Do you feel constantly behind the eight ball? Are you chasing the elusive definition of SUCCESS every single day but it’s always just out of your grasp? Your mental strength may need some fine tuning. There are many reasons why certain people are more successful in business and other aspects of life than others, and mental toughness is one of those deciding factors that puts them over the top. Everyone has mental strength to varying degrees. It’s what you do with what you have, and how you create and develop what you don’t have, that can separate you from the pack.
Mental toughness is defined as the ability to work hard, be persistent, and respond with resiliency when faced with failure or adversity. It’s an inner quality — not easy to quantify — that enables a person to stick to their long-term goals no matter what. Grit…determination…unwavering focus on the end goal. These are all words to describe people with mental agility and strength. That’s great. But how do you get it and why do you need it?
Tips for Becoming Mentally Stronger
Working your mental muscle doesn’t just fall in your lap. You have to work at it, not just periodically but every single day. Inc describes remarkably successful people as being great at delaying gratification, withstanding temptation, overcoming fear, and prioritizing consistently. Here are some habits of professionals who master mental toughness. Try these tips in your own life.
Always Act in Control
Notice how we didn’t say “always BE in control.” There’s a big difference between being a leader and being a dictator. You can’t possibly be right or have total control over things 100 percent of the time. We’re talking more here about the illusion of control through confidence in your daily life. Many people assume luck has a lot to do with success; however, successful people will tell you luck may play a small role but they didn’t wait for luck to carry them through. They act like success — and by extension, failure — is well within their control. Remember that old Dry Idea antiperspirant commercial that said “never let them see you sweat”? Well, the same principle applies here: never let them see you out of control.
Don’t Waste Mental Power on Things You Can’t Control
Mentally tough people rarely waste brain power on things in which they have no ability to impact. Mental strength, like muscle strength, doesn’t come with an unlimited supply. It must be used wisely. Misdirected worry saps you of the energy to focus your mind on more important areas of your life, funneling the important stuff off to the side. Instead, do the greatest good in areas that you can.
Learn from Mistakes
Honing your mental toughness is rooted quite a bit in failure. In fact, many of the successes we see today were the direct result of failure of some kind. Just think about bubble wrap, which was originally marketed as a trendy textured wallpaper and later as a type of housing insulation. Or what about the “breakfast of champions” Wheaties, where it took 36 failed attempts at developing a tasty flake that wouldn’t crumble in the box before finally hitting on the right formula. The point is, mentally tough people don’t run away and give up when they fail. They take it as a personal challenge to overcome.
Why Mental Toughness is Necessary
There are countless reasons why being mentally strong is an asset in the business world — and any other for that matter. We need mental strength. We all crave it. We must understand why we need it. Mental toughness:
- Conquers self-doubt: Whether you have a goal to improve your ROI or you want to integrate new technology this year, questioning your goals is normal. Mental strength can turn that negative self-talk into a positive as you continue to tackle your goals.
- Maintains motivation: Achieving goals is easy when your motivation is in full swing, but as you know, motivation comes and goes. When you’re mentally strong, you can maintain focus even on days when that’s the last thing you want to do. Discovering inner strength is a big piece of the puzzle.
- Gives you courage: Facing fears requires courage, which can be in short supply when you lack mental acuity. Having a core of strength will help you put on a smile and face those fears head-on, despite shaking in your boots from uncertainty.
- Regulates emotions: Highs and lows litter the road to success. Lacking adequate skills to keep your emotions in check will almost certainly throw a roadblock in your way. Regulating your emotions due to mental toughness will help you resist temptation, delay gratification and take more calculated risks, says Success.
In the end, you’ll always face challenges that get in the way of success. Building up your mental strength will ensure you have the resilience you need to get over those hurdles with innate confidence.