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Are you tough enough…mentally?

published: 07-22-2014 Journal entry icon

The term “mental toughness” is often tossed about, but what is it really? And do you have it? Mental toughness is important to the success of Warfighters, athletes, business people, and others who have to overcome adversity to be successful.

Sport psychologists and others interested in optimal performance talk a lot about mental toughness, but it’s a bit complex, so it’s often misunderstood. Mental toughness is not just one trait; it’s a mixture of them.

Boiling it down, mental toughness is a strong belief in yourself and an unshakable faith that you control your own destiny. If you’re mentally tough, you can remain undaunted by adversity.

If you have these 4 Cs, you’re mentally tough:

1)    Control: You feel in control of your emotions and influential with the people in your life. 

2)    Commitment: You embrace difficulty rather than running from it.

3)    Challenge: You believe that life is full of opportunities, not threats.

4)    Confidence: You know you have what it takes to be successful.

Mental toughness is a psychological edge that some are born with and others develop. It allows you to consistently cope with training and lifestyle demands better than those who don’t have it.

You can develop mental toughness through a long-term process of developing mental skills.  Leaders can promote mental toughness by creating a learning environment centered on the mastery of those skills (listed above) and by being generally supportive, encouraging Warfighters to maintain positive relationships. Over the long haul, to maintain your mental toughness, you need to continue honing mental skills, and you need a self-driven, insatiable desire to succeed.