Mental toughness. Google these words, and you will find millions of hits with anecdotes about Olympic athletes, West Point graduates, and military personnel. You will also find stories of how people just like you used this high-class skill to reach new heights in their own lives.
Mental toughness is the key skill that makes the difference between a benched high school baseball pitcher going pro and never playing again. It’s the difference between the Etsy shop that just kind of peters out and one that becomes the owner’s full living. It’s the difference between your stagnancy and your glowing future. Another, simpler word for mental toughness that you’ve probably heard before is this: grit.
Determination. Perseverance. More than intelligence or genes or talent, this is the stuff that’s been shown to set successful people apart from the rest. It’s the drive to achieve long-term goals, even when it’s tough, or you don’t feel like it. Even when roadblocks rise up to defeat you, with grit, you won’t back down.
At the very core of mental toughness is consistency. Once you create a goal, consistently striving toward it every day, one step at a time, is what’s going to earn you grit. If you’re an artist or want to be, that looks like creating something, even if it’s small, every single day without failing. If you’re a nurse, it looks like showing up for your patients, even when you’re tired, in any form they need you to be.
The great news about mental toughness is this: you can have it. That voice in your head, that’s been telling you someone else deserves your dreams because they’re just more talented or have better skills than you, is wrong. Talent and genetics can be completely overrun by one person who has the drive and the willpower to focus hard on getting where they want to be. Anyone can achieve mental toughness. That anyone includes you.
Being mentally tough means, you’ll be better prepared for change. It means you’ll be more positive under pressure, more productive during the workday, and harness more emotional stability. It means you’ll grow into the part of yourself that believes your happiness has nothing to do with your external world and everything to do with your internal world. Being mentally tough means, you’ll focus on your goals and dreams instead of just reacting to life as it comes. You’ll be more patient with the outcomes because you can see clearly how you’re getting there, and you’ll experience a more relaxed, content countenance.