Three ways to build mental toughness for success!
Toughness is often referred to as the ability to handle hard tasks and get through difficult challenges, generically speaking that's a pretty straightforward and correct meaning of the word.
Often toughness tends to cross reference physical traits and a somewhat "scale-able" meaning, in other words, “how tough are you” or “don’t be a whimp!” or the classic phrase “just harden up”.
But what about mental toughness? How is that measured? Is it even measurable and more importantly could it be used to help you succeed?
For example with physical toughness you could easily argue that by increasing your ability to lift heavier weights over time that your strength increases and so do the muscles in your body, which could lead to improving your ability to perform if you were a weight lifter, or if your job required you to lift heavy things for a living, then you could argue that increasing your ability to lift weights would be beneficial.
But when it comes to mental toughness it’s not easily measured, or at least at face value from my perspective anyway.
If anything, it’s generalised as “getting on with the job” or “handling rejection” it’s more an attitude or a mindset which makes it so hard to measure.
But through my experience there are three ways in which you can build mental toughness.
First - Take on more Challenging Tasks
Sounds simple, but building habit to take on more challenging tasks will help build more mental toughness.
Let's take for example, the classic “to do list”. We are all busy people in todays world, and no doubt have heaps going on. If you were to write out a "to do list" for today, tomorrow or for the year, you’ll naturally notice tasks that are easy to do now, and tasks that are more challenging. To build mental toughness tackle those hard ones first before the easy ones, and if you do that more regularly you will find that they aren't so challenging as time goes on.
Second - Accept you can’t fix everything
Part of building mental toughness is the ability to take on challenging tasks with confidence.
However the last thing you want to create in your mind, is false hope. In other words, you don't want to mask the idea that you can solve all challenges that come your way, if you do this you’ll end up retreating back to not wanting to take on challenges.
Instead, be prepared to accept the mentality that not every challenge you take on can be solved. This small, yet overlooked way to build mental toughness allows you to have a better perspective of the challenge itself, and often what happens by accepting that you cannot solve all challenges is you'll find and connect with people that do know how, and evidently expand your knowledge base and accountability.
Third - Write down the challenge
In conjunction with "accepting you cannot solve all challenges" another great way to build mental toughness is by writing down the challenge itself.
By writing the challenge down or the problem, it goes from swirling in your mind, to becoming somewhat real. Another way of looking at it, is to think of this as a mind map, and by writing down the challenge you intend to take on, you create a starting point, and often seeing the challenge on a piece of paper or whiteboard allows you to oversee the challenge and evidently take control of it.
From there you can begin to ask key questions, such as why is this challenge important to me? Or why do I need to do this task? What’s the benefit if I do it? How could I fix it? What would be the first thing I would do to move towards solving this challenge?
Simply writing down the challenge opens up the conversation to solve it, and ultimately creating more mental toughness.
So there you have it, three easy simple ways to build mental toughness to help with your personal success.
I have done all three myself and continue to practice them on a regular basis to ensure I don't lose the mental toughness, but if you're wanting to know more about it, drop me a free line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be more than happy to help out.
Till next week,