt and developed. Keep in mind the factors described and discussed above and apply them to different situations and areas of your life in order to be more successful in whatever you want to do. Being consistent is very important and by applying these traits you will be able to reach new heights in the various endeavours you may be focusing on.
As Winston Churchill once proclaimed, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”