There are many roads to success, but you must develop this one skill to become unstoppable?
Mental toughness was first used by the sports industry to describe an individual’s performance based on their ability to develop self-confidence, focus, positive vibes, motivation, attitude, and visualization. Now as a mindset coach, I’m fascinated with brain function and how the mind impacts us holistically. Scientific research explains how our mind affects us emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
So why do some of us resist developing the one asset that can change our lives?
Because most people align with the myths related to it some that include the following.
- Mental toughness is something you are born with.
- It’s all about perfection, not progress.
- There is never a reason to give up.
- These people only focus on winnings and outcomes.
- Mentally tough people don’t experience emotions like anxiety, depression, fear, or stress.
Here’s the truth. You have complete control and power over everything you do in life. Did you get that? You have the power and control. So why would you want to believe that mental toughness is a skill that only the sacred few can take advantage of?
Because mental toughness is something that requires you to dig deep and become intimate with someone you’ve been avoiding this whole time. You. All of you.
If you want to develop mental toughness, it’s going to take work. It’s going to get ugly and you’re going to have to confront some things you wish would just go away. The problem is we can’t develop this skill unless we are ready to take accountability and responsibility for everything we do, and I do mean everything.
Before I begin, let me make the distinction between mental toughness and mindset.
As stated previously, mental toughness is one’s ability to develop things like self-confidence, focus, and attitude.
Mindset is a set of beliefs that orient how we will manage situations.
Mental Toughness is active, and Mindset is reactive. Both of these are linked for you need one to develop the other.
Each may align with two parts of the brain.
- The prefrontal cortex which is calm helps us logically think and act rationally to situations.
- The limbic system also is known as the lizard brain or monkey brain which provides chaos and irrationality often leading us down a road of non-decision and limbo.
The good news is you have the ability, control, and power to develop mental toughness.
Here are some steps how.
- Own your sh*t! All of it. It means you need to take accountability and responsibility for the two things you can control in life: your action or reaction to a situation.
Exercise: Identify one area in your life that you avoid and don’t focus. Is it your heath and weight? Is it your finances?
Pick one because we’re going to be discussing strategies to change his all week. For me, I’m focusing on finances, specifically my relationship with money.
- Identify the origin story and belief. This aligns with changing mindset. I’m not going to tell you it’s easy because it’s not. As a matter of fact, most people love to avoid this because it provides them with evidence to support their behavior or victim mentality. The only way to change your mindset is for you to make a decision to do so.
Exercise: Recall your earliest belief related to your focus area. How did you first learn about money? What was the situation? How did your belief from? Who did it come from?
- Root yourself in a new belief to create your new disposition. Write down everything you feel about the belief you just uncovered. For example, money is the root of all evil. Do you still believe it?
Exercise: Write out the how you feel about the belief and the outcomes you associate with it. For example, money is the root of all evil. When I hear money and evil, it makes me anxious thinking that it’s bad to have money. I”ll be judged differently. I may be observed as unkind, manipulative or evil because if I have money, it means I go after what I want and don’t think of others.
Now list out the opposite and reframe your belief in a positive light. Money isn’t evil unless I make it so. Money provides me stability to support myself and my family. Money enables me to donate to charitable causes, help, and serve more people.
- Get Real. Know where you currently stand and be truthful and honest about it. You are going to have to deal with everything related to the situation. The issue you are trying to address has nothing to do what you see at face value. It ties to a belief, gap, or void in your life. Find out what it is and deal with it.
Exercise: Write sh*t down and get specific. If it’s money get specific about what your story is. Details, details, details. It may not be pretty, but it is your truth.
- Make a decision. One of the hardest things we face on a day-to-day basis is to make a decision. Some decisions are easy, and we make them without another thought. The real challenge is to become aware of what is happening and make a decision. Once you’ve made a decision, you’re now committing to making real change.
Exercise: Practice, practice, practice. We make several decisions throughout the day. However, when it comes to making a decision that could significantly impact our lives, we’ll stop dead in our tracks. So become of aware of the options running through your mind and make a decision.
Throughout this whole week, I will be blogging about the five areas defined above. Everyone talks about mindset, but it is one piece of the equation. We need the mindset and mental toughness to be able to stand in our power and navigate the many situations we encounter o a daily basis.
Jackie Fernandes is coach helping women small business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals achieve the highest level of peak performance.
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