What is Mental Toughness?
Mental toughness is an estimation of an individual’s capacity and confidence to recover quickly from difficult situations that may lead to success in business, sport, and other competitive fields.
~Men of Sparta
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to become mentally tough.
About 90% of CEOs exhibit mental toughness higher than normal individuals.
This is why they are less prone to stress and can handle higher work capacity.
Did you know that training just 10 minutes a day for a month can get you high-quality results?
It is not just about time spent training it is knowing the right techniques to get your brain into shape.
I will tell you 5 easy and practical ways to get to a high level of mental toughness.
Let’s get your mind in shape!
“Being mentally tough is all about not letting your emotions control you. It is the concrete foundation for your success in life. Without mental toughness, you can’t be successful in life.”
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Mental Toughness?
- 2 Journey To Mental Toughness
- 3 How do you know if you are mentally tough?
- 4 Why do you need to be Mentally Tough?
- 5 Mental Toughness and Emotional Health
- 6 How do you become mentally tough?
- 7 Practical Steps to Mental Toughness
- 8 5 step training routine to make you mentally tough
- 9 Should you learn ways to mental toughness?
- 10 Books on mental toughness
- 11 Conclusion
- 12 I want to hear from YOU!
Journey To Mental Toughness
In this article I will explore all the ways that being mentally tough can help you achieve everything you desire from life.
I will explain how we can become mentally tough and why do we need mental toughness.
I will provide you 5 practical ways to start your journey RIGHT NOW and improve your mental toughness.
First, we need to know where is your baseline mental toughness…
Let’s dive deeper.
How do you know if you are mentally tough?
You may ask: Do I have the mental strength needed to succeed in life?
We are all individuals with different life paths, different beginnings, and different purposes.
That is why one approach doesn’t fit us all. To know how to get to our end goals, we need to understand where we are right now.
We can’t reach the finish line without knowing where’s the starting line.
I have prepared questions based on my own experience on the path to mental toughness. This way you can assess your current state of mental strength.
It is crucial that you do this to know what you don’t know. Be honest with yourself. DON’T SKIP THIS PART!
You need to ask yourself these questions…
What makes YOU mentally tough?
Yes / No
- Do I panic when things aren’t going my way?
- Am I afraid of failure?
- Do I feel weak during a confrontation?
- Can people affect my mood?
- Do I fear change?
This isn’t school, this grade doesn’t mean anything. You are not compared to others.
If you are planning to compare yourself, compare yourself with you from the past.
This is for you to see where you are currently. The score doesn’t matter. Only reflection matters.
So you could see yourself who you truly are. Not what your inner our outer circle of people tells you.
For those who love when others evaluate you. The only score that you should care about is the score you gave yourself.
Add all the “Yes” answers, if you got less than 5 you are not mentally tough…
See, this isn’t a real test. It is only to get YOU to think about your situation and evaluate your mental toughness.
If you think you are not mentally tough – you are not. The reality is what we make it to be.
It is what we tell ourselves every day. It is the distrust that we bring to our lives.
Distrust of assessment of our strengths and weaknesses.
Well, that’s what our minds think. We don’t want a house built on lies.
Now that you know where you are starting, let’s see how you can get to the finish line.
But first, we need to understand the “why” we need this mental strength.
Why do you need to be Mentally Tough?
Let me guess. You are not that happy with your life and you want to change something.
Well, the best place to start is the foundation. Your mind is the foundation.
Have a strong foundation and your castle will stand forever. If you have a weak and troubled foundation a mear breeze can bring it down.
It is compounding interest. If you become mentally tough and change your mindset in consequence you will change your life.
The body follows the mind. A strong body follows a strong mind.
But remember, if you don’t put enough effort into things that are important, you will never achieve them.
Everyone knows this, but few want to put in the work.
If you come from a profession with high-stress levels you MUST become mentally tough.
So if you work in a competitive environment the only way to win is to be stronger than others.
To be successful at anything in life your mind must be ready for the pain and stress of the process. This is where the mental toughness comes in.
So if you want to be fulfilled in life, put in the work!
Mental Toughness and Emotional Health
Mental toughness and emotional health are closely related. You can’t have one without the other.
They are like peanut butter and jelly. They go hand in hand.
To be emotionally healthy you need a level of mental toughness.
Being healthy is being strong. You can ask any doctor…
Being strong in handling emotions is the key to being mentally tough.
You need to be stoic when things aren’t going your way. Emotional health is knowing that you can handle any situation.
It is more like emotional confidence. Confidence in your mind’s ability to get you out of any situation.
So how do you become the man who has a stoic mindset?
How do you become mentally tough?
Based on the theory you can become mentally strong by existing long enough.
Life experience is the best way to toughen your mind. The harder life you have the tougher your mind is.
It is like lifting weights. The more weight you can lift the stronger you are.
So, making your life hard and painful is the BEST way to make your brain strong?
This is the way that takes decades, we can do it much quicker with these practical steps…
Practical Steps to Mental Toughness
Mental toughness is a skill and your brain is a muscle so you need to train it like any other muscle.
Mental toughness comes from removing limiting beliefs and changing your perspective.
Yes, it’s that simple.
With these actionable steps, you will learn how you can train your mind. Also, you will strengthen the connections from your subconscious primitive mind to your conscious mind thinking mind.
First, you need to…
Be More Positive
You can look at any situation in two ways – positively and negatively. Either way, you look at it, it doesn’t change the outcome.
Having a more positive outlook on the world not only will make you happier and less stressed. It can also make your mind tough and strong to outside stimulus.
I’m talking about the positive attitude to things you CAN’T change. Things that already happened.
If you get angry, stressed, or cry to sleep, that won’t change your goldfish dying. You mourn and move on.
Being positive might seem dumb at times, but it doesn’t matter. Only matters that you TRAIN your mind to be positive in EVERY situation.
So when you face a huge shortcoming you will stay positive and won’t overthink it.
Then you can calmly find a solution to any situation.
After starting training to be more positive, you need to…
Learn To Fail
Failing is the most important part of the mental toughening process. It will most definitely change your life.
Every time you fail and still try again, your mind will notice this. Your mind will adapt to this and in time you won’t even notice when you fail.
You will program your subconscious to ignore bad emotions that come from failing, instead, you will receive dopamine hits to go try again.
Also, when you learn to fail, you will improve your learning.
What if you don’t fail? Imagine a person painting all his life who never fails.
What is he painting? Is he painting masterpieces that stay in people’s hearts for centuries or is he drawing the same shape every day?
Yes, he never fails at drawing a circle, but he never TRIES to draw a face. Because he doesn’t know how to, because he never tried.
He never tried because he was AFRAID to fail. He was afraid to draw an ugly face, so he never tried to draw ANY face.
This is why children are the fastest learners. Their brain is not fully developed and yet they, or we in the past, seem like having supernatural abilities in learning.
It is when they fail, they fail fast. Then they learn from failure and they do it again as nothing happened.
They fail UNTIL they learn, not until they give up.
Failing is the outcome of trying new things. If you won’t try new things you can’t expand and strengthen your mind.
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”~Pablo Picasso
Picasso also knew to become a great painter he needed to…
No, I’m not suggesting you become a masochist. I want you to stop fearing and avoiding pain.
Every single thing in life worth doing is behind some sort of wall of pain.
So stop fearing it and start moving towards it.
If your fear is talking to girls on the street, that is exactly what you need to do. You are avoiding the pain of rejection.
Same as if you avoid asking for a raise. You know you need to do it, but you know it won’t be comfortable.
You know your boss can reject it or even scream at you. This is exactly why you need to do it.
I have this tendency to go for uncomfortable things, to get into people’s faces and make situations uncomfortable.
This is just to raise MY comfort level in other uncomfortable situations. This made wonders for me.
From not being able to leave my home to get groceries, to speaking on stage, to going up to my boss and telling him to give me a raise.
Discomfort will give you two things: PAIN and PROGRESS!
So as Churchill said, embrace it, go for it, and don’t turn back.
“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
However, Churchill forgot to mention you also need to…
Understand that change is neither bad nor good – it is a part of life. So don’t REACT to it.
You need to imagine that you have nothing. You must think of change as a challenge.
You need to welcome it. Because all the best things in life come from overcoming a challenge.
Knowing you can take a hit and get back up will tell your mind that you are stronger than you think.
By thinking of change as a challenge, you will start to welcome it. It will make your life more interesting and toughen you mentally.
If you are unhappy with your life, you need to change things. Nothing good comes to you – you need to reach in and grab it.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
~George Bernard Shaw
Shaw is right, you need to change, but don’t forget to…
Focus on Progress
To reach any big goal in life you need the most precious thing in the universe – TIME.
If you are focusing only on the result your path will be hard, long, and painfully boring.
More than likely you will give up along the way. This is because every problem you face will discourage you.
Also, when you are deep into the progress you can’t see the big picture. It seems you haven’t moved an inch when you traveled miles.
To become mentally tough will take you a lot of time. It will be hard and if you focus on the end result, whatever it might be, you won’t see how far you come.
This is why you can do a few things to avoid this:
- Track your progress. Now you can see how far you came and what you accomplished.
- Make the process fun. Set mini challenges for getting your mind strong. Example: I will talk to 5 strangers today for 5 minutes.
- Focus on achievable mental toughness. You can’t become Marcus Aurelius overnight. It can take years, but when it’s fun you won’t even notice. Your life will only improve during the process.
- Practice every day. When you do things once in a while you don’t get the benefit of the subconscious mind. Your subconscious needs a training routine to learn what it needs to do when you are.
Here is the best routine for training to be mentally tough…
5 step training routine to make you mentally tough
I won’t include any meditation nonsense or opening your chakras. This is routine for the average person who has a life without training his mind.
It is perfect for a person who has 5-10 minutes a day for this training
This routine is designed to be as easy, fast, and effective as possible.
- Remember one bad thing that happened. Now think of 5 things that are POSITIVE about it.
- Think of a poem / rap / song / picture. Try to create it in one go without any edits. Create a NEW one every day.
- Do any sort of working out every day. Either lifting weight, cardio, or 10 push-ups.
- Do one thing differently than you do normally. Did you drink coffee black 2 sugars? Great, now drink it without sugar. Make it fun.
- Think of one thing, however small, you did yesterday to progress toward your goals. Write it down.
That is a lot and it sounds hard so…
Should you learn ways to mental toughness?
Why wouldn’t you? By making your mind resilient to the outcome you can alleviate stress, perform at the highest level, and live a purposeful life.
Happiness comes not from dopamine hits, it comes from the pursuit of your purpose.
Yes, it takes time. It hurts, but in the end, it is worth it. If you follow the routine I gave you, you won’t even notice the effort you put in.
Your life will change drastically. I speak from experience, the moment I started my mental toughness journey was the moment I started living.
It is imperative to develop mental toughness if want to fully LIVE your life, the way you want to.
If you need more information on how the mind works I suggest these…
Books on mental toughness
You need to know yourself and how your mind works. This is like driving a car. First, you need to learn theory before you can put it into practice.
However, I gave you a broad theory and practical advice. So you can start improving your mental state right now.
But, I still recommend to read these books, they helped me to become more mentally tough.
The best book I read about mental toughness wasn’t about mental toughness. It’s a book about anxiety.
Anxiety is just a fear of something. It is a mid barrier that your body interprets as a physical barrier.
Here is my favorite book on this subject:
T Shawn smith’s book “Guide to the human brain ” is a great starting point for understanding why we do what we do.
This book made a HUGE impact on my mental toughness. When I understood how my mind works and where are the weak points it was easy sailing from there.
You can find my other recommended books on the “recommended” page. They are on other topics to further your progress towards your goals.
Now you know what is mental toughness.
You have assessed your current level of mental toughness.
You now know what makes you mentally tough and how to train this skill.
You have learned the routine and you are ready to begin.
Anyone can become mentally tough. You need to be honest with yourself and put in the work.
I believe in you, so run Forest run!
Thank you for reading, I hope my advice will help you improve your mental toughness and get you to your goals in life!
“I’m trying to free your mind Neo. But I can only show you the door. You are the one that has to walk through it.”
If you found this article helpful – share it with your friends!
I want to hear from YOU!
Leave a comment below and tell me what level of mental toughness you want to reach?
What are your goals in life?
Do you have any previous experience with mental toughness?