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Develop Your Mental Toughness

By Amanda Sides on Jun 11, 2016

Whether you're powering through a tough workout, dealing with a difficult family member, or facing a major setback in your business, you're going to want to call on your mental toughness.

This particular quality is what keeps you going in the face of adversity. It's what allows you to stand up and fight for what you believe in rather than running to hide. It helps you keep your composure no matter what's in your face.

It's not always easy, but practicing these habits will help build your mental toughness.

Don't get attached to the outcome.

Real life doesn't always look the way we draw it out on paper. It's easy to get thrown off your game if you're wildly attached to an idea of how things should turn out. You see this a little too often in brides whose weddings are "ruined" because the deejay is late or the ribbons are mauve instead of lavender.

It's good to have a goal and work toward it, and, naturally, you're hoping to achieve it. But if it doesn't work out the way you planned, clinging to the outcome that never was is a sure-fire way to create frustration, depression, and even a sense of victimhood — which is pretty much the opposite of a mentally tough person. After the fact, let go of your idea of what was supposed to happen and focus on what you can make happen now.

Practice being uncomfortable.

You don't need mental toughness when you're lounging in bed drinking coffee. You need it in those situations that take you outside your comfort zone — which means you need to practice hanging out there. Get uncomfortable where the stakes are lower: go to an improv acting class, try a hard workout, initiate that difficult conversation you've been putting off.

As you gain confidence by handling these situations with grace and ease, you won't be blindsided by an uncomfortable situation that comes out of nowhere: a client yelling at you in front of other clients or team members or a nasty rumor or economic change that drops your sales.

Remember who's watching.

It could be your teammates and business partners. It could be colleagues within the industry. It could be your clients. It could be your family. Or maybe, it's just you. No matter. Every one of those people would be looking to you to keep your cool and get it figured out. Get tough for them.


Do you consider yourself "mentally tough"? How did you work to develop that?

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