Why Companies Need to Invest in the Mental Toughness of Their People
— October 6th, 2021
Achieving success is not easy for anyone. No one evades the gauntlet of setbacks, crisis, tragedy, and challenge.
Life will throw obstacles in your path daily, but it will be your ability to handle those obstacles that will determine your success. Importantly, your state of mind – how you respond – is key to you getting what you want, and things going your way.
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Take any person on the planet who has achieved success, and you will see that they have mental toughness. It doesn’t matter whether they are athletes, scientists, entrepreneurs, politicians, or parents, the truth is that anyone who has excelled at anything is mentally tough.
Mentally tough people are better able to manage the stress and pressure of life, they see challenges as opportunities, they persist no matter what, they pick themselves up and go again.
They are resilient, confident, humble, they feel in control and they are 100% committed to what they set out to achieve.
Don’t be thinking that mentally tough people are ‘special’. They are not. They were not born with mental toughness – they developed it over years, by deliberately practicing and working on their resilience, determination, emotional control, and focus ….and you can do that too.
It’s these things – the things you cannot see, photograph, or hold – that will make the most difference to the quality of your life, and what you’re able to achieve.
Think about it, if you were able to better manage the stress and pressure you relentlessly face, you’d be more likely to live a happy, enjoyable and successful life. If you crumble under the strain of it all, then you would have less fun, less happiness, and poorer health.
There are four main aspects to mental toughness:
CONTROL: A mentally tough person feels in control of their life. They know where they are going, what they want to achieve, and how they’re going to get there. It’s horrible when you feel have no control, but you will have more influence over situations than you first realize.
Of course, there are some things that will be out of your control, but don’t forget that you can control how you respond.
There is also your emotional control to consider. You might be an emotional open book, or so tightly closed that no one knows what you are feeling or thinking.
Mentally tough people are great at controlling their emotions, and you can also develop this skill.
COMMITMENT: How often have you committed to doing something, but your intentions fall to the wayside? Your intentions of going to the gym every day, stopping drinking coffee, clearing out your wardrobes…you know the kind of thing.
If you haven’t been able to complete a task you set yourself, I would suggest it was because your commitment to completing that task wasn’t 100%. Give yourself just 1% wiggle room to change your mind or talk yourself out of it, and you probably will.
Mentally tough people commit to tasks 100% and don’t stop until they have reached their goal. What would you commit to today, 100%?
CHALLENGE: Imagine if you could see every challenge, setback, or obstacle you face as an opportunity, rather than a threat! Mentally tough people do just that. They flip, spin, twist and turn every setback to find the opportunity that lies within it. You can do this too, it just takes practice.
CONFIDENCE: Most of us want more confidence. You can build your confidence by starting to truly believe in your own ability. Believe you can. So you’ll need to stop or quieten the voice in your head that puts you down and sells yourself short. Simply start by standing two inches taller every day, and speaking more slowly and you will feel your confidence starting to rise.
If you feel stressed, anxious or under pressure, you can start to combat it all today by simply taking some action. Never underestimate the power of taking action. Don’t sit on the sofa stewing in a negative mess.
Find and use your source of inspiration. Focus on it until changes your physical state, and most importantly, get up. Physically stand up. When you stand up, it puts you in a physical stance of authority.
For businesses, investing in the mental toughness and mental wellness of their people is critical. Supporting the ability of people to manage the stresses and pressures they face daily is vital to the success of any business, and that can start by simply getting to know everyone a bit better. Actually, a lot better.
In order for people to feel safe to be open and honest, and safe to speak up, they have to be in an environment of psychological safety.
People need to feel that they can talk openly without any danger of being treated any differently, or worst case lose their job.
If you don’t get to know the people better how will you ever know who is secretly suffering a lack of confidence? Who is putting a brave face but really is crumbling under the strain? Who appears to be committed but is struggling to focus and maintain motivation?