What Is Mental Toughness & Why You Don’t Need To Be Born With It

Not going to lie, life itself is tough. We’re all striving for our own goals, and most of us would do anything it takes to reach them. Well, we say we’d do anything…how many times have you hit a bump in the road or worked so many unproductive hours that your head spins? Personally, I take setbacks quite badly and it can take a while for me to get back on track. And actually, I am ashamed to say that in the past, I have stopped a certain activity and not pushed for success as I was worried about failure.


But some people succeed, right? So, how do some people continually strive towards their goals month after month, year after year – while others (like me in the past), give up on them? What makes those people stay strong and persevere when there is so much potential for things to go wrong?


They have mental toughness. The definition of mental toughness, or ‘grit’ is: “The ability to work hard and respond resiliently to failure and adversity; the inner quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals.”


You Can Expand Your Own Mind

Edmond Mbiaka said: “The strength of your mind determines the quality of your life”. In other words, mental toughness actually plays a huge role when it comes to getting what you want in your life.


Everyone has their own attributes and characteristics – you may be an introvert, or find public speaking hard, but no matter who you are, what you’ve been told by other people, or what you believe about yourself –  you can actually develop the mental toughness you need to be successful in what you want for your life. How? Read on to find out…


You Are In Control

We lose so much time worrying about what ‘might’ or ‘could’ happen to us, that sometimes we don’t focus on what is actually in our control. I am guilty of this! If you can change your mindset slightly to look at what you CAN control, you will feel that each success and failure was down to you – rather than luck or chance. Don’t waste your energy on what-ifs – make it happen!


Focus On Your ‘Why’

Have a plan and a direction. Write down your ‘mission objective’ somewhere so that you can keep going back to it when you’re starting to feel lost. However, be realistic and break it up into bite size pieces. Having a huge end-goal is great, but when it’s so far away, you could end up feeling discouraged and distracted. If your plan has the big end-goal, but can’t be broken down into smaller, achievable goals, it might be time to change your ‘why’.


Learn From Your Mistakes

Failing, or making a mistake can feel awful. You may feel ashamed, stupid, let down – but that’s okay. Feel those feelings! Every mistake is a lesson to learn from – so do this, then let it go. Next time, you’ll know what happened in the past and will be able to have the foresight and ability to stop it happening again. Have faith in yourself – you can’t learn everything all at once and like most things in life, growth is a journey.


Consistency Is Key

Just KEEP GOING! Mental toughness is like a muscle – it needs to be worked out to work. When you don’t want to get up early, wake up 15 minutes earlier. When you’re scared of facing your boss in that meeting, make sure you speak up. If you prove yourself in many different little ways, the tough mentality will build up enough that even the big things won’t feel so scary.


Finally, it’s important to understand that developing mental toughness is not about getting rid of all your weaknesses and becoming ‘strong’, but about learning more about yourself in the way you deal with adversity, and how to overcome it.


No one is 100% perfect, but if you make a concerted effort to focus on the right things, your mental toughness should come with ease, making it easier to conquer your biggest challenges.

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