Mental Toughness and Your Habits
Do you know that the level of your mental toughness is directly related to your habits? Actually not many people are aware of this. Instead they think that being mentally tough is something you were born with. It is not, you can easily develop and improve your mental toughness.
A habit is a routine that you follow each day, almost without thinking. No one has to tell you to brush your teeth each morning, it is a habit.
How high would you say your mental toughness is? Answer the following:
- Do you give up on exercise when it gets tough?
- Do you find excuses for everything?
- Are you are stuck losing weight regardless of what you do?
If you answered yes to any of these then your mental toughness needs working on. When you allow excuses to stop you, you are only hurting yourself. It is not really your lack of motivation or willpower it is your lack of mental toughness.
When you have mental toughness you do not allow obstacles or excuses to block your way. Instead you battle through regardless of any circumstance.
The easiest way to improve your mental toughness is by developing your habits. Pick one thing that you want to become a habit and work on it. It only takes about three weeks for a habit to become engrained in your mind. That really isn't that long now is it?
If you want to lose those last 10 pounds but haven't given up your daily sodas yet. Get tough mentally and stop drinking them so you can lose those last few pounds.
Another example is wanting to run in a 5K but you haven't yet. Identify what it is that is stopping you and think about how badly you want it. If you want this with all of your heart and soul you will achieve it. You will find time to fit in your training runs and this will fill you with a sense of accomplishment.
What all of this boils down to is how determined you are. To succeed all you need is the perseverance to keep on going. This means scheduling and planning out your runs and putting tools into place so that you succeed.
To become a mentally tough person you need to be willing to stay true to yourself. This entails not going off track and be willing to find a way to get things done.
Is Mental Toughness Inherited?
You may be wondering if mental toughness is an inherited trait? Is it something that you are born with or can mental toughness be developed by anyone? The good news is that anyone can improve their mental toughness if they are prepared to take action.
Right now you may be thinking this is not possible. You see plenty of people around you that seem to get just about everything they wish for. A friend gets on the college football team or they get chosen for a pro team. There you are hoping for the same, but not seeing any opportunities!
There is actually a good reason for this and it has to do with your mental toughness. How would you describe your attitude and the level of your passion towards your goal? Do you want to be on a pro team more than anything else, or is it just a wish?
If you are truly passionate about something then your mindset automatically changes. You have the drive and motivation to make it to all of your practices. You are the one who stays later, or shows up early to get additional practice time in.
Have you ever noticed that some people who don't seem to have as much talent for something, become extremely successful at it? This is because they have the passion and the perseverance to reach their goal.
Mental toughness is a factor that separates those who are good and those who are great. This is such a huge factor that it actually outweighs talent. A talented musician may not get as far as a musician with only average musical skills. This is because the average musician has far more mental toughness.
There are certain traits that are displayed by people with mental toughness. These include:
- Positive mindset
- Self control
- Good at handling pressure
- Being energetic
These are the type of people who can turn on a dime and change direction. If things don't go their way they don't get disappointed. They simply go with the flow and change course and adapt.
So if you have a goal or a dream that you want to reach you need to start making plans and taking action so you can achieve it. Map out a plan of attack and don't let anything stand in your way. Be flexible and ready to take action at any time. If something comes up and you miss your training time, don't let it pass. Just reschedule it so that you get your session in.
When you can do these things you are well on your way to showing that you do have what it takes to achieve your goals and dreams.
How Tough Are You?
Have you ever looked at someone and wondered just how they manage to be so successful? Is it because they are extremely talented at something? Or is there another reason.
Many successful people are successful because they possess mental toughness. Some research studies even suggest that your intelligence only accounts for 30% of your actual achievements. Mental toughness accounts for the rest.
So just what makes a person mentally tough?
If you are mentally tough then you have the perseverance to follow through on things. If you are an athlete your mental toughness is displayed by not missing workouts. A student would not miss assignments, a writer works through their writer's block and puts words on paper.
People who are mentally tough are usually surrounded by successful people. They show traits such as being consistent, adhering to schedules and always approach things with a positive and professional mindset. In other words they know what their responsibilities are and they carry them out.
If you currently don't feel that tough, not to worry you can work on developing this trait and increasing your mental toughness.
Your first step is to define what the words "mental toughness" mean for you. There is no one definition that suits everyone. So write down things that you could do that would imply you had mental toughness.
Here are a few examples:
- Not missing your workouts for the next 2 weeks
- Finishing your next project ahead of schedule
- Stop drinking soda
- Doing that extra rep before quitting
- Not missing family night with your kids
The only way to demonstrate that you have mental toughness is by taking action and by proving it to yourself!
Changing your mindset is one of the first steps to increasing your toughness. You need to have a positive mindset and be committed to following through with things.
Say you have decided to commit to a new exercise regimen for a month. You have to always think about this in a positive way. This means not giving in to excuses for missing your workouts.
It can help to view your mental toughness as one large muscle group. Just like any of your other muscles, it needs to be exercised and developed to keep working effectively.
When you are confident that you can now tackle things head on, your mental toughness muscle is growing nicely. Always keep that positive mindset about you and your mental toughness will not shrink or shirk when it comes to time to face any circumstance.
Easy Ways to Improve Mental Toughness
Being mentally tough is not that difficult to achieve. Your mind loves to be put to use and the more you stimulate your mind and thoughts the more your attitude changes. All of these changes combined can really help improve your mental toughness.
1. It is important to stimulate your mind on a regular basis, but you definitely don't want to over tax it. Always be open to taking on a new challenge, but don't take on too many at once.
2. Meditation is another fantastic way to improve your mind and body. It can give you a great boost of mental energy. As you meditate it is important to focus on what you are doing. Leave any work or personal issues out of your thoughts. Yoga is a great way to get in meditation along with some physical exercise.
3. Are you stuck in the same old routine? When was the last time you tried something new? Challenging your brain by doing something new is a great stimulation tool. This also helps increase your confidence levels as well. You may want to try a new sport, pick up a new book or attempt a crossword puzzle. Get out of your rut by trying new things once in a while.
4. Are you the type of person who always offers to help when asked? You just can't seem to say no? This is not great for your mental health at all, instead start learning how to say the word "no". It can relieve you of a ton of stress.
5. If you really want to increase your mental toughness then allow yourself to work on those things that you are passionate about. Stop putting them off, or waiting for the perfect time to do them. Be flexible and make changes to your schedule so you can follow your passions.
6. Your emotions can play havoc with you and decrease your mental toughness. Learn to stay in control, especially if your emotions often embarrass you.
7. One of the worst things anyone can do is to keep living in the past. This only causes you to think negatively, and it can lead to severe depression. Start to learn to let the past go and live in the present. Instead of wishing things were different grab your mental toughness and make things different!
As you can see many of the above tips are helping you move from feeling like a negative person into a positive thinking one. By becoming more positive your attitude changes and this in turn increases your mental toughness.