BY KEVIN SAWYER – What often separates us from what we want is our ability to be mentally tough; our ability to stay focused on a goal until it is reached. It’s being able to perform under pressure. It’s being able to face certain fears and demons and stare them down. Most people, however, tend to avoid conflict. They would rather take the path of least resistance even if it is extremely hurtful and detrimental to them. Mental toughness also means that you are resilient. It means you pick yourself up out of the mud of a failure and you get back in the game.
Mental toughness is something you can train yourself in. You just need to know what to do:
- The first thing you need to realize is that you need to always be in control of your thinking. Focusing on the negative drains your energy and doesn’t allow you to focus. Once you have refused to dwell on the negative, you then must concentrate on the positive. See your situation and develop a plan of action. Then, have the will to carry out the plan. All of this building energy will move you forward instead of backward into hesitation and doubt.
- Don’t be afraid to take the calculated risk and fail. Successful people fail but they look at it as less a failure than as one more step closer to the ultimate success. It’s like the veteran sales people who love getting “no” for answers because they know that they are just one step closer to getting that “yes”.
- Part of being mentally tough is being able to see reality for what it is. If the plan isn’t working then make a new one. Flexibility is the key to toughness. Being rigid and self righteous will only lead to pain and failure. Being flexible means you can readily adapt to changing circumstances and to recognize where you have to go and what you have to do next.
- Developing and training yourself to be patient is another key to staying tough. You must know how to wait. Another great toughness tool is self awareness. You must be able to step outside of yourself and see yourself for who you really are. Use visualization. Actually see yourself in your mind doing whatever it is you want to be doing. If you can see it, you can achieve it.
- Finally, be gentle on yourself. Cut yourself some slack and not be so hard on yourself. It’s less about winning and losing and more about learning and growing and becoming the person you want to see yourself become.
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