Mental toughness means controlling your thoughts and emotions. Also known as 'mental strength,' mental toughness is a life skill, a characteristic and a mindset that helps you get through tough times. It empowers you to perform in life with less effort, less struggle, less stress. It is the underlying backbone that fuels your ability to persevere and rebound from setbacks and disappointments, enabling you to respond to situations effectively with calmness, focus and presence of mind.
According to our HELP SQUAD mental toughness expert, JENNIFER Touma, mental strength can be developed and is fast becoming the competitive edge for athletes, business professionals and consumers. Seen from a martial arts model, it is a defensive art, not an offensive one. When you make the decision to be mentally stronger, your interest in success and accomplishment is brighter, richer and more fulfilling.
She says "taking on this type of personal and professional development is like building a new muscle at the gym; it takes time, effort, and work -- and it doesn’t happen overnight.”
Women who are mentally tough prime themselves for long-term success. Mental toughness is the ability to manage your emotions, thinking and attitudes despite prevailing circumstances. Seven traits of mental toughness include physical fitness, self-belief, motivation, positive attitude, focus, resiliency and open-mindedness.
As you navigate the often challenging, sometimes treacherous waters of business, relationships, and life, practice building and mastering the skills of mental toughness. At the very first sign of feeling pressure or not wanting to stand up to a challenge, immediately stop what you’re doing, take a few deep breaths and be still —in mind and action. Then ask yourself, “Am I allowing these events or circumstances to control how I emotionally respond, or am I controlling how I want to respond?
When you’re facing a situation that may be daunting or overwhelming, JENNIFER recommends: be gentle and patient with your development, pay close attention to your thoughts, control your emotional response to all circumstances, visualize being powerful, resourceful, and triumphant, and remember the adage, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Evidence to indicate you’re cultivating mental toughness: You remain calm and focused under pressure instead of losing your cool. You make a commitment and follow through with it instead of breaking it. You adapt to the challenges that step in front of you instead of rigidly resisting them. You stick with a project instead of giving up at the first hint of complexity. You surround yourself with more positive people instead of naysayers with negative attitudes.
Stay tuned for more from JENNIFER as our blog series continues.