Thursday, May 24, 2018

Self-Leadership #9 Be Mentally Tough

I toughen my mind every day. I think every day, I read every day, I learned every day. I do it so that when I'm facing difficulties or challenges in the future – I'm ready. I believe it is one of the most important leadership skills. What is mental toughness? It is the ability to hold on to one's goals in the face of the pressure and stress. When tested, hold on. When fail, try again – harder, smarter. Persevere relentlessly. In a team, mental toughness is the glue that holds us together when the heat is on, and it helps us persevere just a little bit longer. It implies a firm resolve to stay in the course over the long-term rather than a burst of short-lived activity. It is not the ability to survive a mistake or failure; it's the ability to come back stronger from failure.

When the going gets tough, it takes a special kind of mental toughness to fight back. I use these 7 inspiring quotes as a personal reminder for me to strengthen my mind:

"Mental toughness is spartanism with qualities of sacrifice, self-denial, dedication.
It is fearlessness, and it is love" (Vince Lombardi)

"It takes energy, mental toughness, and spiritual reinforcement to successfully deal with life's opportunities and to reach your objectives" (Zig Ziglar)

"Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory" (Bill Russell)

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal;
nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude" (Thomas Jefferson)

"It's when the discomfort strikes that they realize a strong mind
is the most powerful weapon of all" (Chrissie Wellington)

"Strong minds suffer without complaining;
weak minds complain without suffering" (Lettie Cowman)

"You have power over your mind, not outside events.
Realize this, and you will find strength" (Marcus Aurelius)

Like leadership, mental toughness is not something that people are born with. Instead, it's learned. We start small, achieving a minor goal. Then we set our sights higher and succeed again. If we work patiently, we will prevail. Each time we raise the bar of personal goal, we gain skills and confidence that make the next success more likely. This cycle – hard work, success, more hard work, more success, with the occasional setbacks and failures – is the crucial process of the making of your character that will be part of you. Good things take time, usually lots of time. But if you persist, determine and resolve you'll be stronger mentally – you will be unstoppable!

Here are three (3) ways to develop mental toughness:

Keep the Pressure On: Good leaders don't avoid pressure, they work themselves through it! They work constantly to improve and stay focus. Keep the pressure on but stay within your own breaking points.

Never Give In: It's easy to do well when there's no pressure or stress but how many of us can stay firm when defeat is knocking on the door? Mental toughness is not rigidity in the face of adversity; it is stability and poise in the face of challenge.

Work at It: Mental toughness is the willingness to keep commitments you make to yourself. It's singleness of purpose. It's the ability to stay motivated no matter what obstacles arise in your path.


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