We may think of Mental Toughness as a huge culminating, you have it or you don’t, event or thing. However, Mental Toughness is really about doing what others aren’t willing to do, pushing ourselves in all areas of our lives, and simply getting better. Thus, since you’re reading this post, some of these tests will be easy, whereas others may be difficult. The key is to accomplish all ten in one day. Each of these tests, challenges us to work on ourselves.
1. Look everyone in the eye.
The eyes tell it all. The reason we won’t is because we aren’t confident in ourselves. Maybe it is because we are troubled or uninterested in the other person. Don’t just gaze and look away either but right up to the point of it being uncomfortable.
2. Ask a question.
Ask for clarification or to elaborate in every conversation you’re in. Not only will it show your paying attention, but also you’ll learn more. Few people ask questions for fear of looking stupid, so its even better to ask a question in the presence of several people, such as a meeting.
3. Write out your goal for the day.
This is the easiest test, but don’t make it a to-do list. Most of us just think about the goal instead of writing it down. If you write down what you want to accomplish, you’ll achieve it.
4. Get your workout on.
Whether you’re a corporate athlete or someone on scholarship, every one is an athlete. All athletes get physical.
5. Wake up 30 minutes early.
The first hour of the day sets the rudder for the rest. Can you fight the innate urge to hit the snooze and just get up? What will you do with the extra 30 minutes?
6. Work through lunch.
In the movie, Wall Street, Gordon Gekko said it best “ Lunch is for wimps.” Pack your lunch; take a break and be present while you eat and recharge, then grind ahead.
7. Turn off your phone.
This is the tough one for everybody because how long do we go without our phone anyway, 5 minutes? Plan when you get home to shut your phone off during a certain amount of time. Be present!
8. Take 30 seconds of a cold shower.
Pay attention to where your thoughts go.
9. Listen to someone.
Too often, when someone speaks, we merely start talking about ourselves. Instead, just listen and put yourself in their situation. Ask a question and look them in the eye.
10. Forgive someone.
You can check this one off by forgiving someone who cut you off in traffic, or you can seriously work on this step and choose someone who really hurt you. Remember, resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Sometimes the most difficult person to forgive is ourselves.
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kid: Build Their Mental Toughness