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Practice Mental Toughness Every Day
The best athletes and leaders need to be mentally tough to perform at elite levels. Without mental toughness, it is hard to overcome obstacles and achieve important goals.
But what is it, exactly? Mental toughness is one of those qualities everyone understands until they have to define it.
Some believe it to be a personality trait. Others think it is a synonym for grit. Even those in the business of teaching performance often describe it as a learned tenacity that prevents the best performers from giving up or giving in.
Talk to those who practice mental toughness every day, however, and they will tell you precisely what mental toughness is and how to practice it.
When leaders and performers are mentally tough, three qualities resist change. No matter what is going on in the situation, or with those involved, tenacious leaders stay the course. These qualities remain constant. Even under heavy pressure or in moments of an intense desire to perform.
Mentally tough performers maintain the same focus needed to execute, the same discipline to practice and prepare, and the same composure and control over their emotions.
Everyday life presents many opportunities for performers to demonstrate their mental toughness. Situations of adversity, conflict, pressure, urgency, and heightened emotions all create moments that can destroy focus, discipline, and composure.
Mentally tough performers commit themselves to flawless execution and do not allow external forces to alter their game plans or the concentration required to perform.
The opportunity to practice becoming more mentally tough is available most days. Distractions test our discipline to stay with our process and routine. Episodes where colleagues become emotional or intense test our composure. The big moments of performance and the pressures we experience when expectations are high challenge our focus and commitment to execute.
Getting more mentally tough with each successive trial is what the highest performers are all about.
The willpower to keep going when the going gets tough is among the highest of mental challenges. Fortunately, we can develop our mental toughness one episode at a time.
Tough is a state of mind. How strong is your mind?