22 Steps to Mental Toughness

Achieving a goal isn’t always easy. Research shows that only eight percent of people are actually successful in achieving their goals. Maybe you want to be healthier. Or have more confidence. Or, maybe you want to be in a better relationships.

So how can you be a part of that 8 percent? The answer, in short, is mental toughness.

What is Mental Toughness?
Mental toughness is a term that describes a frame of mind in which people stop at nothing to achieve their goals. It’s a no excuse, results-driven, winner-takes-all mindset. And my research has shown that people with strong mental toughness skills are more successful than those without them. Luckily, there are ways you can sharpen your mental toughness tools and make great things happen.

1. It’s Not Winning but Wanting To Win That Matters

2. Don’t Expect it to Be Easy

3. Don’t Focus on How to Do It. Instead, Focus on Why Should I Do It?
Picture your friends and family being proud of your achievements and willing you to succeed. Try to bring the scene to life by using colours, sounds and situations with a high emotional attachment.

4. Get Super Detailed
Don't just say, "I want to lose weight ." Get really specific. Instead, say, "My goal is to lose 20 pounds in the next two months. I'm going to commit to being at the gym every morning at 7am and eat healthy and nutritious meals ."

5. Lose the Negative Thinking, Develop positive Self-Talk. Develop a confidence mantra. 
Repeat it to yourself daily. Whether you believe it or not initially is irrelevant. With repetition you can trick your mind. ‘I can do this. I am strong, healthy and fit.’ During the race repeat: ‘Calm. Confident. Strong. In Control.’ When negativity strikes as you get tired or something starts to hurt, repeat the mantra and distract the mind. Remember this saying: ‘Whether you think you can or think you cannot, you’re probably right.’
The most important goals you set for yourself aren't easy, and the difficulty involved usually leads to a party of negativity in your self-talk . Begin monitoring everything you say to yourself and others.

6. Vision Boards Will Keep You Motivated

7. Where is Your Accountability?
Go after your goals with a partner who really makes you push yourself. Even better, find someone who has already accomplished what you are setting out after and have them coach you.

8. Put it in Writing
Write a letter and describe your life to a friend as if you haven't seen them in a while. Detail the way you would want things to be in five years. Some people prefer one year, others like three years. It's whatever motivates you the most. Read the letter every day and it will help keep you on track.

9. Forget About What Other People Think
Stop caring about what other people think of your goals. Psychologists call it "approval addiction" and once you overcome it to any significant degree, you are free of the psychological chains that bind most people from ever experiencing world-class success. In other words, live your life for you; not for somebody else.

10. It's About Discipline Over Pleasure
It is a logic-based decision that performers adhere to, regardless of whether they feel like it or not.
Discipline will push you past pain and punishment. The average person sees discipline as a painful chore to be avoided at all costs. The world class sees it as the ultimate power tool for performance.

11. Live in the Present but Focus on the Future
Pros habitually focus on the present while creating their ultimate vision for, and landscape of, the future.

12. Let go of mistakes Quickly
Learn how to let go of mistakes quickly if things do not go the way you want. A key part of mental training is about compensating, adjusting, and trusting. If plan A does not work, go to plan B or C. Mentally rehearse these plans. Develop a systematic pre-performance routine that switches on a desired state of mind that’s ‘ready to race!’ Examples are listening to a special playlist on your music player, or taking four calm deep breaths before the swim start and focusing on feeling strong and competent in the water.

13. You must have total control over your thoughts and actions. 
You must believe you can achieve anything you believe. You must strictly focus on empowering thoughts. If you find a negative thought entering your head, get rid of it as if it was a terrible virus. The quality of your life is going to be determined by the quality of your thoughts. The more empowered your thoughts, the more empowered you will be.

14. You must realize that there is no such thing as failure. 
Failure is only a result. If you don’t get the result that you desire you must change your approach until you succeed. If you are trying to achieve success, your desire to succeed must be greater that your fear of failure. Henry Ford said, “Win or learn, there is no failure.” Fredrick Douglass said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Once you learn how to deal with failure the same way that some of the greatest achievers of all time had, success will be in your very near future if you are not already experiencing it.

15. Control Your Emotions Physically

16. Break Big Goals into Small Targets

"How do you eat an elephant? One mouthful at a time. Don't wake up Monday morning and say, 'Four days and 16 hours till Friday.' Instead, wake up and say, 'Two hours till breakfast.' And then, 'Three hours till lunch.' Try to stay in the present."

17. Flexibility
Game-ready leaders have the ability to absorb the unexpected and remain supple and non-defensive. They maintain humor even when the situation becomes tough. If something isn’t going well or doesn’t turn out as expected, they remain flexible in their approach and look for new ways to solve the problem. A leader may have to decide quickly on a different way.

18. Education
Leaders must continually be open to re-educating themselves, even in the basics, which they may have taken for granted for too long. They need to exercise caution in defensively falling back on ideas they know and are comfortable with rather than looking for new ways of doing business. Relying on old assumptions about how business operates and assuming that last year’s trends still hold today is dangerous. Leaders make decisions and act based on up-to-the-minute and in-depth knowledge of what is really going on in business now.

19. Responsiveness
Game-ready leaders are able to remain engaged, alive and connected with a situation when under pressure. They are constantly identifying the opportunities, challenges, and threats in the environment. They understand that they need to think differently about how their environment and business operate. The problems we encounter now are messier and more complicated than ever before. They often can’t be solved in the ways others were. Game-ready leaders look for new ways to think about these problems and, more important, look for fresh ways out of these problems. They have a sense of urgency about responding to the changing face of business.

20. Strength
 Game-ready leaders are able to exert and resist great force when under pressure and to keep going against insurmountable odds. They find the strength to dig deep and garner the resolve to keep going, even when in a seemingly losing game. They focus on giving their best and fighting hard until the end, with persistent intensity throughout the game.

Just as athletes dig deep to find the physical and psychological strength to continue through adverse and tough situations, game-ready business leaders must exhibit the same strength. As James Loehr puts it, top athletes think, “While this is tough, I am a whole lot tougher.” Game-ready business leaders bring the same intensity, through all the continual pounding.

21. Resiliency Game-ready leaders rebound from disappointments, mistakes and missed opportunities and get right back in the game. They have a hardiness for enduring the downs of a situation. They remain optimistic in the face of adversity and quickly change when necessary.They resolve to make things better and are experts at figuring out ways to do more with fewer resources.

22. Sportsmanship Game-ready leaders exhibit sportsmanship. They don’t let the opponent know when he or she has gotten them down. “Chin up,” I say to my son. Clearly we all experience disappointment, attacks from others, an occasional blow to the stomach. However, the behavior exhibited by game-ready leaders after losing or being attacked by others or the situation sets the tone for the rest of an organization. Additionally, top athletes support their teammates and their roles. If teammates start competing with and attacking one another, it is definitely difficult to win.

  • Focusing on what’s important and letting go of everything else.
  • Staying relaxed under pressure, in what I call “good nervous.”
  • Focusing on what’s important and letting go of everything else.
  • Rebounding from mistakes, bad breaks and failures.
  • Handling last minute self-doubts and negative thinking.
  • Using mental rehearsal for upcoming performances.
  • Motivating yourself by setting personally meaningful and compelling goals.
  • Recognizing mental traps and avoiding them.
  • Developing self-confidence and a positive, go-for-it attitude.

The bottom line: turning your goals into reality comes down to discipline, persistence and willpower. If you're mentally tough, anything is possible.

Sourceinspiyr.com, triradar.com, hoomancan.com, menshealth.com

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